How to Extract Data From Tables in Multiple Google Docs and Combine Into One Table

How to Extract Data From Tables in Multiple Google Docs and Combine Into One Table

A tutorial to extract the data from tables in multiple Google Docs and combine into one structured table in Coda to organize your Google Docs better. If your organization creates multiple Google Docs every day and you want a better way to sort, filter, and organize all these Google Docs, this solution may be useful for you. This tutorial walks you through how to extract the important metadata from a table in a Google Doc and sync that data into a table in Coda.

If your organization creates multiple Google Docs every day and you want a better way to sort, filter, and organize all these Google Docs, this solution may be useful for you. This tutorial walks you through how to extract the important metadata from a table in a Google Doc and sync that data into a table in Coda.

I often see templates for project briefs, meeting notes, or candidate interview as Google Docs at other organizations which are duplicated over and over again. These Google Docs are then stored in Google Drive which can get very unwieldy to manage unless someone is consistently organizing the folders in Google Drive. Another common trait in these Google Docs: a table near the top of the Google Doc summarizing what the doc is about.

A user recently needed a solution for extracting the data from the tables in their Google Docs into a table in Coda, so I wrote this Google Apps Script to solve the problem.

Why Sync Data From a Google Doc to a Structured Table?

If the summary table in your Google Doc contains all the relevant “metadata” for your Google Doc, why not extract that data into a main table where you can better sort, filter, and organize all the Google Docs your organization is creating? This gives you a “catalog” of all the various project briefs, meeting notes, and candidate interview Google Docs your team is creating.

Alternatively, you could just use one Coda doc to manage multiple project briefs, but let’s assume your organization is still accustomed to using Google Docs as the main “data storage” tool for these lightweight use cases.

Features

This Google Apps Script does the following:

  • Checks a Google Drive folder for any new Google Docs that have been added to the folder
  • Takes the first table in the Google Doc and extracts the info
  • Sends the data to a row in a Coda table along with the Google Doc link
  • Accounts for Google Docs that are shortcuts to a Google Doc owned by someone else (the Google Doc was shared with you)

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