Upload Files and Convert to Google Sheets

by Jack Dougherty, last updated March 2, 2017

Google Drive can convert many file types into Google Sheets format:

  • Microsoft Excel (.xls and .xlsx)
  • OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods)
  • Comma-separated values (.csv)
  • Tab-separated values (.tab)
  • Text files (.txt) into Google Sheets format

Tutorial

1) Sign in to your free Google Drive account (http://drive.google.com)

2) To convert files into Google Sheets format, open the Settings (upper-right gear symbol), and check the box to Convert uploaded files to Google Docs.

Screenshot: Check the box to Convert uploaded files to Google Docs format
Screenshot: Check the box to Convert uploaded files to Google Docs format

3) To upload your file, use the New > File Upload menu OR drag-and-drop it into your Google Drive screen.

Screenshot: New > File upload OR Drag-and-drop the file
Screenshot: New > File upload OR Drag-and-drop the file

4) When your file is successfully converted, the Google Sheets icon will appear. Recommended: Right-click to rename the file and remove the old extension (.xlsx or .csv or other), since it is no longer in this old format.

Screenshot: Right-click the Google Sheets icon to remove old file extension
Screenshot: Right-click the Google Sheets icon to remove old file extension

5) Google Drive files that display different icons have not been converted into Google Sheets format.

Screenshot: Spreadsheet format icons in Google Drive
Screenshot: Spreadsheet format icons in Google Drive

Beware: A different way to convert spreadsheets into Google Sheets format is the File > Import menu, but this creates two files in your Google Drive (such as data and data.csv), which is confusing.

Data Visualization For All is copyrighted by Jack Dougherty and contributors and distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may freely share and modify this content for non-commercial purposes, with a source credit to http://DataVizForAll.org.
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