Examples of gspread Usage

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Opening a Spreadsheet

You can open a spreadsheet by its title as it appears in Google Docs:

sh = gc.open('My poor gym results')

If you want to be specific, use a key (which can be extracted from the spreadsheet’s url):

sht1 = gc.open_by_key('0BmgG6nO_6dprdS1MN3d3MkdPa142WFRrdnRRUWl1UFE')

Or, if you feel really lazy to extract that key, paste the entire spreadsheet’s url

sht2 = gc.open_by_url('https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Bm...FE&hl')

Creating a Spreadsheet

Use create() to create a new blank spreadsheet:

sh = gc.create('A new spreadsheet')


If you’re using a service account, this new spreadsheet will be visible only to this account. To be able to access newly created spreadsheet from Google Sheets with your own Google account you must share it with your email. See how to share a spreadsheet in the section below.

Sharing a Spreadsheet

If your email is otto@example.com you can share the newly created spreadsheet with yourself:

sh.share('otto@example.com', perm_type='user', role='writer')

See share() documentation for a full list of accepted parameters.

Selecting a Worksheet

Select worksheet by index. Worksheet indexes start from zero:

worksheet = sh.get_worksheet(0)

Or by title:

worksheet = sh.worksheet("January")

Or the most common case: Sheet1:

worksheet = sh.sheet1

To get a list of all worksheets:

worksheet_list = sh.worksheets()

Creating a Worksheet

worksheet = sh.add_worksheet(title="A worksheet", rows="100", cols="20")

Deleting a Worksheet


Getting a Cell Value

Using A1 notation:

val = worksheet.acell('B1').value

Or row and column coordinates:

val = worksheet.cell(1, 2).value

If you want to get a cell formula:

cell = worksheet.acell('B1', value_render_option='FORMULA').value

# or

cell = worksheet.cell(1, 2, value_render_option='FORMULA').value

Getting All Values From a Row or a Column

Get all values from the first row:

values_list = worksheet.row_values(1)

Get all values from the first column:

values_list = worksheet.col_values(1)


So far we’ve been fetching a limited amount of data from a sheet. This works great until you need to get values from hundreds of cells or iterating over many rows or columns.

Under the hood, gspread uses Google Sheets API v4. Most of the time when you call a gspread method to fetch or update a sheet gspread produces one HTTP API call.

HTTP calls have performance costs. So if you find your app fetching values one by one in a loop or iterating over rows or columns you can improve the performance of the app by fetching data in one go.

What’s more, Sheets API v4 introduced Usage Limits (as of this writing, 500 requests per 100 seconds per project, and 100 requests per 100 seconds per user). When your application hits that limit, you get an APIError 429 RESOURCE_EXHAUSTED.

Here are the methods that may help you to reduce API calls:

  • get_all_values() fetches values from all of the cells of the sheet.
  • get() fetches all values from a range of cells.
  • batch_get() can fetch values from multiple ranges of cells with one API call.
  • update() lets you update a range of cells with a list of lists.
  • batch_update() lets you update multiple ranges of cells with one API call.

Getting All Values From a Worksheet as a List of Lists

list_of_lists = worksheet.get_all_values()

Getting All Values From a Worksheet as a List of Dictionaries

list_of_dicts = worksheet.get_all_records()

Finding a Cell

Find a cell matching a string:

cell = worksheet.find("Dough")

print("Found something at R%sC%s" % (cell.row, cell.col))

Find a cell matching a regular expression

amount_re = re.compile(r'(Big|Enormous) dough')
cell = worksheet.find(amount_re)

Finding All Matched Cells

Find all cells matching a string:

cell_list = worksheet.findall("Rug store")

Find all cells matching a regexp:

criteria_re = re.compile(r'(Small|Room-tiering) rug')
cell_list = worksheet.findall(criteria_re)

Cell Object

Each cell has a value and coordinates properties:

value = cell.value
row_number = cell.row
column_number = cell.col

Updating Cells

Using A1 notation:

worksheet.update('B1', 'Bingo!')

Or row and column coordinates:

worksheet.update_cell(1, 2, 'Bingo!')

Update a range

worksheet.update('A1:B2', [[1, 2], [3, 4]])


Here’s an example of basic formatting.

Set A1:B1 text format to bold:

worksheet.format('A1:B1', {'textFormat': {'bold': True}})

Color the background of A2:B2 cell range in black, change horizontal alignment, text color and font size:

worksheet.format("A2:B2", {
    "backgroundColor": {
      "red": 0.0,
      "green": 0.0,
      "blue": 0.0
    "horizontalAlignment": "CENTER",
    "textFormat": {
      "foregroundColor": {
        "red": 1.0,
        "green": 1.0,
        "blue": 1.0
      "fontSize": 12,
      "bold": True

The second argument to format() is a dictionary containing the fields to update. A full specification of format options is available at CellFormat in Sheet API Reference.


gspread-formatting offers extensive functionality to help you when you go beyond basics.

Using gspread with pandas

pandas is a popular library for data analysis. The simplest way to get data from a sheet to a pandas DataFrame is with get_all_records():

import pandas as pd

dataframe = pd.DataFrame(worksheet.get_all_records())

Here’s a basic example for writing a dataframe to a sheet. With update() we put the header of a dataframe into the first row of a sheet followed by the values of a dataframe:

import pandas as pd

worksheet.update([dataframe.columns.values.tolist()] + dataframe.values.tolist())

For advanced pandas use cases check out these libraries:

Using gspread with NumPy

NumPy is a library for scientific computing in Python. It provides tools for working with high performance multi-dimensional arrays.

Read contents of a sheet into a NumPy array:

import numpy as np
array = np.array(worksheet.get_all_values())

The code above assumes that your data starts from the first row of the sheet. If you have a header row in the first row, you need replace worksheet.get_all_values() with worksheet.get_all_values()[1:].

Write a NumPy array to a sheet:

import numpy as np

array = np.array([[1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6]])

# Write the array to worksheet starting from the A2 cell
worksheet.update('A2', array.tolist())