How to Link an Excel File to a Google Sheet With Automatic Updating

If you have an Excel file that you want to directly linked to a Google Sheet, this can be accomplished using the steps outlined below. The Google Sheet that will be created will be automatically updated if the Excel file changes.

Google Drive

The first step is to upload your Excel file to Google Drive. The linking of the Sheet and Excel spreadsheet happens in the cloud. The original file and the new Google Sheet must in the same cloud service for this to happen. In this example we are using Drive, but this also works with Microsoft’s OneDrive. As seen in the example above, an Excel file called Record employee time including night shift.xlsx has been uploaded to Drive.

Excel file in Google Drive
Excel file in Drive


After you have your Excel file uploaded to Google Drive, navigate to Sheetgo, go to Data Source, and choose Add source. Sheetgo will show you the files that you have in Google Dirve. In the picture below, it is showing the Excel file that we just uploaded. We will choose that file.

Excel file in Sheetgo
Excel file in Sheetgo

The destination will default to a Google Sheet named New Spreadsheet. You could go into Google Drive, create a new spreadsheet with any name you want, and add it to that if you wanted.

Excel file in Sheetgo
Excel file in Sheetgo

Below is the file opened in Sheets that was just created.

New File in Sheets

Excel file in Sheets
Excel imported into Sheets

Now you have a Sheets file with the same data that the Excel file has in just a few, easy steps!

Video Explanation

Disclosure: This is an independently owned website that, at times, receives compensation from the companies whose products are mentioned. Each product is tested by Prolific Oaktree and any opinions expressed here are our own.

Google Sheets – Create an Interactive Task List

This tutorial will show you how to create an interactive to-do list in Google Sheets including automatic strikethroughs when you mark tasks complete with a checkmark.

Insert Checkboxes

Insert checkbox menu option
Insert-> Checkbox

As shown in the image above, the core functionality of this list will be driven by checkboxes. You can enter them into your spreadsheet by going to the Insert menu and choosing Checkbox. Insert one and then copy and paste it down until you have as many as you want. Add your tasks in the column to the right of the checkboxes.

Conditional Formatting

Now, if you’re like me, when you’re done with the task, you’d love to be able to check it off and get a little strikethrough, right? You can feel like you’re accomplishing something. The strike through will come from using the conditional formatting feature.

Conditional formatting
Conditional formatting menu option

After selecting Conditional formatting, a Conditional formatting rules box will appear on the right. Look closely at the picture below. For the range, we have specified C5:C which will select everything in column C from row 5 and below, assuming that is where you have placed your list of tasks. Once you move out of this input field, you should see that everything in column C starting a row 5 and down to the end of where you have things typed is highlighted.

If you want to learn more about the complex subject of conditional formatting, I have created a course about it over at Datacamp. This is an affiliate link and if you use it to make a purchase I will receive a portion of the proceeds. Thank you for supporting my channel!

Conditional formatting rules
Conditional formatting rules
Watch the video

This site has a companion YouTube channel that has pretty much, well almost exactly, the same content. If you like this, you'll like that.

Custom formula

Right now, it’s just applying formatting as Cell is not empty because that’s the default choice. Change that by going to the drop down menu below Format cells if… and choosing Custom formula is. Now this box is waiting for a custom formula. Left-click into it to put the cursor in it. Whenever you’re typing a formula, even if it’s in here, you start it with an equals sign. Type the formula =B5=TRUE. Make sure you don’t use the period at the end. When a checkbox is checked, it changes the value of the cell from FALSE to TRUE. This formula will check for the TRUE state.

If the value is true, we will apply Custom Formatting style. Choose a style to make strike it through and make the background gray so it looks like it’s going away.

If you want to add something else at the bottom, you won’t have to redo this rule because that formatting contains the entire column after C5.

Completed Task List

Finished task list

Pretty easy to put together. Really satisfying to use. Have some fun with it, and let us know how it turns out.

Follow image below for the live Google Sheet with this data

docs share icon

Combine Cell Contents from Two Different Columns in Google Sheets

Separate Cells Needing to Be Joined

If you’re using Google Sheets and you have two columns of data that you want to join together, there are a few easy steps that we can walk through to get this done. In the following example, we have people’s first names and last names. This is a fairly common scenario. We are going to join them together and put a comma in between them.

Cells with data to be combined
First name and last name, not yet combined

The Formula

Place your cursor to the right of the two cells that you want to combine. In this example, it would be cell C2. As always, when you are entering a formula in Google Sheets, start out with an equal sign, and then indicate what you want to have joined together using this formula – =A2&", "&B2.

After entering this formula, you should see the first combined name.

Video Explanation

To copy this all the way down, place your cursor in the lower right hand corner of the rectangle. There’ll be a small solid blue square and your cursor will turn into a blue plus sign. Double-click the blue box and it copies the formula all the way down.

The Result

Cells with data to be combined
First name and last name, and combined

Now, all of your names should be combined into one column, viola!

Live Google Sheet with This Data

docs share icon