November 29, 2006

Major Update in Google Spreadsheets

Google Spreadsheets continues to be surprising and miles ahead of the other half of the package, Google Docs. This is probably the biggest update since the product has been launched.
Now you can publish a spreadsheets in every imaginable format (HTML, PDF, XLS, ODS, CSV) or as a feed. What's great is that the file is automatically updated, so you'll be almost certain that someone gets the latest version. You can also publish all the sheets or only some of them. But the coolest thing you can do is to embed a spreadsheet into your blog or site. The spreadsheet you can see here shows the top 20 queries for this blog's search from April 1st until yesterday.

Google Spreadsheets shows you all the revisions of a spreadsheets, so it's easy to go back to an earlier version. And there are two new functions that use information from the web:

  • GoogleFinance("symbol", "attribute") that returns information about a stock. GoogleFinance("GOOG", "price") returns the current price for GOOG.
  • GoogleLookup("entity", "attribute") that returns answers to simple questions like: population of Italy, Jay Leno's date of birth, that usually appear at the top of search results in GoogleLookup("Italy", "population") will return the population of Italy.

Don't forget to place an equal in front of the function name.