Google Sheets Got Tables

...the real kind, not the fake stuff!

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Well, we’ve finally got legit tables in Google Sheets. It took a minute, but the long overdue feature is now generally available.

When you open a new sheet, you’ll be greeted with a sidebar prompting you to create a table from a ton of pre-built boilerplates. I don’t expect this to last, but it’s a good jumping off point if you need a basic framework while the feature is new.

And it works much like Gemini AI’s insertion abilities (only better and faster since these are actually pre-built).

You know I’ve got you covered with a video walkthrough of everything here. Check that out here, and keep reading below for the full article.

Build and Customize a Table

Let’s select one of the pre-built ones to walk through some of the features. I’ve inserted an inventory tracker from the Inventory management section of the Table sidebar menu.

Immediately, we see that formatting and filtering has been automatically applied to our table range.

Previously, to get this type of formatting, we would have to format a range with alternating colors. And it did nothing else other than add visuals.

Now we an actual table…but what does that mean and what can we do with them?

Change Name

Let’s change the name of our table first. Click the v at the very top left where Inventory_tracker1 is currently listed as the name.

Just like with named ranges, we’ll be able to reference this table in formulas now. I’ll change the name to inventory and then we can see it pop up in the auto-fill options when I start to write a new formula.

You can see many options other than just inventory. The bracketed notation indicates the different columns available from our table.

And, importantly, these are dynamic. When we add rows or columns, we can access those new columns using the bracketed ranges here.

And the new rows will automatically be included in formula results. No need to change the range.

Change Column Type

By clicking the v in the header cells, we have a host of options like filtering, sorting, editing and grouping.

The prebuilt tables have assigned data types to the columns, but we can change these here.

Create Custom Views

By selecting the table icon in the top right, we can see our table options menu. This allows useful options of creating group by views and creating filter views.

The group by view allows us to select a column to group by and then displays our rows in those groups.

This view can be saved for future use, but is temporary when first selected. To close it, you simply click the x in the top right of the table.

If you’ve used filter views previously, these work the same way in our table. If we wanted to filter out all the blanks from the Type column, we could do that, click on Create filter view and then save (or not) this filtered view.

Personalize Your Tables

Out of the gate, your table will have some alternating colors of white and light grey applied to the cells and a darker color to the header. These are customizable.

However, it looks like you can only change the header color and turn off alternating colors from the table options menu.

You can open up the Alternating colors menu to customize things further and change the alternating colors of the cells themselves.

Converting Data to a Table

If you don’t want to start with a pre-built table, converting your own data to table format is easy enough.

Simply highlight the range, right click and select Convert to table:

The option is also available from the Format menu:

Thank you so much!

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