Overview

googlesheets4 provides an R interface to Google Sheets via the Sheets API v4. It is a reboot of an earlier package called googlesheets.

Why 4? Why googlesheets4? Did I miss googlesheets1 through 3? No. The idea is to name the package after the corresponding version of the Sheets API. In hindsight, the original googlesheets should have been googlesheets3.

Installation

You can install the released version of googlesheets4 from CRAN with:

install.packages("googlesheets4")

And the development version from GitHub with:

# install.packages("devtools")
devtools::install_github("tidyverse/googlesheets4")

Cheatsheet

You can see how to read data with googlesheets4 in the data import cheatsheet, which also covers similar functionality in the related packages readr and readxl.

Auth

googlesheets4 will, by default, help you interact with Sheets as an authenticated Google user. If you don’t plan to write Sheets or to read private Sheets, use gs4_deauth() to indicate there is no need for a token. See the article googlesheets4 auth for more.

For this overview, we’ve logged into Google as a specific user in a hidden chunk.

Attach googlesheets4

Read

The main “read” function of the googlesheets4 package goes by two names, because we want it to make sense in two contexts:

read_sheet() and range_read() are synonyms and you can use either one. Here we’ll use read_sheet().

googlesheets4 is pipe-friendly (and reexports %>%), but works just fine without the pipe.

Read from

  • a URL
  • a Sheet ID
  • a dribble produced by the googledrive package, which can lookup by file name

These all achieve the same thing:

# URL
read_sheet("https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1U6Cf_qEOhiR9AZqTqS3mbMF3zt2db48ZP5v3rkrAEJY/edit#gid=780868077")
#> ✓ Reading from "gapminder".
#> ✓ Range 'Africa'.
#> # A tibble: 624 × 6
#>   country continent  year lifeExp      pop gdpPercap
#>   <chr>   <chr>     <dbl>   <dbl>    <dbl>     <dbl>
#> 1 Algeria Africa     1952    43.1  9279525     2449.
#> 2 Algeria Africa     1957    45.7 10270856     3014.
#> 3 Algeria Africa     1962    48.3 11000948     2551.
#> 4 Algeria Africa     1967    51.4 12760499     3247.
#> 5 Algeria Africa     1972    54.5 14760787     4183.
#> # … with 619 more rows

# Sheet ID
read_sheet("1U6Cf_qEOhiR9AZqTqS3mbMF3zt2db48ZP5v3rkrAEJY")
#> ✓ Reading from "gapminder".
#> ✓ Range 'Africa'.
#> # A tibble: 624 × 6
#>   country continent  year lifeExp      pop gdpPercap
#>   <chr>   <chr>     <dbl>   <dbl>    <dbl>     <dbl>
#> 1 Algeria Africa     1952    43.1  9279525     2449.
#> 2 Algeria Africa     1957    45.7 10270856     3014.
#> 3 Algeria Africa     1962    48.3 11000948     2551.
#> 4 Algeria Africa     1967    51.4 12760499     3247.
#> 5 Algeria Africa     1972    54.5 14760787     4183.
#> # … with 619 more rows

# a googledrive "dribble"
googledrive::drive_get("gapminder") %>% 
  read_sheet()
#> ✓ The input `path` resolved to exactly 1 file.
#> ✓ Reading from "gapminder".
#> ✓ Range 'Africa'.
#> # A tibble: 624 × 6
#>   country continent  year lifeExp      pop gdpPercap
#>   <chr>   <chr>     <dbl>   <dbl>    <dbl>     <dbl>
#> 1 Algeria Africa     1952    43.1  9279525     2449.
#> 2 Algeria Africa     1957    45.7 10270856     3014.
#> 3 Algeria Africa     1962    48.3 11000948     2551.
#> 4 Algeria Africa     1967    51.4 12760499     3247.
#> 5 Algeria Africa     1972    54.5 14760787     4183.
#> # … with 619 more rows

Note: the only reason we can read a sheet named “gapminder” (the last example) is because the account we’re logged in as has a Sheet named “gapminder”.

See the article Find and Identify Sheets for more about specifying the Sheet you want to address. See the article Read Sheets for more about reading from specific sheets or ranges, setting column type, and getting low-level cell data.

Write

gs4_create() creates a brand new Google Sheet and can optionally send some initial data.

(ss <- gs4_create("fluffy-bunny", sheets = list(flowers = head(iris))))
#> ✓ Creating new Sheet: "fluffy-bunny".
#> Spreadsheet name: fluffy-bunny
#>               ID: 18yObQh5XoOZqyj_ISD5JqtR5YF0HuGsHEIvyxIzlqDI
#>           Locale: en_US
#>        Time zone: Etc/GMT
#>      # of sheets: 1
#> 
#> (Sheet name): (Nominal extent in rows x columns)
#>      flowers: 7 x 5

sheet_write() (over)writes a whole data frame into a (work)sheet within a (spread)Sheet.

head(mtcars) %>% 
  sheet_write(ss, sheet = "autos")
#> ✓ Writing to "fluffy-bunny".
#> ✓ Writing to sheet 'autos'.
ss
#> Spreadsheet name: fluffy-bunny
#>               ID: 18yObQh5XoOZqyj_ISD5JqtR5YF0HuGsHEIvyxIzlqDI
#>           Locale: en_US
#>        Time zone: Etc/GMT
#>      # of sheets: 2
#> 
#> (Sheet name): (Nominal extent in rows x columns)
#>      flowers: 7 x 5
#>        autos: 7 x 11

sheet_append(), range_write(), range_flood(), and range_clear() are more specialized writing functions. See the article Write Sheets for more about writing to Sheets.

Where to learn more

Get started is a more extensive general introduction to googlesheets4.

Browse the articles index to find articles that cover various topics in more depth.

See the function index for an organized, exhaustive listing.

Contributing

If you’d like to contribute to the development of googlesheets4, please read these guidelines.

Please note that the googlesheets4 project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By contributing to this project, you agree to abide by its terms.

Privacy

Privacy policy

Context

googlesheets4 draws on and complements / emulates other packages in the tidyverse:

  • googlesheets is the package that googlesheets4 replaces. Main improvements in googlesheets4: (1) wraps the current, most modern Sheets API; (2) leaves all “whole file” operations to googledrive; and (3) uses shared infrastructure for auth and more, from the gargle package. The v3 API wrapped by googlesheets is deprecated. Starting in April/May 2020, features will gradually be disabled and it’s anticipated the API will fully shutdown in September 2020. At that point, the original googlesheets package must be retired.
  • googledrive provides a fully-featured interface to the Google Drive API. Any “whole file” operations can be accomplished with googledrive: upload or download or update a spreadsheet, copy, rename, move, change permission, delete, etc. googledrive supports Team Drives.
  • readxl is the tidyverse package for reading Excel files (xls or xlsx) into an R data frame. googlesheets4 takes cues from parts of the readxl interface, especially around specifying which cells to read.
  • readr is the tidyverse package for reading delimited files (e.g., csv or tsv) into an R data frame. googlesheets4 takes cues from readr with respect to column type specification.