How to Use Google Sheets to Reference Data From Another Sheet

Easily import data from other tabs and spreadsheets

What to Know

  • Place the cursor in the cell where you want the data to go.
  • Pull data from another sheet: Type = and select the cell in the source sheet to bring that data into the original sheet.
  • Pull from a different file: Type =IMPORTRANGE("URL","Sheet1!C2"), replace URL with the link to the other file, followed by the cell reference.

This article discusses how to reference data from another sheet in Google Sheets.

How to Pull Cell Data From Another Sheet

The most common reason people want to pull data from another sheet in Google Sheets is when those other tables are lookup tables.

For example, one sheet might hold all the products you sell along with their UPC codes and unit prices, while another sheet might contain a log of your sales. To calculate the total sale, you'll need to pull pricing data from the product sheet. Here's how:

  1. In the original sheet where you want to pull data into, place your cursor in the cell where you'd like the data to go.

    Placing cursor in destination cell
  2. Type = (the equal sign) into the cell. Select the second sheet and, then, the cell that contains the data you want to bring into the original sheet.

    Selecting sheet where data comes from
  3. Press Enter finish. This will bring the cell data you selected into the first spreadsheet.

    Data transferred to original sheet

    The final formula in this case is =Sheet2!C2. 'Sheet2' is the name of the sheet where the data comes from. This method is good for referencing individual cell data from a different spreadsheet into an original one.

Pull Cell Data From a Different Spreadsheet File

You also can reference data from a different spreadsheet file with the IMPORTRANGE formula.

  1. Before you can use the IMPORTRANGE formula, you'll need the URL link to the Google Sheets file where you want to reference data. Highlight and copy the URL link to the end of the long code before the last forward slash (/) in the URL.

    Copying spreadsheet link in Google Sheets
  2. In the original sheet where you want to pull data to, place the cursor in the destination cell and type:


    Be sure to replace URL in this formula with the URL you want to reference.

    Entering spreadsheet_url into IMPORTRANGE function
  3. Follow the quotes after the URL with a comma (,), then type the name of the sheet and the cell you want to get data from.

    In this example you'd enter:


    Again, URL would be a full URL. We're just keeping it short for example purposes.

    Entering cell data in IMPORTRANGE function
  4. Press Enter. You'll see that the data from the other Sheets spreadsheet file is pulled into this spreadsheet.

    Imported data into a Google Sheets spreadsheet
Was this page helpful?