I'm bringing in data from WooCommerce into a Google Sheet via Zapier. It's incredibly helpful for most of the data, but there are options I need that come in as 'line items' that are not very user friendly.

I tried a split formula, but the issue I'm having is that if certain selections are not checked they don't show up in the code, so they aren't always in the same order.

This is how the line items come into the sheet:

item_meta: {u'': [u'Set Trip Details', u'45r6tfyg', u'09/28/2015', u'1', u'05', u'AM', u'Pick me up from the address I provide', u'Round Trip $85.00', u'r6ftgyuh', u'09/29/2015', u'1', u'00', u'AM', u'15% $25.50'], u'pa_airport': u'Hou'}

Now since I made the form, I'm familiar with what is what, as well as what is missing, but it will be very hard for my client to use this information on a daily basis to process orders.

Is there any way to separate out the information, as well as use conditional logic to skip cells if certain objects are unchecked?

I know this is a crazy specific question, but any help would be much appreciated!

  • 2
    What you have is essentially an array of strings. Splitting it is easy, but since there are no labels indicating the meaning of any string, it is impossible to tell if anything is missing, or in what order these should be presented. It's not a Google Sheets problem, it's your deficient data structure.
    – user79865
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 0:10
  • Look here at this post. He had a somewhat similar problem. There were many solutions suggested, one might work for you, or at least get you on the right track.
    – Aethroz
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 13:20

1 Answer 1


Google Sheets has the SPLIT() function that makes it very easy to split string including separators, but you could avoid this step and directly use SEARCH() to find if an element (string) is present.

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