Working with Data Types

Data Types let you use your cells for more than just text and numbers, with support for attachments, dropdown lists, icon sets, and more.

A Data Type is a classification that can be applied to a column, range, or individual cell. A cell’s Data Type determines the type of data that it can contain. If you’ve worked with traditional spreadsheets before, you’ve likely used cells to store text and numbers.’s 25+ rich Data Types let your cells contain lots of different types of information. Use Data Types to have cells contain icon sets, dropdown select lists, clickable ratings systems, rich text with support for markdown language, file attachments, and more.

Take a look at some of these Data Types in action in this Content Calendar workbook:


  1. Checkbox: Create clickable checkboxes in cells; combine with conditional formatting rules to automatically highlight rows as they’re marked complete
  2. User: Tag and notify another user when they’re assigned to a task
  3. Select: Create a dropdown menu of select options in a cell; use Multiselect to select multiple options in a single cell
  4. Icon Set: Select from a dropdown list of icons
  5. Rating: Create a clickable numeric rating system within a cell
  6. Attachment: Upload attachments to a cell; click each thumbnail to view the attachment at full size
  7. Date: Quickly format numbers entered into a cell as date values

Using rich Data Types in your workbooks makes them more dynamic than traditional spreadsheets, allowing you to track and record different pieces of information and make key points more visible to viewers at a glance.

How to Change the Data Type of a Column

  1. Double click the column header of the column for which you want to change the Data Type
  2. Select a new Data Type from the Update column dialog

You can also change the Data Type of an individual cell or range of cells by right-clicking on your selection and choosing Edit data type... from the dropdown. Some Data Types can only be applied at the column level.

Each Data Type has its own configuration options, which you can learn more about in that Data Type’s Help Center article.

Learn More: Working with Data Types

With more than 25 Data Types to include in your workbooks, there’s a lot to know about working with this key feature. Learn more with some of these resources:

  • Introduction to Data Types” – Read about all of the Data Types supported by and learn more about using them
  • Converting the Data Type of Existing Data” – Learn about some of the behavior you might encounter when converting data between Data Types
  • Attachment” – Learn about one of’s most powerful and popular Data Types that lets you include file attachments in cells
  • User” – Learn about using this Data Type to facilitate communication and collaboration in your workbooks

Next, we’ll explore Views, another key feature that lets you work with your data in entirely new ways.