A QR code is convenient for capturing information with a mobile device’s camera. You can scan a code to visit a website and get contact details. To simplify sharing, here’s how to create a QR code in Google Sheets.
After creating and inserting a QR code in Google Sheets, you or your audience can scan it to get the additional information they need. There are two effective ways to create this code. You can use a function and a formula or an add-on from Google Sheets. Let’s examine both.
Creating a QR code using the Image function
Google provides a link that you can insert into the Image function formula to create the QR code. This may sound complicated, but it’s actually very simple. With it, you can use the code to create a website link, contact information, and text.
Select the cell where you want to insert the QR code. Here is a basic formula for linking to a website in cell A1. We’ll break down the formula and explain the options you can use.
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Image function for a web link QR code
Here are the elements of the formula:
https://chart.googleapis.com/chart? : This is the site link you need to include to create the QR code.
chs=300×300: This determines the size of the QR code in pixels as width and height. Ours is 300 by 300 pixels.
cht=qr: This specifies the type of QR code.
chl=”&ENCODEURL(A1): This determines the data to encode. Here we encode the link in cell A1.
The ampersand operators between each of these elements join the string. As you can use the formula to create a QR code that does more than link to a website, let’s see another example.
With this formula, our code provides our company phone number in cell A2. The QR code is 500 pixels wide and 400 pixels high.
Image function for a phone number QR code
You can include a few optional elements in the formula:
choe=(output_encoding): This option determines the encoding mode of the data in the QR code. If omitted, the default encoding is UTF-8, but you can also use Shift_JIS or ISO-8859-1.
child=(error_correction_level)(margin): QR codes offer four levels of error correction to recover misread or masked data. You can use it to select a level.
The image above is courtesy of Google Charts > Infographics. You can visit the site for details on plan options and additional information on how QR codes work.
Create a QR code using an add-on
If you search Google Workspace Marketplace, you will find several QR code generators. For example, you may want to create codes in bulk. But for a simple QR code addon that works well, check out this QR Code Maker.
Be aware that installing a third-party add-on from the Marketplace requires you to authorize access to certain elements for your Google Account. Make sure you and your organization are comfortable with the security risks involved. If you decide to give this add-on a try, here’s how it works.
To generate a code, go to Extensions > QR Code Maker > Insert QR Code.
QR Code Maker in the list of Google Sheets extensions.
This opens a sidebar for the extension. Enter the code text or link in the field at the top. Then click on “Generate”.
You’ll see your QR code displayed and you can pick up your mobile device and scan it for a quick test.
QR code generated
To add the code to your sheet, select “Insert”. The code then appears as a large image that you can move and resize as you wish.
QR code inserted
The next time you want to easily share information directly from your Google Sheet, consider creating a QR code using one of these options.