App Tutorial

Convert Text to Formulas in Google Sheets: A Guide

Jason Gong
App automation expert
Apps used
Google Sheets
April 15, 2024

Converting text to formulas in Google Sheets involves using functions like INDIRECT() for simple references or Google Apps Script for more complex operations. This enables dynamic data interpretation and calculation from text inputs.

Mastering these techniques can significantly enhance your spreadsheet's flexibility and functionality.

Streamline your Google Sheets tasks and enhance productivity with Bardeen's automation playbooks.

How to Convert Text to Formula in Google Sheets

Converting text to a formula in Google Sheets allows you to dynamically interpret and calculate data based on text inputs. This can be particularly useful in scenarios where you build formulas programmatically or need to change the structure of your calculations based on external inputs. Below, we explore methods to achieve this, including using Google Sheets formulas and Google Apps Script.

Automate your Google Sheets tasks to save time and boost productivity with Bardeen. Download now and explore our playbooks!

Convert Text to Formula Google Sheets

Directly converting a text string into a formula within Google Sheets using standard functions like INDIRECT() is limited to references rather than operations. However, a workaround involves using a combination of functions to interpret parts of the formula stored as text.

For example, if you have a cell that contains the text 'A1+A2', and you want to use this text as a formula to add the values in cells A1 and A2, you can use a combination of INDIRECT(), FIND(), LEFT(), and RIGHT() functions to parse and calculate the formula:


This formula breaks down the text into two references around the '+' operator and uses INDIRECT() to convert text references into actual cell references that can be calculated.

Google Sheets Formula

Understanding how to manipulate formulas in Google Sheets is crucial for converting text to formulas and

Unlock Google Sheets Efficiencies with Bardeen Automation

While converting text to a formula in Google Sheets can be a manual task, automating your Google Sheets tasks can save time and increase productivity. Bardeen offers several playbooks that can automate various tasks in Google Sheets, streamlining your data management and analysis processes.

Explore the following examples of how Bardeen can automate tasks in Google Sheets, making your workflow more efficient:

  1. Save selected text to Google Sheets, when I right-click: This automation saves you the hassle of copying and pasting. Simply right-click to save any selected text directly into your Google Sheets. Ideal for research and data collection.
  2. Get a YouTube transcript for the current video in a Google Sheet: Automatically capture YouTube video transcripts and store them in Google Sheets, perfect for content creators and researchers wanting to easily access video content in text form.
  3. Get key takeaways from a Youtube video using OpenAI and save it to Google Sheets: Use this playbook to summarize YouTube videos and extract main takeaways with OpenAI, then save the insights directly to Google Sheets. Great for compiling video research.

To streamline your Google Sheets tasks and boost productivity, download the Bardeen app at

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