Creating empty spreadsheets in Google Drive using Drive API

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Question :

Creating empty spreadsheets in Google Drive using Drive API

I want to create an empty Google Sheet (created only with metadata) in Google Drive. When I referred to the Google SpreadSheet API documentation, it says to use the DocumentsList API, but it’s deprecated and instead asks me to use the Google Drive API. In the Drive API docs, I could not find any way to create an empty Sheet. Anyone have a clue on how to do this?

Asked By: Raghavan


Answer #1:

You can do this using the Drive API by setting the MIME type to application/

To do this in Python:

from apiclient.discovery import build
service = build('drive', 'v2')

import httplib2
credentials = ... # Obtain OAuth 2.0 credentials
http = credentials.authorize(httplib2.Http())

body = {
  'mimeType': 'application/',
  'title': 'Name of Spreadsheet',
file = service.files().insert(body=body).execute(http=http)
# or for version 3 it would be
# file = service.files().create(body=body).execute(http=http)

Head over to the Google APIs Explorer to try it out!

Answered By: bossylobster

Answer #2:

(Jul 2016) BossyLobster‘s answer above is still valid (as Drive API v2 has not been deprecated [yet]). However, below are more modern ways of doing the same thing and some videos to help with understanding:

Authorization boilerplate for both examples below

from googleapiclient import discovery
from httplib2 import Http
from oauth2client import file, client, tools

store = file.Storage('storage.json')
creds = store.get()
if not creds or creds.invalid:
    flow = client.flow_from_clientsecrets('client_secret.json', SCOPES)
    creds = tools.run_flow(flow, store)

NOTE: to create your API project and OAuth2 credentials as well as download those credentials to the client_secret.json (or client_id.json) file, go to the Google Developers Console.

  • To learn how to use the Developers Console, see this video.
  • To walk through this boilerplate authorization code, see this video. (NOTE: the boilerplate above is slightly newer/improved from the code in the video)
  • To get an intro to using the Google Drive API v2 (listing your Drive files), see this video.
  • To learn about the Google Drive API v3 (up/downloading files), see this blogpost & video. (NOTE: v2 & v3 live side-by-side… v2 not deprecated yet; v3: fewer API calls, better performance vs. v2)
  • To learn about the Google Sheets API v4 (migrating SQL data to a Sheet), see this blogpost & video.

Create new/blank Sheet w/Google Drive API v3 (& v2)

# above: SCOPES = ''
DRIVE ='drive', 'v3', http=creds.authorize(Http()))
data = {
    'name': 'My new Sheet',
    'mimeType': 'application/',
sheet = DRIVE.files().create(body=data).execute() # insert() for v2

Create new/blank Sheet w/Google Sheets API v4

# above: SCOPES = ''
SHEETS ='sheets', 'v4', http=creds.authorize(Http()))
data = {'properties': {'title': 'My new Sheet'}}
sheet = SHEETS.spreadsheets().create(body=data).execute()

Now you may ask, “Why are there two different ways of creating a blank Sheet?” To put it succinctly, the Sheets API is meant primarily for spreadsheet-oriented operations, i.e., inserting data, reading spreadsheet rows, cell formatting, creating charts, adding pivot tables, etc., not file-oriented requests like create/delete and import/export, where the Drive API is the correct one to use. It just so happens that create is sort-of both, hence why there are two ways of doing it.

Answered By: wescpy

Answer #3:

The api reference to create spreadsheet is at

The code snippet to create a new spreadsheet is as follows.

String[] SCOPES = { SheetsScopes.SPREADSHEETS };

GoogleAccountCredential credential = GoogleAccountCredential.usingOAuth2(
        Arrays.asList(SCOPES)).setBackOff(new ExponentialBackOff());

HttpTransport transport = AndroidHttp.newCompatibleTransport();
JsonFactory jsonFactory = JacksonFactory.getDefaultInstance(); service =
    .setApplicationName("Google Sheets API Android Quickstart")

Spreadsheet spreadsheet = new Spreadsheet();
SpreadsheetProperties properties = new SpreadsheetProperties();

Answered By: Uma sankar pradhan

Answer #4:

you could also try the pygsheets library i wrote , It ofcourse provies more features than just creating spreadsheets,

import pygsheets

gc = pygsheets.authorize(outh_file='client_secret.json')

# Open spreadsheet and then worksheet
gc.create('my new sheet')
Answered By: Nithin

Answer #5:

The proposed methods did not work for me, but the following code works:

# requires: uid='', pass1='password', 
# name_spr='name_of_spreadsheet'


docs_client =
docs_client.ClientLogin(uid, pass1, 'any')
document ='spreadsheet', title=name_spr)
resource = docs_client.CreateResource(document)
full_id = resource.resource_id.text # returned by gdata
gs_id = full_id[len('spreadsheet:'):]
Answered By: GrigorisG

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