I've tried to get importxml into a function so that I can get a specific piece of info from a website, but the result I get is the formula not the result of the formula/function, here is my script, sorry I'm new a scripting very new. BTW if I copy and paste the value gotten from the function then I get what I'm looking for but have to "activate" the formula by adding and taking a character

function fveps2(ticker) {
 var url = `https://finviz.com/quote.ashx?t=${ticker}`;
 var Xpath_1 = '/html/body/div[4]/div/table[2]/tbody/tr[1]/td[4]';
 var importXpath_1 = '=IMPORTXML("' + url + '","'+ Xpath_1 + '")';
 return importXpath_1;

and the result of this script is:


rather than the above I would like to get the value of such function, so by creating a function makes it easier to call (fveps2) and get the value of such rather, than write importxml(....etc every time, therefore I can easily use my function and change the xpath to get the desired value from the source url

thanks in advance! Alex


1 Answer 1


You are apparently trying to implement fveps2() as a custom function. That will not work, because custom functions cannot set values — they can only return values. You cannot set a formula this way.

The easiest way to do this is to use a normal importxml() formula that stays the same. Make that formula refer to a cell that is changed periodically using a script that runs on a time-driven trigger.

See What are the refresh characteristics of the Google Spreadsheet Import functions? for sample code.

  • I'm not sure i understand your answer, I want the result of the function, I don't want to set a value, I would like to have the function work so it can return the value to the specified ticker but by creating a function makes it easier to call or get the value so rather than write importxml(....etc y can use my function and change the xpath to get the desired value from the source url, I hope I'm being clear, thanks!
    – chamuco
    Oct 7, 2022 at 5:18
  • The =importxml(...) thing is a formula. To get the result of the formula, you would have to use .setFormula() to put the formula in a cell. You cannot do that from a custom function such as your fveps2() function. To solve this in a different way, use the recipe I gave you and see the page I linked. Oct 7, 2022 at 8:00

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