I'm trying to retrieve data from Google Spreadsheets with no success.

I've gone through this:


and this:

Simple example of retrieving JSON feeds from Spreadsheets Data AP

I already set my spreadsheet as public (even though it shouldn't) just to take authentication out of the equation.

I have no problem getting the data in Atom/XML. However when I pass the parameter alt=json, I get the following error message:

The spreadsheet at this URL could not be found. Make sure that you have the right URL and that the owner of the spreadsheet hasn't deleted it.

Any ideas why this is happening?


3 Answers 3


After playing around with the API (and banging my head against the monitor), I found out that in order to retrieve data in JSON format from a public spreadsheet you actually have to go through a second process called "Publish to the web" in the Spreadsheets GUI.

What's the reason for this? I haven't found out yet, but judging by the error messages I was getting, I will call it "A BUG".

On a side note, thanks to the people that took the time to reply/edit my question

  • please consider posting this as a bug on their forum
    – NTulip
    Feb 2, 2011 at 13:21
  • The reason is that Google wants to protect your data. It allows only the owner to publish that data to the world. It is not a bug.
    – NoChance
    Aug 3, 2019 at 18:32

This thread looks like it might help you. Last comment states:

Well, I just realized I should be using the /feeds/cells/ instead of /feeds/list/

This provides the cells in separate JSON properties like I need. Sorry, I got so caught up trying to make sense of the list format that I completely forgot to look at the cells feed.

Forum Topic

  • Thanks for pointing my to the forums, they didn't address my particular issue but were helpful to understand the problem in a broader sense. Feb 1, 2011 at 17:41
  • glad i could help some - i thought for sure it would of fixed it for you.
    – NTulip
    Feb 2, 2011 at 13:21

You may try to use Power Tools Add-on where you can export selected range into XML or JSON. See the video.

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