Import RSS feed to Google Sheets

Google Sheets is an advanced spreadsheets application that has made our lives easier because it is ubiquitously accessible. Not only that, it lets us import information from the Internet with functions built right into the application. In this article, we explain how to import RSS Feed to Google Sheets. We do so with the help of the IMPORTFEED formula, which supports both RSS and Atom feed.

Syntax

IMPORTFEED(url, [query], [headers], [num_items])

  • url – this is the address (uniform resource locator) to the HTML page on the web, where the table or list that we are looking to import are located. This can take two forms.
    • A valid and fully qualified location in the form of text in double quotes (e.g. “http://news.google.com/?output=atom”).
    • Or it can be a reference to a cell (like B1) within Google Sheets, where we stored the url.
  • query – this (optional) parameter specifies what information to fetch from the url. For the list of available query options, check out this link.
  • headers – (optional) specifies whether the column headers should be included in the data import or not. It is FALSE by default.
  • num_items – (optional) specifies the number of items to fetch, starting from the most recent. If we don’t specify this parameter, Google Sheets returns all the items published on the channel feed.

 

Examples: Import RSS Feed to Google Sheets

1: IMPORTFEED(url)

Please consider the image below. B3 is the cell where we are entering the IMPORTFEED formula.

rss to google sheets 1

We make sure that the url is within double quotes and hit the Enter key. As soon as we do that, Google Sheets tries to fetch the data. Larger the feed, the longer it might take to finish the data import.

RSS to Google Sheets: Data Loading

While the data import is in progress, the cell B3 looks like it is holding an error value. Please note a little red triangle on the top right corner of the cell. But, it is not an actual error, but a transient state. To confirm, we can hover the mouse on the cell B3, to see the description as shown below.

RSS to Google Sheets: Data Loading 2

Once Google Sheets loads the data, the red triangle on the cell B3 disappears. We’ll notice the data extends from the cell B3 to right and also further down.

rss to google sheets 4

We may not know how far the data is going to extend. So, it is very important that we keep the expected real estate of the result, clear of any preoccupied values. Otherwise, the IMPORTFEED formula will return a #REF! error, as shown in the snapshot below. For the purposes of demonstration, we entered a dummy value in the cell C9.

rss to google sheets 5
2: IMPORTFEED(url cell reference, items titles, include headers, fetch 20 items)

Please note that in the cell B1, we have the url to the RSS feed from which we need the data from. So, we’ll use that cell reference in the IMPORTFEED function to import RSS feed to Google Sheets.

rss to google sheets 6

Congratulations! We just learned how to import RSS feed to Google Sheets using the native IMPORTFEED function.

Read through the following blog post to learn how to import HTML tables into Google Sheets.

Ready to streamline your spreadsheet data?

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