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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Google Spreadsheets Data Validation

Google Spreadsheets, part of Google Docs, has a new feature: cell content validation. For instance, you can select a column which is supposed to contain email addresses only. Now pick Tools -> Data Validation from the menu. You’ll be offered to restrict the cell content to only certain types of numbers, texts, or dates. Each type contains further restrictions; for instance, a text may be set so it must contain a certain string, or be an email, or be a valid URL.

Now when you or someone else you shared the spreadsheet with tries to enter something in the cell that is not of the required format, a warning note like the following appears: “Invalid cell contents ... Enter a valid email”. If the content is not changed, then it will be removed from the cell (alternatively, you can also configure the cell rule to be less strict, and to show warnings but still allow invalid data).

[Via GoogleWatchBlog -> Google Docs Blog.]

Update: Ahab in the comments notes that some of the data validation is rather bad. For instance, “www,google,com” is accepted as valid URL, and “” passes as email. [Thanks Ahab!]


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