Accessing Google Spreadsheet Data using Python

5 min readAug 7, 2022

As you all are familiar with importing, exporting and manipulating comma separate files (CSV) using Python, Hereby in this article I’m going to show you the step-by-step guide to access Google Spreadsheets on the cloud using Python.

As the very first thing, go to Google API Manager by simply googling it and go to

To kick things off first create a new project.

Figure 1.0: Creating a new Project

I’ll name my project as ‘Telemedicine’ since we will be working with a spreadsheet that includes all the tweets related to Telemedicine hashtags that I extracted earlier Click here to see how I extracted tweets using hashtags. Define a suitable project name according to your dataset on the cloud then click CREATE to initiate the project. (You don’t have to worry about the Location* below the project name)

Figure 1.0: Define a suitable project name according to your dataset

OKAY. The first part is done, Now go to API Library and search for Google Drive.

Figure 2.0: Search for Google Drive in API Library

Then add Google Drive API to our project which will allow us to access spreadsheets inside of Google Sheets for our account.

Figure 2.1: Click on Enable

Once that’s added, we need to create some credentials to access the API so click on Add Credentials on the next screen you see after enabling the API.

Figure 3.0: Click on Create Credentials to initialize credentials to access the API

Since we’ll be accessing the API using a web server, We’ll add the Web Server option on this page and give access to Application Data and tell them that you’re not running your application on either GCE or GAE by selecting the option ‘No, I’m not using them’ then click on the button below.

Figure 3.1: Creating credentials

Next, we will create a service account named Employees and assigned it the role Project Editor which will allow it to access and edit all the data within the API. Clicking continue will generate a JSON file that I will rename and add to the project as Telemedicine_secret.json.

Figure 3.2: Creating service account credentials

Then open the JSON file in a text editor (I prefer Atom) :)

Inside the file, you can locate an email address property called “client_email”, if we copy that and take it over to our spreadsheet on the cloud, we can share that particular spreadsheet with the email address we provide to give us access to it from the API.

Figure 4.0: Copy the email address property client_email
Figure 4.1: Paste that copied email as a shared email address

Reading spreadsheet data with Python

Let’s move into the terminal to install gspread and oauth2client packagesand wait till all components get installed.

$ pip install gspread oauth2client

Then I’m going to create a new python file called in my favorite editor ATOM and write the following code to import gspread and ServiceAccountCredentials from oauth2client .

import gspread
from oauth2client.service_account import ServiceAccountCredentials
  1. Then, we have to define the scope and create credentials using that scope and the content of employees_secret.json file.
  2. Then I’ll create a gspread client authorizing it using those credentials.
scope = ['','']creds = ServiceAccountCredentials.from_json_keyfile_name('employees_secret.json', scope)client = gspread.authorize(creds)

3. NOW, We can access our google sheets so we’ll call a and pass it the spreadsheet name and getting access to sheet1

sheet ='telemedicine_data').sheet1

4. Now we can set our employees equal to all of the records inside that sheet and print them out to the terminal.

telemedicine = sheet.get_all_records()

Let’s go the terminal try to run our program and we’ll get a glorious list of perfectly formatted content like in the image below (See the highlighted text and you can find all the columns in our dataset).

Figure 5.0: Display results as a list

Figure 5.0: Display results as a list

Whoa! It wasn’t what you were expecting, wasn’t it 😂? Well, trust me I got the perfect solution for that!

We can clean up the result by using pprint module, using that we can create a prettyprinter that we can use to display the result and its a much nicer way to display the output.

import gspread
from oauth2client.service_account import ServiceAccountCredentials
import pprint
scope = ['','']
creds = ServiceAccountCredentials.from_json_keyfile_name('employees_secret.json', scope)
client = gspread.authorize(creds)
sheet ='employee_reviews').sheet1pp = pprint.PrettyPrinter()employees = sheet.get_all_records()pp.pprint(employees)
Figure 5.1: Formatted results using pprint

If you want to go through the full documentation of gspread click here and in the meantime I’ll follow you up with these cool tricks.

Filtering Data

#to get all the values inside the file
#to get exact row values in a second row (Since 1st row is the header)
#to get all the column values in the column 'place'
#to extract a particular cell value
sheet.cell(1, 1).value
Figure 6.1: sheet.row_values(2) to get all the first row values

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