Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now

For questions specifically about the Google Sheets function: IMPORTXML()

Use this tag if your question is specifically about using IMPORTXML() in Google Sheets.

From the Google Support page for IMPORTXML:


Imports data from any of various structured data types including XML, HTML, CSV, TSV, and RSS and ATOM XML feeds.

Sample Usage

IMPORTXML("https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_landing", "//a/@href")



IMPORTXML(url, xpath_query)

  • url - The URL of the page to examine, including protocol (e.g. http://).

    • The value for url must either be enclosed in quotation marks or be a reference to a cell containing the appropriate text.
  • xpath_query - The XPath query to run on the structured data.

Most of the questions about IMPORTXML fall in at least one of the following categories:

  • The source code of page to examine doesn't follow the XML markup rules

    • Usually the answer is the xPath query of the topmost node that could be retrieved by IMPORTXML then suggest the use of other spreadsheet functions to get the required content.
    • Before posting your question use the W3C Markup Validation Service to check if the page to examine use valid markup.
  • The source code of page to examine doesn't contain the content to be parsed

    • The answer is that Google Sheets built-in functions aren't able to get that content.
    • The above could be because the content isn't included on the publicly available source code of the page
    • If you are planning to ask for tools recommendations to use instead of Google Sheets and IMPORTXML consider to post your question on Software Recommendations
  • The source code of page to examine follow the XML markup rules but the OP has problems to figure out the XPath query

    • IMPORTXML supports XPath 1.0
    • The answers could include a working XPath query.
    • A common issue is due to quote enclosed text ("text") on the xPath query. Use apostrophes to enclose text instead ('text').
  • The issue isn't related to the page to examine


Tag wikis on other Stack Exchange sites


history | excerpt history