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November 8, 2011

No More GoogleLookup in Google Spreadsheets

One of the most useful Google Spreadsheets features is the GoogleLookup function, which allows you to find simple facts and quickly create a spreadsheet using Google's data. Unfortunately, the function will be removed at the end of the month and this will break a lot of spreadsheets that use it.

"As of November 2011, the GoogleLookup function will no longer be supported. This function relies on technology from Google Squared, a Google Lab that's been deprioritized. To save your data, copy the selection that contains GoogleLookup functions. Then, go to the Edit menu, navigate to Paste special, and select Paste values only. When the function is no longer supported, cells containing GoogleLookup functions will return #NAME? errors," explains Google.


Well, GoogleLookup was released long before Google Squared (2006 vs 2009) and it relied on Google's Q&A feature, which is still available.

Here's a way to use the ImportXML function to extract facts from Google Search (the mobile interface):

=RegExExtract(ImportXML("http://www.google.com/m/search?q=sri+lanka+capital", "//span[@class='waa4kx']"), "-(.*)")

Can you find a better way?

{ Thanks, Jérôme. }

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