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November 29, 2006

Major Update in Google Spreadsheets

Google Spreadsheets continues to be surprising and miles ahead of the other half of the package, Google Docs. This is probably the biggest update since the product has been launched.

Now you can publish a spreadsheets in every imaginable format (HTML, PDF, XLS, ODS, CSV) or as a feed. What's great is that the file is automatically updated, so you'll be almost certain that someone gets the latest version. You can also publish all the sheets or only some of them. But the coolest thing you can do is to embed a spreadsheet into your blog or site. The spreadsheet you can see here shows the top 20 queries for this blog's search from April 1st until yesterday.



Google Spreadsheets shows you all the revisions of a spreadsheets, so it's easy to go back to an earlier version. And there are two new functions that use information from the web:

* GoogleFinance("symbol", "attribute") that returns information about a stock. GoogleFinance("GOOG", "price") returns the current price for GOOG.

* GoogleLookup("entity", "attribute") that returns answers to simple questions like: population of Italy, Jay Leno's date of birth, that usually appear at the top of search results in Google.com. GoogleLookup("Italy", "population") will return the population of Italy.

Don't forget to place an equal in front of the function name.

11 comments:

  1. Those Google Lookup functions are awesome. That's something that Microsoft will definitely have a tough time duplicating in Excel. I'm surprised they didn't make a bigger deal about these features.

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  2. For GoogleFinance, Excel has the MSN Money Stock Quotes. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to duplicate Google Q&A.

    It's an obvious idea to use the web if you build a web office suite. Imagine instant translations, integration with Google Maps, get data from Google Base, autocomplete using Google Suggest...

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  3. Talking about new features, wouldn't be nice to have some sort of programming automation for spreadsheets? a javascript API for example.

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  4. This is a great update from google spreadsheet. I request google to launch all the essential softwares online, like frontpage, powerpoint, etc.

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  5. Hi, I love Google Spreadsheet. I was wondering for your next update, maybe you can allow users to format cells to indent the content. I.e., if there are spaces before a word in a cell, the spaces will be reflected, rather than automatically aligned only left, center, or right. If there's already a way to do this, please let me know. Thank you!

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  6. This is getting better and better!

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  7. Matt: there *is* frontpage by google, named Google Pages or smth like that. Though it lacks many features of its competitor, it is still quite useful if you need a homepage in three clicks.

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  8. Being able to embed a Google spreadsheet in a web page with just a little bit of code rocks my world. I publish a site with family history material on it, and the census stuff is all table-based. This application is perfect, I just set up sheets for the individual census years and family names, and publish the sheets. I can be updating the census info every day and never have to touch the actual site pages again. O frabjous day.

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  9. Google documents has to be in Spanish too.

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  10. This is exactly what I was looking for. I see by the dates of the other comments that it's been around for a while now, so probably it will be working perfectly now and any of the bugs will that there might have been, will be fixed now. Google does not cease to surprise me :)

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  11. Can Google spreedsheets import external web data where a login is required? For example Google Analytics reports

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