Importing CSV into Google Sheets via Google Script

flickr photo shared by OSU Special Collections & Archives : Commons with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons)

As part of a future project, I’m looking for easy, automated ways to push/pull CSV files around.

Initially I thought I’d just do the =importdata(‘”) function but I realized that had some drawbacks that made it less ideal which lead to the script below.

Using Google Script triggers this script could be set to retrieve a CSV file every X amount of time and write it to a Google Sheet. The upper portion is adapted from this answer.

In any case, it opens up some decent automatic options and would keep data fresh for easy access charts and graphs in Google.

function importData() {
    var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();
    var url = '';
    var file = UrlFetchApp.fetch(url); // get feed

    var csv = file.getBlob().getDataAsString();
    var csvData = CSVToArray(csv); // see below for CSVToArray function
    var sheet = ss.getActiveSheet();
    for (var i = 0, lenCsv = csvData.length; i < lenCsv; i++) {
        sheet.getRange(i + 1, 1, 1, csvData[i].length).setValues(new Array(csvData[i]));


// This will parse a delimited string into an array of
// arrays. The default delimiter is the comma, but this
// can be overriden in the second argument.

function CSVToArray(strData, strDelimiter) {
    // Check to see if the delimiter is defined. If not,
    // then default to COMMA.
    strDelimiter = (strDelimiter || ",");

    // Create a regular expression to parse the CSV values.
    var objPattern = new RegExp(
            // Delimiters.
            "(\\" + strDelimiter + "|\\r?\\n|\\r|^)" +

            // Quoted fields.
            "(?:\"([^\"]*(?:\"\"[^\"]*)*)\"|" +

            // Standard fields.
            "([^\"\\" + strDelimiter + "\\r\\n]*))"

    // Create an array to hold our data. Give the array
    // a default empty first row.
    var arrData = [

    // Create an array to hold our individual pattern
    // matching groups.
    var arrMatches = null;

    // Keep looping over the regular expression matches
    // until we can no longer find a match.
    while (arrMatches = objPattern.exec(strData)) {

        // Get the delimiter that was found.
        var strMatchedDelimiter = arrMatches[1];

        // Check to see if the given delimiter has a length
        // (is not the start of string) and if it matches
        // field delimiter. If id does not, then we know
        // that this delimiter is a row delimiter.
        if (
            strMatchedDelimiter.length &&
            (strMatchedDelimiter != strDelimiter)
        ) {

            // Since we have reached a new row of data,
            // add an empty row to our data array.


        // Now that we have our delimiter out of the way,
        // let's check to see which kind of value we
        // captured (quoted or unquoted).
        if (arrMatches[2]) {

            // We found a quoted value. When we capture
            // this value, unescape any double quotes.
            var strMatchedValue = arrMatches[2].replace(
                new RegExp("\"\"", "g"),

        } else {

            // We found a non-quoted value.
            var strMatchedValue = arrMatches[3];


        // Now that we have our value string, let's add
        // it to the data array.
        arrData[arrData.length - 1].push(strMatchedValue);

    // Return the parsed data.
    return (arrData);

Comments on this post

  1. Moises Garcia said on October 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Wow, thanks a lot for this script, Tom! I was looking for a way to parse a csv with a delimiter based on a reg exp that would exclude commas in double quotes’ fields, and just found out this!

  2. Michael said on January 20, 2018 at 11:58 am

    working like a charm, thanks!

  3. Regex SEO said on March 8, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I’m getting error saying “You do not have permission to call setValues (line 11). Can’t find any decent answer how to go around that. Please help.

Leave a Reply

Trackbacks and Pingbacks on this post

No trackbacks.

TrackBack URL