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How to import different types of files in Google sheets

Data comes in many forms. Fortunately for you, Google Sheets can import external data in a variety of formats. This saves you the hassle of typing in the data manually or trying to copy and paste it.

Google Sheets supports more than 10 file types for imports. Import a Microsoft Excel file it’s simple because the app looks a lot like Google Sheets. But you might have a plain text file, separated by commas or tabs, that requires additional formatting.

Supported file types

Here is a list of the file types that you can currently import into Google Sheets. We have listed them in alphabetical order to make it easier if you are interested in one in particular.

  • CSV
  • SAO
  • TAB
  • TSV
  • TXT
  • XLS
  • XLSM
  • XLSX
  • XLT
  • XLTM
  • XLTX

Import a file to Google Sheets

Go to Google Sheets website , log in and open your workbook. Click File> Import in the top menu.

Click File, Import into Google Sheets

Use the tabs in the pop-up window to locate your file and then click “Select”. You can choose from My Drive on Google Drive, Shared with me, Recent, or Upload. For our example, we use the Upload function to import a file from our computer.

Choose your file location

Depending on your file type, different options will be displayed in the next window. Here, we are importing a CSV file to show all the available options. Not all file types offer all of the options you see here.

Google Sheets file import settings

Select the import location. You can create a new sheet, insert a new sheet, replace a sheet, replace your current sheet, add your current sheet, or replace data in selected cells.

Choose an import location

If you are importing a separate file type, such as CSV, TSV, or TXT, choose the Separator Type. You can choose Tab, Comma, or Custom, or have Google Sheets automatically detect the separator based on the file.

Choose a type of separator

If you select Custom, enter the separator you want to use in the box that appears.

Enter your custom separator

The last option is to convert the text into numbers, dates, and formulas. To use this option, simply check the box.

Check the box to convert text

When done, click “Import data”.

And that’s it! Your data should appear in the location you selected and the separate files should appear correctly.

CSV file imported into Google Sheets

To demonstrate the differences in import options based on file type, here are the settings you can select for those, including ODS, XLS, and XLSX.

Just select the import location. But as you can see, you can only create a new sheet, insert a new sheet, or replace a sheet. The remaining placement options are grayed out.

Choose an import location

Hopefully, the type of file you want to import is compatible with Google Sheets. And remember, you can also import data from another Google Sheets spreadsheet.

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