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Google Sheets


This demo focuses on Google Apps Script custom functions. For external data processing, the "Google Sheets" cloud data demo covers the API for NodeJS scripts

The Standalone scripts can be uploaded into an Apps Script project. Once uploaded, the XLSX variable is available to other scripts in the project.

Google Sheets currently does not provide support for working with Apple Numbers files and some legacy file formats. SheetJS fills the gap.

The Complete Demo defines a SHEETJS function that fetches a remote file, parses the contents, and writes data to the sheet:

Screenshot of final result


This demo was last tested on 2023 April 17.

Integration Details

Adding the script

The clasp command line tool can be used to upload the standalone script:

npx @google/clasp clone SCRIPT_ID
curl -LO
npx @google/clasp push

Once uploaded, the script will be added to the project.

The Complete Demo includes more detailed setup instructions.

Fetching data

UrlFetchApp.fetch performs a network request and returns a HTTPResponse:

const response = UrlFetchApp.fetch("");

HTTPResponse#getContent returns the file data as an array of signed bytes:

const content = response.getContent();

The "array" type for expects an array of unsigned bytes. Fortunately, the content can be corrected with bitwise operations:

for(var i = 0; i < content.length; ++i) content[i] &= 0xFF;
const wb =, { type: "array" });

Returning data

XLSX.utils.sheet_to_json with the option header: 1 returns arrays of arrays that play nice with Google Sheets:

const first_worksheet = wb.Sheets[wb.SheetNames[0]];
const aoa = XLSX.utils.sheet_to_json(first_worksheet, {header: 1});

Complete Demo

This demo creates a function SHEETJS(url) that fetches the specified URL, extracts data from the first worksheet, and writes the data

Initial Setup

0) Sign into a Google account (or create a new one)

1) In a terminal window, run

npx @google/clasp login

A browser window should direct to an account selection page. Select the account from the previous step. In the next page, there will be a title like

clasp – The Apps Script CLI wants to access your Google Account

At the bottom of the screen, click "Allow".

The terminal window should now state

Authorization successful.

Creating a Sheet

2) Sign into Google Sheets with the same account and create a new blank sheet

3) Open up the apps script window (Extensions > Apps Script)

4) Click the gear icon (Project Settings) and copy the Script ID

Cloning the Apps Script

5) In the terminal window, create a new folder for your project:

mkdir SheetJSGAS
cd SheetJSGAS

6) Clone the Apps Script project. The official command is:

npx @google/clasp clone PASTE_YOUR_ID_HERE

Type npx @google/clasp clone in the terminal with a trailing space (do not press Enter yet!), then copy the Script ID from the Apps Script settings page and paste in the terminal. Press Enter after pasting the ID.

Adding the SheetJS Library

7) Download the standalone build and move to the project directory:

curl -LO

8) Push the project to Apps Script:

npx @google/clasp push

If the push command fails with an error message like

User has not enabled the Apps Script API

The message includes a URL ( when the demo was last tested). Visit that URL and enable the Google Apps Script API. After enabling the API, run npx @google/clasp push again.

9) Reopen the Google Sheet and Apps Script editor (Extensions > Apps Script).

In the Files listing, there should be a new entry

Creating a Custom Function

10) In Apps Script editor, select and erase the code in the editor. Replace with the following function:
function SHEETJS(url) {
/* fetch data */
const res = UrlFetchApp.fetch(url || "");
const content = res.getContent();

/* fix data */
for(var i = 0; i < content.length; ++i) content[i] &= 0xFF;

/* parse */
const wb =, {type: "array"});

/* generate array of arrays from worksheet */
const ws = wb.Sheets[wb.SheetNames[0]];
const aoa = XLSX.utils.sheet_to_json(ws, {header: 1});
return aoa;

Click the "Save Project" icon to save the project.

11) In the Google Sheets window, select cell A1 and enter the formula


The file will be fetched and the contents will be written to the sheet.