Protiviti / SharePoint Blog

SharePoint Blog

January 14
SharePoint 2013 Cool Tools – “Import a Spreadsheet as an App”

Disparate data exists in legacy systems across every business enterprise. Extracting this data for review and collaborative work can be a cumbersome and confusing task. Which version of the data is the most current version? Can only one person view the data at a time? What format will be most convenient for your reviewers? Where can you capture comments or version history? SharePoint 2013 has a solution for this scenario – Import a Spreadsheet as an App.

Let’s begin this process with your legacy system data which is exported from that system and is now in an Excel spreadsheet.

Prepare the data – Four tips for success

      1.       Clean the spreadsheet – It should look like a table and not have any blank columns or rows.

      2.       Add headers – All columns in the Sharepoint app need to have a column title.

      3.       Check for data consistency – Check your content – is text in a text field or are dates displayed in a consistent date format?

      4.       Match headings to content – SharePoint reads first row headings making data assumptions about column content.


Create an App

Begin by visiting the gear icon (next to your user name) and select Add an app from the menu. From the App page, search for “Import” to find the Import Spreadsheet App. Select the App. 


A new dialog page appears. Give your App a name, description and select the file you wish to import by browsing for it. Select the file.

When these steps are completed, select “Import.”


Import the data

Following your command to “Import” a new dialog box will appear requesting spreadsheet range types.

Select the appropriate range types and cells for the import. 

Confirm the Range Type and Range. If both are correct select “Import.”


SharePoint will process the Import and consume the data into a List. You are now ready to review and share this data.


When reviewing this process to create this blog post, I experienced two technical requirements that I’ve summarized below. This will save you time when working with your own import process.

First, if you encounter an error message “The specified file is not a valid spreadsheet or contains no data to import” (and you know your sheet has data) the solution is to add your SharePoint site to Trusted Sites in the security tab of your browser.

Second, if you are using Google Chrome, and encounter an error message “Active X Controls Required” the solution is to install the Chrome IE (Internet Explorer) extension tab.

Good luck with your import, let me know how it goes!

About Nora Ten Broeck, PMP, MOS: SharePoint 2013: Nora is a SharePoint enthusiast with interests in engagement management, improved business processes and Nintex. Follow her @NoraTenBroeck

Quick Launch

© Protiviti 2020. All rights reserved.   |   Privacy Policy