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The best workaround I have found so far is:

worksheet_name!$A$1:$YY

but ideally I would like to be able to simply write, e.g.:

worksheet_name!

So, does anyone know: is there a syntax for specifying a whole sheet as a range?

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migrated from superuser.com May 12 '13 at 17:05

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I've created a small Google Apps Script (GAS) snippet, to do the work for you.

Code

function sheetRange(targetName,int) {
  var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();
  var asName = ss.getActiveSheet().getSheetName();
  var tgSheet = ss.getSheetByName(targetName);
  var output;

  if(targetName == asName) {
    output = "Error: target sheet is active sheet !!";
  } else {
    switch(int) {
      case 1: 
        output = tgSheet.getDataRange().getValues();
        break;
      case 2:
        output = tgSheet.getSheetValues(1, 1, tgSheet.getMaxRows(),  
          tgSheet.getMaxColumns());
        break;
      default:
        output = "Choose int to be 1 or 2 !!";
    }
  }
  return output;
}

In the spreadsheet menu, select Tools>Script editor, and add the code. Make sure to press the bug button:
enter image description here

Usage

=sheetRange("sheetName",int)

Use the int option as explained under remarks.

Example

I've created an example file you you: Sheet as Range

Remarks

In this case, there are two ways to determine a range in a spreadsheet via GAS:

  1. int=1; Via the getDataRange method. This will retrieve a range, in which the last column is the one that has data in it. The same accounts for the number of rows. This is usually the most straightforward route. See second sheet in example file.
  2. int=2; Via the getSheetValues method. This will retrieve a "WYSIWYG" range. See third sheet in example file.
  3. Refresh rates of these types of custom function aren't immediate, so please be patient. It may take several hours for data to be refreshed.

References

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I don't know a specific one, but I think you can use some formulae if you don't know the number of rows/columns:

indirect("Sheet!1:"&countif(Sheet!A:A,"<>@")+countif(Sheet!A:A,"=@"))

Here, Sheet is your sheet name, and @ is an arbitrary string. If that sheet you're selecting has @ in one cell, it won't work. You can replace it by another character if ever the sheet contains such a cell.

The COUNITF here counts the number of rows in column A:A not containing @, which should be all if there are no cells containing it, and INDIRECT transforms Sheet!1:### (where ### is the number of rows) into an actual selected range.

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I appreciate the effort, but as far as I can tell, your suggestion yields no advantages over the workaround I mentioned in my question, but has the disadvantages of being more verbose and requiring the user to input a character that won't ever be present in the sheet. –  sampablokuper May 28 '13 at 16:10
    
@sampablokuper About it being verbose, I don't think I can find a solution for that, as for the second part, I overlooked something which I have now added to my answer. Also, as far as I can see, the advantage it has over your current workaround is that you don't need to know how many rows or columns the sheet has. But yes, that's as far as it gets :( Perhaps one can make up a function from a VBA script. –  Jerry May 28 '13 at 16:54
    
Thanks, but my current workaround does not require one to know how many rows the sheet has, nor how many columns it has as long as it has <676 columns. –  sampablokuper May 29 '13 at 19:56

Assuming you know the number of rows, you can name the entire sheet as "worksheet_name":

STEPS:

  1. Select the entire worksheet
  2. Click 'Data' -> 'Named and Protected Ranges'
  3. Type "worksheet_name" to name the selection & click Done.

Now every time you use "worksheet_name" in a function, it will reference the entire worksheet.

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2  
Your method will result in a "snapshot" range. Adding both columns or rows will not change the named range !! –  Jacob Jan Tuinstra Aug 12 '13 at 20:44

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