Link data across spreadsheets quickly | Zoho Sheet Help Guide

Link data across spreadsheets quickly

What is IMPORTRANGE, and when to use it?

One of the impressive things about spreadsheets, as opposed to other applications for computation or data storage, is being able to refer to the value of one cell in whichever cell you want, even as part of a function. This makes the dependent calculations dynamic, so they change as and when the original cell value changes. As an extension of referring to cells within a spreadsheet, the IMPORTRANGE function helps the user in linking one spreadsheet to another, and bringing in the range that you want to refer to. Like all cell references, the ones made with the IMPORTRANGE function are also dynamic, and change as and when the source is edited!

How to link data from one spreadsheet to another?

The quickest and easiest way to sync data from one spreadsheet to another is the use of Paste > Link option. You can copy the desired data range and go to Edit > Paste > Link option in the spreadsheet where you wish to paste the data. Alternatively, you can also, use the Paste > Link option in the contextual menu. 

You can also sync data across spreadsheets using the IMPORTRANGE() function. The syntax for the function is: 
=IMPORTRANGE(spreadsheet_url; range)
Both of the above-said options will help you bring in data from one spreadsheet to another without having to link spreadsheets manually.

Managing linked spreadsheets

To view and manage linked spreadsheets any time:

    1. Open the Data tab on the menu bar.

    2. Click on Link Spreadsheet. A dialog box with the list of already linked spreadsheets will open.

    3. You can click on the 'Delete' icon next to the spreadsheets' name to delete it.

Possible errors you might come across

 The following is a list of common errors you may come across, as well as potential reasons for encountering them: 


The possible reason could be


1. If you or any of the collaborators don't have access to the spreadsheet.

2. If you had previously linked the spreadsheets but deleted the link after copy-pasting the data.


The range you've referred to is not found. Check if you've furnished the sheet name correctly while specifying the range that you want to import. Ensure that the sheet name in the range is enclosed within single quotation marks.

Renaming the linked sheet will result in the formula throwing a #REF error. You'll have to edit the formula and enter the new name to fix this.


Say for instance, you're trying to import the range 'Sheet1.A1' from 'January 2020' to 'February 2020'. If the A1 cell in 'Jan 2020' is already an imported copy of 'Sheet1.A1' from 'February 2020', then the function throws a #CIRCULARREF error.


An unexpected error occurred while trying to fetch your data.


It took longer than usual to fetch the ranges from the spreadsheet 'January 2020'. The volume of data imported and the stability of your internet connection are often reasons why there is a #TIME_OUT error.


If you have any other questions about how to use the IMPORTRANGE function, or if you are in need of assistance, you can reach us at

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