Linking Shapes to Google Sheet Data

Microsoft Visio isn’t the only guy on the block with data linking capabilities. Lucidchart’s data linking feature allows you to link Lucidchart shapes to live data located in Google Sheets. The shape data will automatically update as changes are made to Google Sheets, allowing you to visualize your processes in real time.

This feature is only available for Professional, Team, and Enterprise accounts. To upgrade, visit our pricing page.

  1. Create a new document in Lucidchart or open an existing document.
  2. Click File > Import Data from Sheets. If you haven’t already given Lucidchart permission to access your Google Sheets documents, you will be asked to do so. Click “Authenticate” and then “Allow” on the following pop-up window.

    pop-up window
  3. Choose the Google Sheet you would like linked to your Lucidchart document.

    Choose Google sheet in Drive
  4. Select the tab of the sheet containing the data you would like linked.
  5. Choose whether you would like the column headers of your spreadsheet to be the labels for the shape data. If you would like, you can change the header row back to a data row once you have finished importing. Your imported data will appear on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.

    Select Sheet you want to import

Note: Your Lucidchart data set will update periodically to show changes made in Google Sheets. If you don’t see the changes right away, click this button to sync.Screen_Shot_2017-01-18_at_2.00.05_PM.png

The data set shown below can now be assigned to any existing shape on your document by using Shape Data. You can do this three different ways:

Data to be Imported

Option 1:

  1. Drag a new shape onto the canvas or select the shape to which you would like to assign data.
  2. Drag the desired row or cell onto the shape data panel OR directly onto the shape itself. That data is now automatically assigned to that shape.

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Note: You will know that the data was successfully assigned to the shape if you select the shape and the data appears in the data panel.

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Option 2:

  1. Drag a row or cell onto the canvas. A placeholder shape will appear, but text with data only shows up after a shape has been chosen.
  2. Use the dialog that appears to choose your preferred shape.

Option 3:

  1. Select the shape to which you would like to assign data.
  2. Click the +Field button on the upper right-hand corner of the screen to add a new Shape Data field.
  3. In the “Label” column, title the field. In the example below, the field was titled "Name."
  4. In the “Value” column, link the field to a cell in the data set by entering “=” in the desired cell. While editing the shape data field, the reference (e.g. “=A2”) will be shown. When not being edited, the shape data field will show the value from the referenced cell (e.g. “Anthony Morelli”).

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Regardless of which of these three options you use, the data is now linked to the shape and ready to be used.

Note: The data is assigned specifically to the selected shape. The shape must be selected in order to see assigned fields on the right-hand panel. If no shape is selected, any data in the shape data panel is that page’s data.

In order for your data to appear on the shape, you can call it by using the command {{this.Label}}. For example, if I wanted to call the information found in cell A2 of my data set, I would type {{this.Name}} in the shape. Make sure to type the name of the label exactly as you titled it in the Shape Data, including capitalization.

{{this.Label}} returns the value. {{this.Label.label}} returns the label. So if you have
Label | Value
Name | Bob

in the shape data panel, to display
Name: Bob
you need to write
{{this.Name.label}} : {{this.Name}}.

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You can also click the “T+” icon in the shape data panel to add text to the currently selected shape (or in a new text box if no shape is selected).

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You can also assign data to an entire page of your document. To do so, select a row or cell and drag it up to the shape data panel. If you create a new page within the document, the data will not be assigned to that page unless you repeat this process.

Note: Remember that the page data is linked to the page, not to the created shape. It simply appears in the shape.

Use {{ syntax to reference page data as text. {{this.Label}} references just that particular shape's data and can only be seen as text on that particular shape. {{page.Label}} references the entire page and can be seen as text everywhere on that page. You can put {{page.Label}} or {{page.Label.label}} anywhere on the page to reference page data - all shapes, text boxes, etc.

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You can also export all your shape data as a CSV. Exported data will include shape name, shape library, text fields, and data. Click File > Download As > CSV of Shape Data.

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If you haven't designated your header, no worries! You can choose any row in your spreadsheet to be a header row. You can turn it back to a data row with one click.

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Click to edit the label or value in the Shape Data panel. Right click to insert a label or value and delete.

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If you try to add data to a shape that already has data with the same label name, we will ask you whether you want to replace the existing data with the new data or append the new data at the bottom with a different label name.

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“Replace” will replace ALL duplicate fields (all 4 here, not just the “Name” field). “Keep” adds “2” to the end of everything.

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