AppsScriptPulse

How to efficiently read email messages with the Gmail API and Google Apps Script batch requests

There are two ways to pull email addresses from Gmail messages. The simpler, and more popular, method is that you pull a list of messages from which you wish to extract the email and loop over them to extract the email addresses. A more efficient way to pull email addresses from multiple email messages is to make a single batch request to the Gmail API with the help of Apps Script’s UrlFetch service.

We’ve featured a couple of posts on how you can make batch requests with Google Workspace APIs. With the limited runtime in Apps Script using batches can be an invaluable tool to finish your script in the execution limit and also improve your user experience. In this particular example for Amit Agarwal he looks at how batch requests can be made to the Gmail API by first get message details from a call to Gmail.Users.Messages.list, before getting message details in a single UrlFetchApp.fetchAll call. All the example code is included in the source post and to get to execute it copy/paste/run the following function:

const app = () => {
  const messageIds = searchGmailMessages();
  makeBatchRequest(messageIds);
}

Source: How to Efficiently Read Email Messages with the Gmail API and Apps Script – Digital Inspiration

How you can use Google Docs to write and execute Google Apps Script code

Image credit: Amit Agarwal (labnol.org)

There is a way to use Google Docs as a programming IDE and run JavaScript code inside the editor …  It is no replacement for a dedicated IDE like Visual Studio code but Google Docs can be used as a JavaScript playground to quickly run code snippets.

A familiar story I hear is people with no formal coding experience starting their developer journey with Google Apps Script. I find being able to run small snippets of code are a great way to learn and a number of sites like W3 Schools and also increasingly Stack Overflow include the ability to ‘try it yourself’ with inline code runners.

If you are looking to support users getting started with Google Apps Script Amit Agarwal has this little code snippet which lets you inline/run Google Apps Script code in Google Docs. There are both limitations and considerations with this approach but as a quick way for learners to run and collaborate on small snippets, which can be contextualised with explanatory text/resources, it’s a nice starting point. Check out the source link for more details.

Source: How to Use Google Docs as a Code Runner – Digital Inspiration

How to send personalized text messages from Google Sheets (and make user friendly add-ons)

The Document Studio add-on helps you automatically send text messages when a new Google Form is submitted or when new rows are added to Google Sheets. You can thus build workflows that send text reminders when the invoices are due. Or you can get notified instantly when people fill out your Google Forms.

There was some speculation this week about how much revenue Amit Agarwal (Digital Inspiration) makes through his suite of Google Workspace Add-ons. I can neither confirm or deny the reported figures, but what I’m certain of is Amit is not only an expert developer but also clearly very talented at spotting opportunities and creating very slick user experiences.

This latest post from Amit is a case in point. No code, but plenty of screenshots demonstrating how users of his Document Studio add-on can integrate a SMS text service into Google Forms/Sheets. As this is achieved with a Webhook integration users aren’t limited to SMS services. Click through to the source link to see more screenshots similar to the one below:

Source: How to Send Personalized Text Messages from Google Sheets – Digital Inspiration

How to preserve formatting of Google Forms responses in Google Sheets with Google Apps Script

Learn how to automatically preserve the formatting in Google Sheet when new Google Form responses are submitted.

Handy little Apps Script snippet from Amit Agarwal should you need to keep any custom formatting applied to linked Google Forms responses in Google Sheets. Another way you can approach this is using ARRAYFORMULA to reference the form responses in another sheet and apply your desired formatting.

The default ‘Form responses’ sheet can be hidden if needed. Downside of using ARRAYFORMULA is you are referencing a cell range which can cause confusion when using features like sort. See the source link for all the code used in Amit’s solution.

Source: How to Auto Format Google Form Responses in Google Sheets – Digital Inspiration

How to send WhatsApp messages from Google Sheets using the WhatsApp API [and Google Apps Script] – Digital Inspiration

Learn how to use the WhatsApp API to send personalized messages from Google Sheets to your WhatsApp contacts.

The question of how to automate WhatsApp using Google Apps Script has come up several times in the community forums. This has been notoriously difficult and also unreliable as Workspace developers had to often find workarounds without easy access to the WhatsApp Business API.

A recent announcement from Meta has made this much easier with the introduction of the WhatsApp Business Cloud API:

Send and receive messages using a cloud-hosted version of the WhatsApp Business Platform. The Cloud API allows you to implement WhatsApp Business APIs without the cost of hosting of your own servers and also allows you to more easily scale your business messaging.

