Google Spreadsheet: Useful Functions

If you ask business owners and managers about one piece of software they can’t live without, most will reply with the office suite. Who could live without the ability to create documents, presentations and spreadsheets? Among the numerous suites available, Google Docs offers some great features including a versatile spreadsheet program. Do you use Google Docs Spreadsheet in your office?

Spreadsheet is simple and straightforward, but sometimes it appears to be a little too plain. There are however a large amount of incredibly useful features hidden away. Here are a few:

=GoogleFinance: This function provides you with practical options including the ability to convert currency and track stocks. The standard formula is =GoogleFinance(“Symbol”, “Attribute”) Where Symbol is the stock symbol and Attribute is what you would like to follow e.g., price.

You can also use this function for currency rates and conversions. If you want to know what the current exchange rate is between the Canadian Dollar and the US Dollar put: =GoogleFinance(“CADUSD”) to get the current exchange rate. Like stocks, this will be updated whenever the exchange rate changes. For a full list of =GoogleFinance functions check out this page.

Translate a cell: From time to time you may get a spreadsheet that contains more than one language. Usually you would have to send it back to the author for translation, which could take more time than anticipated. Did you know that you can get Google to translate a cell from one language to another? In an empty cell enter: =GoogleTranslate(CELL, “Source Language”, “ Target Language”) Where: CELL is the cell you want to translate; Source Language is the language the cell is currently in; Target language is the language you’d like to translate into. For the languages you have to use the two letter ISO 639-2 language codes.

Split a Cell: If you want to create a table that has the days of the week in columns you can easily do so. In the first cell enter: =Split(“Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday”, “ “) Spreadsheet will automatically put the days into separate columns. To spread data out in a row enter: =transpose(Split(“Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday”, “ “)). Be sure to have spaces between the data you want in different cells, and a space between the quotation marks at the end of the function.

Concatenate: This function acts as the opposite of =Split. If you have data in a number of cells you want to bring together e.g., data in cells A2, A5, A6, B7, enter =concatenate(A2, A5, A6, B7) The data will be put into one cell.

There are many more handy functions out there that will make your life easier and take some of the work out of spreadsheet creation. If you have any questions regarding Spreadsheet, Google Docs or other Google Apps please let us know, we are happy to help.

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