Google spreadsheets are my life

Such a dramatic title, I know. But seriously, if you work in a cataloging department (or anywhere for that matter) and you have to work across departments, Google Docs is THE best thing since sliced bread. Everything is in one place, everyone can work on the same document all at the same time, and you never have to worry about where you saved that sign up list for cleaning the break room! There’s just so many things I love about Google Docs that I could go on and on and on and on … (you get the picture).

I went to a ContentDM conference many moons ago (well only like 4 years ago but it seems a lot longer) and that’s where I got my first glimpse of inserting images into a cell in a Google Spreadsheet and having it resize as you resize the cell (Genius! Thank you Google for all you do!). Immediately my binding designers list sprung into my mind. What is this list? Well, I have complied a quick reference guide to identify binding artists signatures. All I would do would get an image of the signature and put the name beside the signature. Nothing fancy and I saved it all in Word. Word got on my nerves. As soon as you added another person to the mix, it would mix all my images up and do crazy things (we’ve all experienced this). So I knew this was my saving grace (I’m sure you can do this in Excel as well although I have no idea how, by the way).

Fast forward 4 years and I FINALLY have time to get this spreadsheet set up and converted (as you can tell, not really high on the priority list). Well, I guess I should say I’m in the process of getting all the information copied over. Check out this beauty!

image locationI have the signature, the authorized access point for the person, the title of the book the signature was found on, the publisher of the book (to determine if the person had a favorite publisher they worked for), the date of the book (to determine the period of activity) and a notes column at the end. I try to find some sort of justification of how I know that is the signature of that person and that’s what goes in the notes field. As you can see, I haven’t gotten that far along yet.

If you are like me your inner geek is jumping up and down. Finally, some pretty data that easy to read. But, how do you get this images into a cell? If you are like the four year ago me that had no clue, I’m going to let you in on the secret (unlike the people who gave the presentation and seemed to act like it was some big secret and that I should not be focused on that since it wasn’t the focus of the presentation and wouldn’t tell me, but that’s neither here nor there).

First, get your image to some sort of online photo storage place that will give you a link to the photo. I used Google Photos. I tried Flickr but for some reason I could not get it to work to save my life. I have heard reports that it can be done though. Anyway, upload your image.

Second, once your photo is in there right click on the photo and select copy image location.


Third, click the cell of where you want the image to be place and type in this formula (not exactly but with your information)

=image(“[paste the image location that you copied in the second step]”, 1)

You have to have the =image, parenthesis and the quotes around the image location then the comma then the number.

But Callie, what does that random number (1 in this case) mean?! That, my friends is informing Google docs what you want to do with the image. Do you want it to scale to fit (1), stretch to fit (2), Original size (3) or want it to be a custom size (4, [with the dimensions after)? All this information can be found at this link:


And now you are done! You have a beautiful photograph in your cell.

But wait, it’s not appearing. I ran across that initially. It took a moment for Google to catch up to display the image. It pops up instantly for me now, but sometimes I did have to close it out and come back later.

Happy inserting images into cells!


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