How to Get Started Using Google App Script

Google Apps Script, referred to by Google as just Apps Script, is a programming language specifically meant for interacting with google applications such as Sheets, Docs, Gmail, Google Drive, and Slides. Instead of creating an entirely new language, Apps Script is based on Javascript and is currently being powered by V8 runtime, the version of Javascript that powers Google Chrome.

There’s one major factor that makes Apps Script unbelievably powerful- it runs completely on the cloud. All your scripts, all your data, all your documents, all of it accessible whenever and wherever you need with a programming environment that easily allows you to interact with it.

Before you spend hours coding, make sure to check out the add-on store, also called the G-Suite Marketplace. It’s filled with amazing add-ons for google applications that may be able to do exactly what you had in mind, without you having to do a bit of coding. Maybe you have an idea that isn’t already an add-on, the G-suite Marketplace is all user-generated add-ons so you can publish your own add-on for others to use!

What can App Script do?

Many aspects of business and finance are very repetitive. One of the most common things people use App Script for is making a function or macro that automates these repetitive functions so that you save time and money. Here’s a short list of things that you can completely automate by with App Script:

·                      Mathematical formulas

·                      Monetary conversions

·                      Charting data

·                      Generating reports of data and automatically save as a Google Slide

·                      “Mail Merge”, sending out emails personalized for customer

·                      Set up a user-interface that you can customize to automate tasks based on your different selections

So how do you use Apps Script?

First you have to open the coding environment which can be done in any google sheet/doc/slide be selecting Tools –> Script Editor.

Or you can go to the Apps Script homepage linked to your google account and select New project.

This will open up a coding environment with an initial file named Code.gs

This is where you interact with your google documents using App Script.

As an example, here’s some code that selects the top row of data from a spreadsheet and logs the data.

SpreadsheetApp.getActive() gets the spreadsheet associated with the script. If you want this to reference a different spreadsheet you can find a spreadsheet ID in the url: (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/spreadsheetId/edit#gid=sheetId). Once you’ve loaded in the spreadsheet, Apps Script makes it really easy to see everything you can do to interact with it by typing the variable you named the spreadsheet, followed by a period. The same is true for the specific sheet in the spreadsheet.

The last line of code Logger.log(data) logs the data so that you can view it and is useful for debugging. You can access your Stackdriver Logging by going into the View menu.

Now that you know how to start up Apps Script, take a second to learn even more about this powerful tool. Here are some tutorials to get you started:

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