Using AI with Spreadsheets

Just wondering if anyone has any experience using some of the various AI-powered spreadsheet formula generators/translators? Thought I would give one a try and post an example here.

@jpfieber created a Budget Plan add-on, described here: Budget Plan - Google Sheets

Per instructions, you have to paste this formula into your Categories sheet:

=IF(ISBLANK($A2),"",IFERROR(SUMIF('Budget Plan'!$E$4:$E$200,$A2,OFFSET('Budget Plan'!$L$4:$L$200,0,MATCH(DATEVALUE(E$1),'Budget Plan'!$M$3:$X$3,0))),0))

Using the Chrome Extension from you get this text-based explanation of the formula:

  1. If cell A2 is blank, return a blank value.
  2. Otherwise, look for the value in A2 in the range E4:E202 in the sheet named ‘Budget Plan’.
  3. If the value is found, sum the corresponding values in the range L4:L202 in the sheet ‘Budget Plan’.
  4. The corresponding values are determined by finding the column in the range M3:X3 in the sheet ‘Budget Plan’ that matches the date value in cell F1.
  5. If the value in A2 is not found, return 0.

Seems like this type of feature could be very useful, helping regular users understand fomulas used by add-ons and helping add-on creators develop better add-ons!


I am finding that I am turning more and more to ChatGPT for help with Google formulas and scripts. It’s amazing what it can do! One of my favourite questions, is “can you make this google apps script (or formula) more efficient, and readable”. Also, it is very helpful when I ask it to explain how to use a google function. It works best with smaller chunks of code. The more complicated formulas, it get’s confused faster. But it’s an amazing conversation when it produces code with errors. I tell it that I got an error message with the code it provided, and I tell it what the error message was. It tries its best to fix it and sometimes, it does. Alas, I tried to get it to show me it’s “Shadow self”, with zero success. Maybe that’s a good thing, as I don’t want it making threats like the Bing AI does if you push it too far! The extension sounds interesting. I like to have these functions and formulas explained to me. ChatGPT does that too, but I like the format of the one you are using.

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Also, ChatGPT can create recipes! Just ask it what you want, and it will produce it. You can even ask it to modify it to suit you!

At this point, I’m using ChatGPT almost daily to improve my personal spreadsheets. There’s also a good convo about this over here: Google Sheets + ChatGPT - #6 by nlynton


For people curious about using ChatGPT in Google Sheets, here are some resources for safely getting started: 7 Ways To Easily Connect ChatGPT To Google Sheets - Tiller