Tab-delimited data feed instructions

This article explains how to create a feed using the tab-delimited data feed with a spreadsheet program. If you prefer to work with a text editing program, you can skip these steps; just be sure to follow the 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, see RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0.

Create your data feed

Step 1: Open your spreadsheet program

Using a spreadsheet program 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 products, each in its own column. You can list your products to Shopping ads or free listings using highly structured information with the help of two types of attributes:

  1. Required attributes
  2. Recommended attributes

Any products that are missing required attributes will not process successfully. Products missing recommended attributes will still process successfully. We strongly suggest you include information about those attributes as well to increase the chances that your products will be included in relevant results. Refer to the table below for an example header row, and refer to the product data specification for all the required attributes for your country of sale:

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

Step 3: Enter your item information

In the rows below the header row, enter information about your products for the attributes you've chosen. Each product should be listed in a separate row, and its information divided into the appropriate columns. (For example, a product'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 in stock
3 1246 Blender 12-speed, black blender 24.99 used in stock

Step 4: Convert your spreadsheet

Most spreadsheet programs 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 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. Alternatively, you can download your file using the following steps: open the File menu, click Download as and then select Tab-separated values (.tsv, current sheet). 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 Merchant Center account, use the same file name 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 product 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 shipping use colon-separated sub-attributes. Learn more about tax and shipping
  • 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, the value should be surrounded by double quotes. Learn more about quoted attributes

    Note that not all attributes support multiple values; for example, you may only provide one id or description value. Learn more about the product data specification

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