While Google Sheets are great when you have to maintain a record or work with data, in many cases, your final work may involve presenting this data in Google Docs or Google Slides.
You can’t really generate Google Docs from Google Sheets or import a Google Sheets file. However, you can always insert a Google Sheet into Google Docs as a static table, but then you would have to update it manually whenever the data changes.
Thankfully, there is a way to insert sheets into docs in such a way that it automatically updates when you change the data in Google Sheets (a linked data set).
In this tutorial, I will show you how to embed a Google Sheet into Google Docs and how you can keep these linked.
How to Insert a Google Sheet Into Google Docs With a Live Link
It’s simple to import data from Google Sheets to Google Docs. But if you need to use a .xls file to embed Google sheets in Google Docs, you may need to convert it to a Google Sheets file first.
Let’s take a look at an example of how to add a spreadsheet to Google docs.
Suppose you have a dataset as shown below in the Google Sheets, and you want to insert the table in this sheet in Google Docs. We want to link Google sheet to Google Docs as well, so if I change anything in the table, it automatically changes in the Google Docs.
Below are the steps of how to insert a sheet into Google doc:
- Select the range in Google Sheets that you want to insert in Google Docs
- Copy it (use Control + C or right-click and then click on Copy)
- Open the Google Docs document in which you want to insert the table
- Place the cursor where you want to get the data (table)
- Paste the data (Control + V or right-click and then click on Paste). This would open the ‘Paste Table’ dialog box
- In the Paste Table dialog box, make sure the ‘Link to Spreadsheet’ option is checked.
- Click on Paste
The above steps let you convert a Google sheet to a Google doc.
Since this table is connected to the original data in Google Sheets, when you make any changes in the source data in Google Sheets, you will be able to update this table and reflect the changes in the copied table as well.
And remember that the data doesn’t get updated in real-time. You will have to manually update the table by clicking the update button (covered in the next section).
There are two things you need to know when using this technique:
- The copied data in Google Docs is connected/linked to the original data, but it doesn’t get updated in real-time. It, however, gives you the option to update the data with a single click.
- This works only when both the Google Sheets and Google Docs files are in the same account (or have been shared with full access). If you try to copy data from Google Sheets from one account into Google Docs from some other account, it will not show you the Paste Table dialog box. It will simply paste it as regular unlinked data.
Updating the Data (with a Single Click)
When you make changes in the original range in Google Sheets (that has been copied and inserted in Google Docs), you will see an option to update the table in Google Docs (only appears when you select any cell in the table).
The Update button appears only when there has been a change in the Google Sheets data. And to apply that change and make it visible in Google Docs, you need to click on the ‘Update’ button.
Apart from the change in the value in the cells, you can also bring the formatting from Google Sheets into Google Docs.
For example, if I manually change the color of a few cells in the original data in the Google Sheets, I will see the Update button in Google Docs. And when I click on it, it will bring the formatting of the spreadsheet data into Google Docs.
Note that while you can update the data to reflect the color of the cell, the border of the table is not linked. Also, you can also use conditional formatting on the Google Sheets data, and it will be reflected in the data in Google Docs (I find this super cool!).
Updating All Linked Objects
Sometimes you can also have more than one table in your document or even a chart as well. In this case, instead of going to each individual table and chart in your document every time you make changes, you can update all of them at once.
- Go to the Linked tables icon for the drop-down menu
- Click Linked Objects. A window will automatically open with all your Linked objects.
- Click Update all.
You will find that all the objects in your doc file that are linked to a spreadsheet in Google Sheets will be updated automatically.
Updating Data When More Rows Are Added After You Insert a Spreadsheet Into Google Doc
Now you know how to convert Google Sheets to Google Docs, but it is only linked to that specific range. So what if you want to change the range?
For instance, in our example, we have inserted the range A1:E7 from Google Sheets into the Google Doc file.
But what if I add a new row to the dataset (at the end of the dataset or somewhere in the middle)?
Unfortunately, you will not be able to update the data when you add new rows in the dataset (deleting rows is fine and will be accounted for).
So if you add new rows, you need to update the range so that it now refers to the new range that has the added rows.
Below are the steps to change the linked range in Google Docs:
- Click anywhere in the table in Google Docs
- Click on the ‘Linked Table Option‘ (the icon at the top-right part of the table)
- Click on Change Range
- Specify the new range here
While this works great, if you’re working with dynamic data that is likely to change, it’s best to first create a named range and then use this named range to insert the table from Google Sheets into Google Docs.
This way, when you add rows/columns in the dataset, the named range expands to account for these newly added rows/columns.
For this to work, you need to create a named range in Google Sheets and then copy the data from there to Google Docs. This way, your table will be linked to the named range and updated when you update the named range, even after you convert Google Sheets to a Google Doc.
You can also change the range and select a named range in the ‘Linked cell range’ dialog box. It lists all the named ranges that you have in the linked Google Sheets.
In case you create a named range later (after you have added Google Sheets data in the Goole Docs document), you can always change the linked range. Simply click on the ‘Linked Table Option’ (the icon at the top-right part of the table) and click on the ‘Change Range’ option. It will show you the named range in the dialog box.
How to Insert a Spreadsheet Into Google Docs and Unlink the Data
If you want to unlink the data from Google Sheets (that is now in Google Docs), you can easily do that as well.
Just click anywhere in the table that you have inserted, click on the ‘Linked table options’ icon and then click on Unlink.
This will instantly break the link, and you will have a static table on the page.
Note: In case you want to insert Google Sheet into Google Docs as an object or as a link (so that when the user clicks on it, it opens this Google Sheets, you can do that by clicking on the Share (green button) at the top-right and getting a shareable link.
Related Reading: Check the Word Count in Google Sheets
Insert a Chart From Google Sheets to Docs
Now that you know how to put a Google Sheet into a Google Doc, you may be wondering if you can just insert a chart. The answer is a simple yes! You can do it by following these steps:
- Make the chart in Google Sheets
- In Google Docs, navigate to Insert>Chart>From Sheets.
- Find the spreadsheet with the desired chart and click Import chart.
- Click Import
The chart should then display in your doc file and update automatically when you change the spreadsheet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Add a Google Sheet to a Google Doc?
Yes, it’s possible to have google docs insert a spreadsheet. You essentially just have to highlight the range you wish to move to Docs and copy and paste it over.
Can You Link Google Sheet Cell to Google Docs?
Yes, you just have to:
- Highlight the cell(s) you wish to link in Sheets
- Press Ctrl+C
- Click over to the Google Docs and press Ctrl+V
- Make sure “Link to spreadsheet” is checked in the dialog box that pops up.
How Do You Copy a Table in Google Docs?
Click and drag over the entire table, then press Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste.
So these are the ways you can insert a Google sheet into Google Docs by copying the cells/range into the Google Doc file.
Hope you found this tutorial useful! If you’re interested, also check out how to connect Google forms to Google sheets.
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