Macros in Google Sheets – what is it and how to use them?

07/12/2018

Manually transferring data to a spreadsheet is usually a tedious and time-consuming task. Is there any way to simplify this? Google Sheets have macro tools that automate the entire process. By registering each step, you can teach Google Sheets how to do it with one click. You can also add a custom keyboard shortcut for any item in Sheets, which will also increase your work efficiency. Macros in Google Sheets – how do you create them?

Macros in Google Sheets – how do you create them?

Macros are spreadsheet functions that can automatically perform specific tasks. Removing or adding formatting, inserting additional rows and columns, using more difficult functions or cleaning the data – there are really many options. All you have to do is to teach the spreadsheet how to perform each task, and then press the button or the appropriate keyboard shortcut.

Macros help optimize both individual and team work. Instead of instructing your colleague exactly what to do, just tell he or she to run the macro and the spreadsheet will do the job automatically for them.

Adding a macro is easy. Just run Google Spreadsheets and then choose:

Tools → Macros → Record macro

A small window “Recording new macro …” will open. All recorded activities in Google Sheet will be saved and then played back when the macros are run. The “Use absolute references” option saves actions to specific, selected cells. “Use relative references” will select the cells to the left of the one selected when the macro was run.

Now just click “Save”. One user can create up to 10 macros. Each of them has a number assigned. 

To run it, press the key combination:

  • PC: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + number,
  • Mac: Command + Option + Shift + number.

See also:

Application of Google Sheets macros

Using spreadsheet macros, you can:

  • use any tools to format Google Sheets
  • use any functions from the Google Sheets toolbar, main menu or right-click menu,
  • use any Google Sheets function
  • select any cell, row or column,
  • use standard keyboard shortcuts,
  • enter any text into the spreadsheet,
  • every Google Sheets routine, can be automated with macros.

To learn more about the more effective use of applications included in the G Suite package, contact us and take part in G Suite trainings organized by Fly On The Cloud.