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I've tried selecting the table in the document, copying it, and pasting into a new spreadsheet, but this results in a one-column spreadsheet with all of the columns flattened into one.

I don't see a way to select a single column, or I could potentially copy the table a column at a time (it only has about 13 columns).

I only have to do this to one document, so a multi-step process is OK.

PS, I'm using the Chrome browser on a Mac

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The issue could was due to an extension or addon interfering. The very first troubleshooting step for issues like this is to try using the private navigation mode of the browser. By the other hand, IMHO, the answer by dnbrv should be accepted because it's the most general case, and it's current at this time. –  Rubén Jun 5 at 23:36
@Rubén - I've updated the answer to note that Google have fixed the bug that existed back when this question was asked. Thanks for the reminder that this old question is still out there. –  TomG Jun 6 at 2:03

4 Answers 4

I just tried it in Chrome on Windows and it works the following way. Start selecting the table just below the lower-left cell (click where the cursor changes to the one indicating text entry) and drag the selection all the way up to the top-left cell until all of them are filled with a blueish highlight. Then press CTRL + C, switch to Google Spreadsheet and press CTRL + V.

In the screenshot the highlight is gray because the window was out of focus.


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Thanks. Chrome on the Mac selects whole rows when I do that... I'll try it on Windows tomorrow and accept if I can get it to work. –  TomG Jan 4 '12 at 3:18
Google Docs allows selecting only the entire table - you can't select either a row or a column. However, once you transfer the entire table into Google Spreadsheets, you can delete the unnecessary columns or rows. –  dnbrv Jan 4 '12 at 3:22
I've tried a couple variations on this with windows and Mac browsers with no luck. I ended up mailing the doc to myself as an RTF (see answer) –  TomG Jan 5 '12 at 2:59
That's very strange behavior. I wonder why the process didn't work for you. –  dnbrv Jan 5 '12 at 3:14
All of the data transfers to the spreadsheet, but it gets turned into one long column (if there are 4 rows of 6 columns, it pastes as one column of 24 rows). Thanks; +1 for the detailed example of where to click! –  TomG Jan 5 '12 at 3:21

I did the following on Windows and it worked. In your google doc, click file and then Download as docx file. Then open it in Word. Select the table in Word and copy it to google spreadsheet. It will keep the format and data. Much better than copy it directly from google doc because it will make all the data go into one column and make it unreadable.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

EDIT June 2015: sometime in the three+ years since this question was posted, Google has fixed the copy to clipboard functionality; you can now select the table, copy, and paste into a spreadsheet with the expected result.

I ended up using the Google Docs "share as an email attachment" function to send it to myself as an .rtf attachment. Opened that in OpenOffice (Word would have worked as well), selected the table, and pasted into an OO spreadsheet. Cleaned up the headings (all the other data transferred fine), and then copied/pasted into the Google spreadsheet.

I think I could have skipped the OO spreadsheet step, but didn't test it.

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This answer if fine as a workaround, but it could not be necessary for all other users that have the "the same question". If you still have the same issue, please consider to update your question with more details like if you have extensions for Chrome installed or other kind of software that could interfere with the default behaviour of your browser. –  Rubén Jun 5 at 23:40

To get a table from Word to a gdoc spread sheet, it only worked for me when selecting the entire table using the little four arrowed icon that appears in the top left corner of a table. Then pasting into gdocs was fine. All other ways of selecting rendered the table as a single column....

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