Think Macro: Record Actions in Google Sheets to Skip Repetitive Work

Since its debut nearly 40 years ago, spreadsheets have remained core to how businesses get work done. From analyzing quarterly revenue to updating product inventory, spreadsheets are critical to helping companies gather and share data to inform quicker decisions—but what else can you do if they’re in the cloud?

Focusing on making Google Sheets better for businesses, Google recently added new features to help teams analyze and visualize their data. They’re adding more updates to Sheets, including a way to record macros in the cloud to automate repetitive tasks, as well as more formatting options.

Here’s how it works: when you record a macro, Sheets converts the macro actions into an Apps Script automatically. If you want to update your macro, you can simply edit the script directly instead of having to re-record the macro from scratch. You can also write your own Apps Script functions and import them as new macros.

The best part about Sheets Macros is that they’re built for use in cloud-based files, which means that teams can run macros at the same time that others are working in the sheet without interrupting them. For example, a finance team having a budget meeting can run macros while reviewing the same spreadsheet. It also means that coworkers or clients won’t be forced to download sensitive files to use your macros. Since your Sheets files are in the cloud, you can keep tighter controls over who can view and re-share your data.

This includes adding new chart types (waterfall and 3D), ways to embed charts while keeping data up-to-date in Docs and Slides (even if you move files), more functions (up to 400+ now), additional formatting, print options and more.

The company keeps on adding even routinely requested features, including the ability to add printing page breaks, custom paper sizes, more options for row and column grouping and a way to add checkboxes in cells. We’ve also made it possible for you to group your data by time frame (like week, month or year) when you create pivot tables.

Speaking of pivot tables, its engineering team has also been hard at work bringing the power of Google’s artificial intelligence into Sheets to help teams know what their data knows. Recently, Google also added intelligent pivot tables in Sheets to help analyze and find new insights, no matter how skilled you are at data analytics.

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