We know how resourceful Google sheets can be in our day to day lives. It boosts our productivity and makes the activity of storing, sharing the information a breeze. It is already a comprehensive application with myriad of standard spreadsheet related tools and functions. But its utility doesn’t end just there. When we extend the Google Sheets functionalities through add-ons, we realize its real power.
Why extend the Google Sheets functionalities?
Add-ons are tools from third-party developers, that work on existing Google Sheets frameworks, thereby adding more features for Google Sheets. Why do we need them at all?
To understand this, let us consider an example. We have a list of names (columns A and B) that have duplicate occurrences. Naturally, we want them eliminated. With the default Google Sheets application, we may make use of the UNIQUE formula to arrive at the unique list of values. Then replace the original list with the derived list.
There are two problems with this approach. One, it isn’t straightforward as it is in Microsoft Excel, where we can directly access this functionality from the menu. So, it requires two or three additional steps, that are probably a little advanced. Two, not all users of Google Sheets are versed in using formulas.
Example Fortunately, we have an add-on to solve this problem! To add them to our Google Sheets, we navigate to Tools > Get Add-ons. On the Add-ons window, we can scroll down to find the required add-on, or alternatively search for it. We select the Remove Duplicates add-on and install it. The installation process will require us to authenticate and grant necessary permissions. It will be done in a few moments.
[panel type=”default”] Example [/panel]
To access the add-on we just installed, we click on to the Add-ons menu button to see the Remove Duplicates entry. Depending on the need, we may then comfortably use the core and various other augmenting functions it offers. This add-on has a free trial period of 30 days, after which we will have to purchase the subscription at a nominal price.
Other add-on examples
While that was a relatively simple functionality that an add-on can pull of, we have numerous other complex add-ons that solve a variety of purposes.
For those who are into data analysis, this add-on will be a huge help. It combines the power of Google Analytics API and the data manipulative functions in Google Sheets.
Sheetgo add-on for Google Sheets boosts the connectivity of spreadsheets to the next level. With this we can import, export, merge, stack or mirror data. It makes the information exchange between files so seamless. Along with additional benefits such as filtering capabilities and frequency settings which is not possible using the native application. Once configured, Sheetgo automatically manages the data flow between spreadsheets that we had to manually take care of otherwise.
Yet Another Mail Merge
If you are looking to create and send emails to multiple clients, this is the one to go with. Marketing personnel can benefit immensely from this add-on.
These were just a few examples. We can choose from many other available add-ons that serve as utilities, business purpose tools, help improve our productivity and deal with social networking data etc. We encourage you to explore the list of other available add-ons and choose that fits your purpose. The ability to extend the Google Sheets functionalities make an already feature-packed application even more powerful.