Google Sheets – Updating from a Menu

Something which has been a problem people have run into, is that google sheets have a problem with automatically updating figures from custom functions. You’ll often find functions which suggest having a useless reference to a cell which you can then use to trigger the updates.

This is obviously somewhat suboptimal. So as a potential solution for you good people, I give you the menu based price list.

Google Sheets allow you to have custom functions, but you can’t write from them, only return data. However, app script called from a menu option can write to its hearts desire. The downside is that you can’t pass it any parameters. So this means you must have the input data stored somewhere it can retrieve by name, and somewhere to output; named range is one option, but I’m taking the lazy option and using sheets with specific names.

So, with the link above, you can see how to do it. There’s an example sheet you can copy.

As a little explanation:

The onOpen function adds menu in. It should be possible to update the data from here, but I ran into a bug there, so it’s purely on refresh.


The updatePrices function is pretty much the same as the one for use with a custom function, with a couple of key differences. First, you get the two sheets which are important. Clear the output sheet so we just append to it.

Get the region id from the cell A1 of the typeid sheet.

Now it just runs through the first column, from row 2 (so it ignores the region) to the last row. Deduping the list comes next. Sure you could get the data twice, but this is more efficient.

Then it runs through the typelist 100 ids at a time, getting the json, running through it, and appending the results to the sheet.

Google Sheets – Updating from a Menu by Fuzzwork Enterprises is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  • Devon Naccarato

    Do you have the entire itemid list saved to a csv?