By Helen Bradley, PCWorld

Inside Google Docs’ spreadsheet component, you’ll find gadgets that endow the app with powers that even Excel users will envy. Included are tools for creating animated pie charts, producing QR codes, generating organizational charts, and more. You can also plot data in color by country on a map, and you can publish a map with your office location marked on it. All of these tricks are easy to pull off.

7 Great Google Spreadsheet Gadgets

1. Make Your Own QR Codes

QR codes are ubiquitous these days. They’re a great way to share contact details, URLs, product information, and other brief amounts of text.

To create a QR code in a Google Docs spreadsheet, first type the text for the code into one or more adjacent cells in a column of the spreadsheet. Choose Insert > Gadget > All,locate the QR Code gadget, and click Add to spreadsheet. When the Gadget Settings dialog box appears, drag over the cells containing the text for the code, click OK, and then clickApply & Close. The generated QR code will display in the gadget dialog box.

You can drag the gadget dialog box–as you can all gadget dialog boxes–and place it anywhere on the spreadsheet. To see the options for working with any gadget, click the down arrow in the top corner of the gadget dialog box. The options for the QR Code gadget include using ‘Publish Gadget’ to obtain some code that you can use on your website to display the QR code. You can also use Print Screen on the code and then insert it into a document or other publication.

 

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