In our last tutorial, we grabbed the Google Sheets count data from a single rating survey question. We then displayed it two ways; horizontally with the question item at the top, or vertically with the question item to the side.
In part 3 of our Google Sheets data transformation with Google Apps Script course we are going to expand on our current work and add two more rating question items from our survey. Each survey will have the same 1. Weak to 5. Strong survey items.
Our new list of question items will include:
Rate your goat’s athleticism.
Rate your goat’s agility.
Rate you goat’s headbutt
All the information any self-respecting human companion for goats would know.
We’ll be updating our code to be able to take any number of item questions so long as they have the same choices.
In our previous tutorial, we created a 2d array of count values for each item chosen in a survey form in Google Apps Script. In our survey, we asked users to submit what type of goat they are. We didn’t know what species of goat they identified as so we just needed to count for any goat species that was submitted.
In part 2 of our course, our Google Sheets survey data is a little different. This time around we are asking the human companion of their coding goat to:
Rate your goat’s athleticism.
Respondents then rate their goat’s athleticism on a 5-point scale:
Better Than Average
But, Yagi! Can’t we simply use the script in part one?
Sure, you could. However, you might come across a bit of a problem. In Part 1 we generated our choices for our count based on their appearance in the survey. What happens if none of the respondents rated their goat as Weak (This is right and just)? Weakwould not be recorded in our 2d count array when we ran our Google Apps Script code.
Further, if the first user in our Google Sheet response data rates their goat as Strong, then the first choice in our 2d count array will be Strong.
That would just look weird for a summary count of a rating survey. We really need to display our count in order from 1.Weak through to 5.Strong.
Google Apps Script, Google Sheets, SpreadsheetApp, 2d arrays
Table of Contents
Introduction: 2D Array Data Transformation for Google Sheets
One of the major regular tasks that Google Apps Scripts can do for Google Sheets is to automate the transformation of data from one state to another.
Sometimes this task can simply be accomplished by building dynamic templates using the vast functionality of Google Sheets. Other times automation via Google Apps Script is a better tool for the job.
When working with Google Sheets data in Google Apps Script you are immediately going to be met with the 2D array. Take a look at this simple range of Google Sheet data from A1:B2:
If we grab this data in Google Apps Script, it will appear like this:
Simple 2d array of Google Sheet Data
As you can see, we are looking at a nested array that is two levels deep commonly known as a 2-dimensional array.
Remember that while our spreadsheets rows and columns start at 1 our arrays start at 0.
Spreadsheet data is transformed into a 2d array first by row and then by column data. In the above example, we can see that row 1 is the zeroeth element of our array and that zeroeth item contains column A (‘Goats’) and column B (‘are’) data items. Then in the 2nd row or array element 1, we get those two column values of ‘awesome’ for column A and ‘creatures’ for column B.
Now we have the basics out of the way, let’s dive into transforming this data.
In this course, we are going to take a bunch of survey data in our Google Sheet and get the total count of each selection from the survey data responses using Google Apps Script and then redisplay it back into our Google Sheet.
Google Sheets, Google Apps Script: SpreadsheetApp, PropertiesService, Binary Search, onOpen, Button
Ever had to open a huge data entry spreadsheet an all you want to do is enter your data and move onto another task? Instead, you have to waste precious time navigating all the way down to the bottom of the page to add your data.
Wouldn’t it be cool to just jump down to the first empty row and get clicky-clacking away?
Behold, dear biped! This friendly coding goat has a little gift for you.
In this tutorial, we are going to tackle two ways to automatically move down to the first available empty cell. One will be super easy and the other slightly more tricky, fun and versatile (You can thank one of the Google Apps Script outreach gurus for the inspiration for this one).
We’ll show you how to set up this little code so it can be run via a button at the top of your page or when you open the Google Sheet workbook each time.
Note! As always feel free to read the entire tutorial or take what you need. There is a quick start guide for those people who just want to copy and paste into their own projects and a deep dive for those who want to understand the code.
Google Forms, Google Sheets, Google Apps Script: SpreadsheetApp, FormApp
In this tutorial, we are going to build a simple seat booking Google Form. It will contain a registeree’s name and the session that they wish to attend.
Each time a registeree submits a request to book a seat for a session, that seat is taken from the list displaying only the remaining seats for that session for when the next user submits the form.
Take a look at the example below:
If all the seats have been booked for a seminar, then that seminar will not appear on the form. If all seats have been booked for all seminars, then the Google Form will close.
We will even create a live list of attendees that we can embed on our website using Google Sheets.
Google Forms can’t do this for you out of the box. We will need to use Google Sheets to store our bookings and do some manipulation of the data. Then, we will use Google Apps Script to update the Google Form with the number of seats each time the form is submitted.
The Google Apps Script script has been prepared in a way that someone with limited coding skills can use it as a template by plugging in a few global variables. Alternatively, a more advanced user can incorporate the code into a larger project.