Amit Agarwal hasn’t wasted any time in publishing a growing number of tutorials specifically for Google Apps Script developers and Google Workspace users on sending messages to WhatsApp. This first tutorial from Amit provides information on setting up a WhatsApp application on the Meta developers website and the Apps Script code required to send a message.

Source: How to Send WhatsApp Messages from Google Sheets using the WhatsApp API – Digital Inspiration

How to schedule a meeting in Google Meet with Apps Script – Digital Inspiration

Learn how to setup a video meeting inside Google Meet with the Google Calendar API and Apps Script. This Apps Script sample shows how you can programmatically schedule video meetings inside Google Meet with one or more participants using the Google Calendar API. It can be useful for teachers who wish to schedule regular meetings with their students but instead of manually creating meeting invites, they can easily automate the whole process for the entire class.

We’ve featured a couple of Google Meet scheduling solutions in Pulse[1,2]. This latest example from Amit Agarwal includes some nice code examples for additional optional parameters that can be used when using Google Calendar as an Advanced Service (Calendar.Events.insert). These include:

  • attendees[].responseStatus – for setting the attendee’s response status;
  • reminders.overrides[] – to override default event reminders and pops; and
  • recurrence[] – creating a custom recurrence for the calendar event

Amit includes some very useful examples of recurrence rules, using the RRULE notation. As well as RRULE the recurrence property can also accept RDATE and EXDATE values for further occurrence customisation.

Source: How to Schedule a Meeting in Google Meet with Apps Script – Digital Inspiration

  1. Phil Bainbridge’s Bulk create Google Calendar events with optional Meet or Zoom
  2. Luke Craig’s Using Google Apps Script to schedule Google Meets for a Virtual Parents’ Evening Assistant

How to Auto-Download Podcasts to Google Drive with Google Sheets [and Google Apps Script] – Digital Inspiration

You use Google Sheets as your own Podcast Manager that will automatically download your favorite podcasts to Google Drive and instantly sync across all your devices.

Amit Agarwal is always coming up with creative uses for Google Apps Script. His latest project is a great example of what can be achieved with a little code and a lot of know-how. Even if you aren’t a podcast fan this project is worth checking out as Amit is expert at writing concise and efficient code.

Some highlights to check out once you make a copy of the ‘Podcast Manager’ Google Sheet are use of CacheService for getting/putting a last update time and using the .filter(Boolean) trick for ignoring blank cells when using .getValues() on Google Sheets data. There is plenty more going on and worth spending some time using the Script Editor debugger and breakpoints to learn from a master.

Source: How to Auto-Download Podcasts to Google Drive with Google Sheets – Digital Inspiration

How to extract text from PDF files with Google Apps Script – Digital Inspiration

Image credit: Amit Agarwal

This tutorial explains how you can parse and extract text elements from invoices, expense receipts and other PDF documents with the help of Apps Script.

We’ve previously featured a method for extracting text from a PDF from Scott Donald. This latest post from Amit Agarwal uses a similar technique of sending a PDF document to Google Drive API to convert to a text file and then using RegEx to extract the content you need. Given the number of PDF documents flying around between organisations both of these posts from Amit and Scott are worth being aware of for potential future projects.

Source: How to Extract Text from PDF Files with Google Apps Script – Digital Inspiration

How to insert images in Google Sheet cells [with built-in functions and Google Apps Script] – Digital Inspiration

Image credit: Amit Agarwal (@labnol)

Learn about the different approaches that will help insert images in Google Sheets and understand the reason why you may prefer one approach over the other.

In this tutorial Amit Agarwal covers the various ways you can insert images into Google Sheets, including with Google Apps Script. As part of this you can learn about the CellImage and CellImageBuilder which are relatively new features for adding an image to a Google Sheets cell. There are some useful code snippets included in the tutorial that can be dropped into your own projects.

Source: How to Insert Images in Google Sheet Cells – Digital Inspiration

Manage Shared Drives in Google Drive with Google Apps Script – Digital Inspiration

Image credit: Amit Agarwal

These code samples show how you can use Google Apps Script to manage and search through the content of shared drives in Google Drive using the Drive API.

Some handy Google Apps Script snippets from Amit Agarwal for interacting with Shared Drives. The post includes solutions for:

  • Create a Shared Drive
  • Share a Shared Drive with a User
  • List all Shared Drives
  • List Files in a Shared Drive
  • Move Files in Shared Drives
  • Copy Files in Shared Drives

Source: Manage Shared Drives in Google Drive with Google Apps Script – Digital Inspiration