- What is Google Apps Script?
- Why Use Google Apps Script?
- Is Google Apps Scripts Free?
- Google Apps Script Tutorial
- Google Sheets Apps Script Example
In this post, you will learn what Google Apps Script is and what you can use it for. We'll show you how to get started with Google Apps Script and how to navigate it. You will also learn how to access helpful resources, like guides, references, code samples, and Quickstarts, to get you to execute code right away.
What is Google Apps Script?
Why Use Google Apps Script?
If you use Google products regularly, learning to use Google Apps Script can save you a lot of time and greatly increase the functionality of your Google Workspace. Its built-in libraries and intuitive, web-based interface make it a great way to integrate Google products and automate tasks.
- Add custom menus, dialogs, and sidebars to Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Forms.
- Write custom functions and macros for Google Sheets.
- Interact with Google Services like AdSense, Analytics, Calendar, Drive, Gmail, and Maps.
- Build and publish web apps.
- Build and publish add-ons for the Google Workspace Marketplace.
Is Google Apps Scripts Free?
Google Apps Script is completely free to use. All you need to get started is a Google account. If you currently use any Google products - like Sheets, Gmail, or Docs - you can get started right away. You can access the Apps Script editor directly from these products.
Google Apps Script Tutorial
Now that you know what Google Apps Script is, let’s take a look around so you can get started. First, let’s access Apps Script from Google Sheets.
Google Apps Script Editor
By default, Apps Script opens to the ‘Editor’ tab, so you can start coding right away and add libraries and services directly from this window. You can name your project by clicking on the title, as shown below.
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Google Apps Script Dashboard
From the dashboard, you can view the project details and statistics on its use. You can also copy, star, and delete the project.
Google Apps Script Triggers
From this tab, you can create and manage triggers.
The interface is very user-friendly and allows you to select options from various dropdown menus.
Google Apps Script Executions
You can view and manage project executions from this tab and search your projects via multiple parameters.
Google Apps Script Project Settings
On the last tab, you can modify the settings for this particular project, including your script IDs.
Google Apps Script Home
To access the home page, click on the Apps Script button on the top-left corner of any Apps Script page. From here, you can access and manage all your projects and get some help getting started.
Google Apps Script Getting Started
This tab features quick links to helpful resources, like Codelabs, Stack Overflow, and reference guides.
If you click on ‘Learn more’ - marked in red above - you’ll access a much larger set of resources and Quickstarts for Apps Script.
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Google Sheets Apps Script Example
Below, you have an example of how to use an automation Quickstart that imports CSV files to a Google Sheets file.
- 1. Select the sample project you want to use.
- 2. Scroll down to “Open the project”.
- 3. This will open the project in Apps Script. Click on the ‘Overview’ tab.
- 4. From the project overview, make a copy, and it will launch automatically.
- 5. You can rename your project, as shown in the previous section.
- 6. Click on ‘SetupSample.gs’ on the sidebar.
- 7. Select the ‘setupSample’ function from the dropdown menu, then click “Run”.
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- 8. You will be prompted to authorize access. Click “Review permissions”.
- 9. Follow the instructions to select your account and allow access.
- 10. You will see the execution log with all the actions taken.
- 11. In the ‘Editor’ tab, click on ‘Code.gs’. Select ‘updateApplicationSheet’ from the function dropdown menu and click ‘Run’.
- 12. You will see the function was executed on three sample CSV files, and the email was sent.
- 13. That’s it. You can check Gmail for details and the link to the spreadsheet.
- 14. If you don’t want to modify the code to specify a new folder, you can simply add/remove files to the existing folder in Google Drive. Access the folder created by the Apps Script Project shown below.
- 15. The folder contains the final spreadsheet, as well as the folders for inbound and processed files.
Google Apps Script allows you to automate tasks by integrating all Google products and services. You can build anything from simple custom functions to complex business apps published on the web or in the Google Workspace Marketplace. Although the platform offers plenty of help and support to get you started, it does require some coding experience and knowledge of Google products and services. Fortunately, you have some alternatives if you can’t or don’t want to spend time learning to use Apps Script. For simple automation in Google Sheets, you can use macros. For more complex automation, you can use Layer to do the work for you.
To learn about macros in Google Sheets, check out our guide on Google Sheets Macros: Enable, Create & Use Them.