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Diego Riccioly
Diego Riccioly

Downloading Google Sheets as Data Frames or Text Files in R


How to Download Google Sheets Data in R




Google Sheets are web-based spreadsheets that allow you to organize, edit, and analyze different types of data. They are popular and useful tools for many business operations, data analysis, and collaborative projects. But did you know that you can also download Google Sheets data in R, a powerful programming language for statistical computing and graphics?




r download google sheet



Downloading Google Sheets data in R can offer many benefits, such as:


  • Accessing and manipulating your data offline or on your local machine



  • Performing advanced or customized analysis using R's rich set of packages and functions



  • Creating high-quality and interactive visualizations using R's plotting capabilities



  • Integrating your data with other sources or formats using R's data import and export features



  • Automating or streamlining your data workflow using R's scripting and automation tools



However, downloading Google Sheets data in R can also pose some challenges, such as:


  • Setting up the authorization process to access your Google account and sheets



  • Handling different formats, structures, or sizes of your sheets



  • Maintaining the consistency, accuracy, or security of your data



  • Managing the updates, changes, or versions of your sheets



  • Collaborating or sharing your data with others who use different tools or platforms



Luckily, there are some solutions that can help you overcome these challenges and download Google Sheets data in R easily and efficiently. In this article, we will introduce two methods for downloading Google Sheets data in R using two different packages: googlesheets4 and gsheet. We will explain how to use these packages, what are their advantages and disadvantages, and how to use their features. By the end of this article, you will be able to download Google Sheets data in R like a pro!


Methods for Downloading Google Sheets Data in R




Using the googlesheets4 package




The googlesheets4 package is a Google Sheets R API by Jenny Bryan that allows you to access and manage Google Sheets data in R. Not only can it pull data from Google Sheets, but you can also edit the data, create new sheets, and use other functions of the package. Here is how you can use the googlesheets4 package:


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How to install and load the package




You can install the googlesheets4 package from CRAN with the following command:


install.packages("googlesheets4")


You can also install the latest development version of the package from GitHub with:


devtools::install_github("tidyverse/googlesheets4")


Then, you need to load the package with:


library(googlesheets4)


How to authorize R to access Google Sheets




Before you can read or write Google Sheets data in R, you need to authorize R to access your Google account and sheets. You can do this with the following command:


gs4_auth()


This will open a browser window where you can sign in to your Google account and grant permission to the googlesheets4 package. You only need to do this once per session, unless you want to switch to a different account or revoke the permission. You can also use a service account or a non-interactive authentication method if you prefer. For more details, see the .


How to read and write Google Sheets data in R




Once you have authorized R to access Google Sheets, you can read and write data using the following functions:



  • read_sheet(): This function reads data from a Google Sheet and returns it as a data frame in R. You can specify the sheet by its name, URL, or ID. You can also specify the range, sheet name, or column names of the data you want to read. For example:



my_data <- read_sheet("



  • write_sheet(): This function writes data from a data frame in R to a Google Sheet. You can specify the sheet by its name, URL, or ID. You can also specify the range, sheet name, or column names of the data you want to write. If the sheet does not exist, it will create a new one. For example:



write_sheet(my_data, "



  • range_read() and range_write(): These functions are similar to read_sheet() and write_sheet(), but they allow you to read and write data using cell ranges instead of data frames. For example:



range_write(" "A1:B10", LETTERS[1:10])


How to use advanced features of the package




The googlesheets4 package also offers some advanced features that can help you manage your Google Sheets data in R more effectively. Some of these features are:



  • sheet_append(): This function appends data from a data frame in R to the bottom of an existing Google Sheet. You can specify the sheet by its name, URL, or ID. You can also specify the sheet name or column names of the data you want to append. For example:



sheet_append(my_data, "



  • sheet_copy(): This function copies an existing Google Sheet to a new one. You can specify the source and destination sheets by their names, URLs, or IDs. You can also specify the new sheet name or properties. For example:



sheet_copy(" "My new sheet")



  • sheet_delete(): This function deletes an existing Google Sheet. You can specify the sheet by its name, URL, or ID. You can also specify the sheet name or properties. For example:



sheet_delete("



sheet_properties(): This function returns the properties of an existing Google Sheet, such as the title, URL, ID, size, sheets, and permissions. You can specify the sheet by its name, URL, or ID. You can also specify the sheet name or properties. For example:


sheet_properties("



  • sheet_add() and sheet_relocate(): These functions allow you to add or relocate sheets within a Google Sheet. You can specify the sheet by its name, URL, or ID. You can also specify the sheet name, index, or properties. For example:



sheet_add(" "New sheet", index = 1)


sheet_relocate(" "Old sheet", index = 2)


For more details and examples of the googlesheets4 package, you can check the .


Using the gsheet package




The gsheet package is a simpler and lighter alternative to the googlesheets4 package that allows you to download Google Sheets data in R. It does not require any authentication or authorization process, and it can download data as a data frame or plain text. However, it does not have any editing or writing capabilities, and it can only handle public or shared Google Sheets. Here is how you can use the gsheet package:


How to install and load the package




You can install the gsheet package from CRAN with the following command:


install.packages("gsheet")


Then, you need to load the package with:


library(gsheet)


How to download Google Sheets data as a data frame or plain text




You can download Google Sheets data as a data frame in R using the gsheet2tbl() function. You need to specify the URL of the Google Sheet as the argument. You can also specify the sheet name or index if there are multiple sheets on the Google Sheet. For example:


my_data <- gs


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