How To Link Google Sheets

Last Updated on October 31, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to link Google Sheets.

It’s not uncommon for organizations that use Google Sheets to generate a large number of spreadsheets. This is helpful to keep any single spreadsheet from getting bogged down with calculations, but sometimes you’ll find that vital pieces of information are missing from a spreadsheet. While you could copy and paste the required data from the other spreadsheet, this process is slow and must be repeated when data changes

Fortunately, Google Sheets allows you to link spreadsheets and pull data from one to another to keep data up-to-date. It’s also possible to insert direct links to other spreadsheets

Spreadsheet URLs

Both sections of this tutorial below require the URL for the spreadsheet you want to link. To get the URL, open the spreadsheet and copy the URL from the address bar in your browser. You can save this URL for later use in a text document

Importing Data

IMPORTRANGE() is a Google Sheets function that allows you to import a range from another spreadsheet. This is the function we’ll use to link data from another Google Sheet

Step 1

Open the spreadsheet you want to the linked data to appear in and type the following formula: “=IMPORTRANGE(“[URL]”, “Sheet1!A:B”)” where [URL] is the URL you copied above, and Sheet1!A:B is the A1 notation reference to the range within that spreadsheet that you want to import

Step 2

When you finish the formula, you’ll get an #REF! error because you haven’t yet given this spreadsheet permission to access data from the other spreadsheet. Hover over the error and a blue Allow Access button will appear. Click on it to allow the spreadsheet to perform the import

Step 3

The data from the spreadsheet range will import, but note that no formatting will be imported so you’ll have to apply the desired formatting to the imported range

Step 4

Now when you data in the linked spreadsheet updates, the change will appear in the imported range

Direct Links

Sometimes bringing in a single portion of data isn’t enough and you want a quick way to open another spreadsheet. Here’s how to insert links to another spreadsheet into a cell in Google Sheets:

Step 1

Select a cell and paste the URL for the linked spreadsheet that you copied at the beginning of this tutorial. The URL will appear in the cell formatted as a link

Step 2

Hover over the URL and a popup will appear showing the spreadsheet name and thumbnail. Clicking on this popup will open the linked spreadsheet in a new tab

Step 3

To make the link look nicer, click on the edit icon in the popup

Step 4

Then in the text field, type in the text you want to display for the link, then click apply

Step 5

The link will update


Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet.

Link #2.

In this tutorial, I covered how to link Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.