Make a Copy of a Google Sheet

In this book we provide several data files using Google Sheets. Our links point to the online files, and we set the sharing settings to allow anyone to view—but not edit—the original version. This allows everyone to have access to the data, but no one can accidentally modify the contents. In order for you to complete several exercises in this chapter, you need to learn how to make your own copy of our Google Sheets—which you can edit—without changing our originals.

Let’s begin by making a copy of a real dataset that may interest you, because it includes people like you. So far about 3,000 readers of this book have responded to a quick public survey about their general location, prior level of experience and education, and goals for learning data visualization. If you haven’t already done so, fill out the quick survey form to contribute your own response, and also to give you a better sense of how the questions were posed. Later in this chapter you’ll learn how to create your own online form with a link to spreadsheet results.

  1. Open this Google Sheet of Hands-On Data Visualization reader public survey responses in a new tab in your browser. We set it to “View only” so that anyone on the internet can see the contents, but not edit the original file.

  2. Sign in to your Google account by clicking the blue button in the upper-right corner.

  3. Go to File > Make a Copy to create a duplicate of this Google Sheet in your Google Drive, as shown in Figure 2.5. You can rename the file to remove “Copy of…”.

Go to File - Make a Copy to create your own version of this Google Sheet.

Figure 2.5: Go to File - Make a Copy to create your own version of this Google Sheet.

  1. To keep your Google Drive files organized, save them in folders with relevant names to make them easier to find. For example, you can click the My Drive button and the New folder button to create a folder for your data, before clicking OK, as shown in Figure 2.6.
Click the My Drive and New folder buttons to save your work in a folder.

Figure 2.6: Click the My Drive and New folder buttons to save your work in a folder.

Your copy of the Google Sheet will be private to you only, by default. In the next section we’ll learn about different options for sharing your Google Sheet data with others.