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Tab-delimited data feed instructions

This document includes instructions for creating a tab-delimited data feed with a spreadsheet programme. If you prefer to work with a text editing programme, you can skip these steps; just make sure that you follow our format requirements below. If you're using Google Sheets, see this article for specific instructions on creating a feed with Google Sheets. For instructions on creating an XML data feed instead, please see the following links: RSS 2.0, Atom 1.0.

Create your data feed

Step 1: Open your spreadsheet programme

Using a spreadsheet programme such as Microsoft Excel makes it easy to create a feed and convert it to the proper format.

Step 2: Create a header row

On the first row of the spreadsheet, enter the names of the attributes that describe your items, each in its own column. You can list your products to Google Shopping using highly structured information with the help of two types of attributes:

  1. Required attributes
  2. Recommended attributes

Any items that are missing required attributes will not be processed successfully. Items missing recommended attributes will still process successfully. We strongly suggest that you include information about those attributes as well to increase the chances that your products will be included in relevant results. Please refer to the table below for an example header row, and refer to the product feed specifications for all the required attributes for your target country:

  A B C D E F G H
1 ID title description price condition link availability image_link
2                
3                

Step 3: Enter your item information

In the rows below the header row, enter information about your items for the attributes that you've chosen. Each item should be listed in a separate row and its information divided into the appropriate columns. (For example, an item's description should be in the same column as the 'description' header.) You may leave a cell empty if there is no value for an attribute.

  A B C D E F G H
1 ID title description price condition link availability image_link
2 123-uk Toy Bear A yellow teddy bear 12 new http://www.example1.co.uk in stock http://www.example.co.uk/image1.jpg
3 1246 Blender 12-speed, black blender 24.99 used http://www.example2.co.uk in stock http://www.example.com/image2.jpg

Step 4: Convert your spreadsheet

Most spreadsheet programmes allow you to export data into a tab-delimited file. Either of the options below will create a file with a name ending in the ".txt" extension. This is the file that you should submit to Google Merchant Center.

  • For Microsoft Excel: Save the spreadsheet as tab-delimited text (.txt) by using the Save File as command in the File menu and specifying the format type. In the Save as type drop-down box, select the Text (tab-delimited)(*.txt) option.
  • For Google Sheets: You can easily upload your Google spreadsheet and set an ongoing scheduled upload directly in Merchant Center. Learn more about this feature. Alternatively, you can download and upload your file by selecting Export from the File menu and choosing .txt as the file. Your tab-delimited text file will be displayed in a new window. Select the Save as command from your browser's File menu to save as a .txt text file.

If you've already registered a feed in your Google Merchant Center account, use the same filename that you specified during the set-up process.

Step 5: Submit your data feed

Check that your file meets our format requirements below and submit it to us.

Format requirements

  • The file must be tab-delimited plain text.
  • The first line of the file is the header – it must contain attribute names separated by tabs.
  • One item per line – separate each attribute in that line by a tab.
  • Do not include trailing tabs at the end of lines.
  • Do not include tabs or line breaks in the attributes themselves.
  • For group attributes such as "tax" and "delivery" use colon-separated sub-attributes. Visit the tax and delivery article for more information.
  • If an attribute accepts multiple values, you should provide each value separated by a comma, such as "blue, green, red" wherever applicable. In attributes where multiple values are accepted, if a comma doesn't indicate a separate value, it should be submitted with a preceding backslash, such as " \,". Please refer to the product feed specifications to learn more. Note that not all attributes support multiple values; for example, you may only provide one "ID" or "description" value.
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