Switch from Excel to Sheets

Use macros and add-ons

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Automate tasks with macros

Individual messages

Macros and Google Apps Script

Use macros in a message in 2013 version.

Excel 2013 and 2010

Automate repetitive tasks with macros in Sheets. Or, if you need custom functions, menus, or windows, you can create them with Google Apps Script.

Review macro best practices

  • Limit the number of actions in a macro for optimum performance.
  • Use macros for frequently repeated operations that don’t need much configuration.
  • Use unique macro shortcuts. You can have up to 10 shortcuts per sheet. Open additional macros from Toolsand thenMacros.
  • Reduce macro duplication by applying a macro created for a single cell to a range of cells by selecting the full range of cells and then activating the macro. 
  • Macro scripts are specific to individual sheets and can only be used in Sheets—they won’t work in Google Docs, Forms, or Slides.

Record a macro:

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet at sheets.google.com.
  2. At the top, click Extensions and then Macros and then Record macro.
  3. At the bottom, choose which type of cell reference you want your macro to use:
  • Use absolute references: The macro will do tasks on the exact cell you record. For example, if you bold cell A1, the macro will only ever bold cell A1 regardless of which cell you clicked.
  • Use relative references: The macro will do tasks on the cell you select and its nearby cells. For example, if you record bolding cells A1 and B1, the macro can later be used to bold cells C1 and D1.
  1. Complete the task you want to record. When you’re done, click Save.
  2. Name the macro, create a custom shortcut, and click Save.
  • Note: When you create a macro in Google Sheets, an Apps Script is created. To edit this Apps Script, at the top, click Tools and then Script editor.

To perform a macro, click Extensions and then Macros and then the macro you want.

Create a script:

  1. Click Toolsand thenScript editor.
  2. Create your script.

For more information, see Overview of Google Apps Script, or read more about custom functions and macros.

Convert Excel macros to Google Sheets

Edit macros

Recreate macros in Sheets

Excel 2010 and 2013

You can convert macros in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to Google Sheets by re-creating them using Google Apps Script. Apps Script powers macros in Sheets, just like Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications  does for Excel. 

Re-create and edit a macro in Sheets using Apps Script:

  1. Make a note of the macros in your original Excel spreadsheet that you need to re-create in Sheets.
  2. In Sheets, open a spreadsheet and click Toolsand thenMacrosand thenRecord macro.
  3. Select the type of cell reference to use and click Save.
  4. Complete the task that you want to record and click Save.
  5. Enter a name for the macro and, optionally, a shortcut number and click Save.
  6. Click Toolsand thenMacrosand thenManage macros to edit your script.
  7. Next to the macro that you want to edit, click Moreand thenEdit script.
  8. In the macros.gs section, make your changes to the code. If needed, use the Sheets Apps Script documentation or search online for the JavaScript concept that you need.
  9. Click Save macro  and close the tab to return to your spreadsheet.
  10. Repeat steps 2–7 for any additional macros that you want to re-create from your original spreadsheet.
Activate a macro in Sheets
  1. Click Toolsand thenMacrosand thenyour saved macro. You can also run your macro by using its keyboard shortcut.
  2. If it’s the first time you run the macro, allow authorization.

Tip: For more about how the Apps Script library can mimic common Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) functions, go to Simplifying Migration from VBA to Google Apps Script

Do more with add-ons



Add-ins in 2013 version.

Excel 2013

Add-ins from 2010 version.

Excel 2010

Use ready-made add-ons to do more with Sheets. Here’s a few things you
can do:

Download add-ons:

  1. Click Add-onsand thenGet add-ons.
  2. (Optional) To see a description of the add-on, point to it or click it for a full description.
  3. Click the add-on you want to install and click Free.
  4. If needed, review the access message and click Allow.


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