I’ll assume you have the basic abilities to create a simple Google Form and have used Google Sheets.
This tutorial can be followed as a useful step-by-step guide or if you are more confident, you can simply jump to the code using the contents below.
Google Sheets: COUNTIF, ARRAYFOMULA, FILTER, REGEXMATCH, REGULAR EXPRESSIONS (RE2)
Okay, wait! Stop!…
…I know the byline contained regular expressions, but I promise you I won’t just leave you with the formula for you to figure out your own jumbled mass of jibberish characters or inundate you with a list of commands and leave to attempt to piece it all together.
I promise to give you some clear examples with an explanation of each to you can apply it to your project.
Take a deep breath, mate, and let’s get cracking.
We are going to look at two related scenarios:
Imagine that you have a huge list of items. You have a hunch that some of the cells contain certain values of interest for you. You want to build a new list with only those values in them.
Imagine that you have a list of full names, and you want to use Google Sheets to create a new list of full names that only contain John.
You have that same huge list again, but this time you only want the total count of all the rows that contain certain values in each cell.
Imagining that list of full names again, you are now going to get a total count of all full names that contain John in it.
We’ll first go through how to create these formulas and then provide a number of clear examples on some common criteria for searching cell for values using REGEXMATCH and regular expressions.
G Suite – Paid editions, Gmail, Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Drive
Recently, I had updated all the course materials in a learning management system (Not Google Classroom. Sorry Google) to only use G Suite files like Docs, Sheets and Slides for students to access.
For me, this was a pretty logical step. It allowed course creators to update their files live when they had to correct errors or make minor changes quarter-to-quarter or year-to-year. Administratively, it meant that files did not have to be accounted for, deleted and updated every time a change was made.
While time-consuming, the changeover went well as we changed all of the student resources into Google files. We set all the files to be accessible to anyone with the link can view (The organization does not have student accounts on the same domain as the staff).
However, in the back of my mind, there was a problem I knew I needed to address. The dreaded request for access to edit. With over 3,500 students on the program and hundreds of files for them to access, it would be a huge pain if some of these students clicked that view and requested edit access.
There is no way to prevent users from not being able to do this within the document’s share options. Likewise, my organisation may want to allow requests inside the domain (for example email@example.com is okay, but firstname.lastname@example.org is not).
Google Apps Script: Dev Tools, Color Picker, Side Bar, Custom Prompt, HtmlService, onOpen, Sidebar, Dialog Box
I wanted to update one of my free Google Add-on apps that works with colour. What I had is just the standard HTML color input element where the user selects from the palette and that hexadecimal colour code is returned to Google Apps Script to be used in the App. The problem is that it is really hard to get a good colour match between the palette and Google’s own colour range that is accessible from the fill or text colour buttons.
Take a look at the comparison between the HTML color input element and the Google Sheet background colour palette in the image below.
That’s not a user-friendly tool to match colours with the standard Google palette.
So in the back of my mind, I had always wanted to create a tool for a sidebar or dialogue box that would allow the user to easily access the standard colours or use the custom palette provided by the HTML color input.
After finding a bit of time in my recent summer break I came up with this.
Google Apps Script – GSuite Standard Color Palette
I am planning on updating a few Google Apps Script projects and updates soon. To accomplish them, I needed to get the full array of colours and their hexadecimal codes from the Google Sheets, Docs and Slides dropdown menus for the text and fill colours.
I wanted to be able to easily access the hexadecimal codes for each of the custom colours that Google has.
In this short post, I want to share a number of array and object formats along with a quick Logger.log example for each one.
However, first of all here is the Google Sheet with the colours along with their hexadecimal name and the name that Google gives the colour.
Google Apps Script: isChecked(), switch, filter, map
One Checkbox to Rule them All
Now that’s a fantasy novel I could be my gums into.
Have you ever created a Google Sheet projects where you could really use a select all checkbox (they call them ‘Tick-boxes’ in Google Sheets)? Sure you can copy a range of tickboxes and paste the same range etc. But can you really trust your users not to mess that up?
People are used to select-all checkboxes in their computerised lives. It’s always better to work with familiarity to provide a better user experience rather than try and teach the user on the fly how to do something your way.
With this in mind, I went about creating a select-all checkbox for Google Sheets. Here is a little demo of how it all works. All the black background Tick boxes are select All boxes. These boxes have been assigned a range of other checkboxes that will be either checked or unchecked depending on the main select-all boxes state.
As you can see, the select all checkbox only changes the tick boxes in the assigned range. It does not affect any other non-tick box data in the same range.
To get this up and running on your own project, all you need to do is copy and paste in the two code files in your Google Apps Script editor. The first code file is the function that runs the check-all code. The other file stores all the select-all checkboxes and the ranges that they will affect.
Let’s take a look at the code and then run through a quick use guide before finishing off with an example.
Those of you who want to dive into the nuts and bolts of the code, there will be more explanation of each element of the code at the end.