App Tutorial

Master IMPORTRANGE in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Jason Gong
App automation expert
Apps used
Google Sheets
March 7, 2024

Google Sheets' IMPORTRANGE function lets you import data between spreadsheets easily, using a simple syntax 'IMPORTRANGE(spreadsheet_url, range_string)'. It's ideal for aggregating data, sharing specific data ranges, and ensuring data consistency across sheets. Remember to grant permission for data access on first use.

This guide simplifies data sharing and syncing across Google Sheets, making collaboration and data management more efficient.

Enhance your Google Sheets efficiency by automating data import tasks with Bardeen.

How to Use IMPORTRANGE in Google Sheets

Google Sheets offers a powerful function, IMPORTRANGE, that allows users to import a range of cells from one spreadsheet to another. This function is particularly useful for aggregating data from multiple sources, sharing data between sheets without giving access to the entire document, and keeping data in sync across different Google Sheets.

Automate your Google Sheets tasks and save time with Bardeen automation playbooks. Learn more.

Google Sheets Import Range

The IMPORTRANGE function syntax is 'IMPORTRANGE(spreadsheet_url, range_string)'. The 'spreadsheet_url' is the URL of the spreadsheet from which you want to import data. The 'range_string' specifies the range of cells in the format 'sheet_name!range' or 'range' if you're importing from the first sheet. Both parameters must be enclosed in quotation marks or refer to cells containing the appropriate text.

How to Import Range in Google Sheets

To use IMPORTRANGE, start by opening the destination Google Sheet and selecting the cell where you want the imported data to begin. Then, type the IMPORTRANGE function with the source spreadsheet's URL and the specific range of cells you wish to import. For example:

IMPORTRANGE("", "sheet1!A1:C10")

Upon first use, Google Sheets will prompt you to allow access to the source spreadsheet. Click 'Allow Access' to enable the data import.

Import Range from Another Tab Google Sheets

If you're looking to import data from one tab to another within the same Google Sheets document, you can use a simpler method than IMPORTRANGE. Directly reference the range using the syntax:


This method doesn't require permission and instantly reflects updates from the source range.

Import Range from Another Sheet Google Sheets

For importing data from a completely separate Google Sheets document, IMPORTRANGE is the go-to function. Remember to grant permission the first time you link to a new source sheet. This function ensures that any updates in the source sheet are automatically reflected in the destination sheet, keeping your data synchronized.

Limitations and Alternatives

While IMPORTRANGE is powerful, it has limitations. It cannot manipulate imported data directly, nor does it carry over formatting. To work around these, you can copy the imported data and paste it as values only on a new tab for direct manipulation. For formatting, you'll need to manually apply or copy formatting from the source.

For large datasets or frequent updates, consider using Google Apps Script or Google Sheets API for more control and efficiency.

Discover how to automate Google Sheets for more efficiency in your workflows.

Common errors include '#ERROR!' due to syntax issues and '#REF!' when permission is not granted or when attempting to manipulate imported data directly. Ensure correct syntax and grant necessary permissions to avoid these errors.

Automate Google Sheets with Bardeen's Powerful Playbooks

While the IMPORTRANGE function in Google Sheets offers a manual way to import data between sheets, automation can significantly enhance this functionality, saving time and reducing manual effort. Bardeen provides a suite of automation playbooks that leverage Google Sheets to streamline various tasks, from data collection to updating and enriching data.

  1. Find all emails from a list of websites in Google Sheets: This playbook automates the process of extracting email addresses from a list of websites directly into Google Sheets. It's perfect for lead generation and outreach campaigns, simplifying the data collection process.
  2. Copy all Github issues to Google Sheets: Ideal for project managers and developers, this playbook automates the transfer of GitHub issues into a Google Sheet, facilitating issue tracking and project management.
  3. Enrich email contacts and save to Google Sheets: Enhance your email marketing by automatically enriching email contacts with additional information and saving them to Google Sheets. This playbook streamlines the process of preparing and segmenting email lists for targeted campaigns.

By leveraging these playbooks, users can automate repetitive tasks, enrich data for deeper insights, and maintain more organized and up-to-date information in Google Sheets. Explore these automation opportunities to maximize efficiency and productivity in your workflows.

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