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How to Translate Entire Google Sheets (All Cells) [2024]

Translating Google Sheets cells one-by-one for your organization isn’t the most productive activity in your workday, is it? As it turns out, the best way to translate an entire Google Sheets spreadsheet to another language in 2024 isn’t with Google Sheets itself. Nor is it by using free third-party Google Sheets translator tools online.

Here you will learn why you can’t translate a whole Google Sheets spreadsheet (all cells) efficiently with your current method. We also tell you how to translate an entire Google Sheets document most efficiently with the best Google Sheets document translator online. As a result, you will translate Google Sheets faster, smarter and easier.

Translating Entire Google Sheets Documents: Common Issues

1. Google Sheets Itself Can’t Translate Entire Google Sheets at Once (Unless You Run a Script)

You cannot translate entire Google Sheets spreadsheets within Google Sheets without obtaining a third-party add-on from the Google Workspace Marketplace or running a Google Apps script. What’s more, your organization might not approve of these methods from a security standpoint

Otherwise, you need to copy and paste text from each cell or graphic into an external translation tool such as Google Translate. It requires you to translate one cell at a time and paste it back into your slide show. It’s tedious and very time-consuming. 

Or, you can use the Google Translate formula and apply it to all your cells one at a time. This is the =GOOGLETRANSLATE() formula.

When you use add-ons, scripts or the formula, you are giving third parties the ability to read the content of your Google Sheets document. 

In summary, if you want to translate all Google Sheets cells at once, there is no easy and quick built-in feature to do so. You can use Google Translation Hub which is Google’s answer to a web-based translation management system. However, there are some limitations to it. 

At Pairaphrase, we have created a Google Sheets translator that comes with additional benefits that might better suit your organization. We discuss this below.

2. Free Google Sheets Translator Tools Have Size Limitations

If you commonly translate a Google Sheet larger than 10MB, many free document translator tools won’t let you. For instance, Google Translate has a limit of 10MB, and it’s not the only tool that has restrictions on large Google Sheets translation. 

Therefore, if your company needs to translate large Google Sheets files, you need a better alternative.

3. URLs Get Translated

If your Google spreadsheet contains URLs, those will oftentimes be included in the translation when you try to translate a whole Google Sheet. Instead, you need a tool that is optimized for parsing data in spreadsheets so that URLs are recognized as text that shouldn’t be translated.

How Do I Translate an Entire Sheet in Google Sheets?

To translate an entire sheet in Google Sheets, use professional translation software. Our recommended solution is Pairaphrase. It allows you to translate whole Google Sheets spreadsheet files larger than 10MB, provides data security and allows you to edit/improve, save & reuse translations. Pairaphrase is also integrated with Google Drive for seamless translation (no need to convert Google Sheets to Excel before translating).

For those who don’t use Pairaphrase to translate, we provide instructions below for converting Google Sheets to Excel (XLSX). This process is to be used for translation management systems that don’t have a Google Drive integration.

How to Convert Google Sheets to Excel?

To convert a Google Sheets document to Excel in the Google Sheets application, follow these 5 steps:

  1. Go to the File menu
  2. Select “Download”
  3. Choose “Microsoft Excel (.xlxs)”
  4. Name the file
  5. Click “Save”*
how to translate in google sheets

*This process is not necessary if you use translation software that is integrated with with Google Drive, such as Pairaphrase. More on this below.

How Do I Translate Files on Google Drive?

There is currently no way to translate files directly in the Google Drive interface. You can either translate Google Sheets using the translation function in the Google Sheets app, or you can use translation software with a special integration such as Pairaphrase, which seamlessly translates Google Drive files.

Why Pairaphrase is the Best Way to Translate Google Sheets

Pairaphrase is the best way to translate Google Sheets out of any other translation software on the market. This is because Pairaphrase is the AI-powered translation management system for teams who value safer, smarter and faster translation.

It’s specially engineered to give you access to quick translations and cost-reducing features that improve your translation quality over time. This is all without requiring you to spend time learning the software. The majority of Pairaphrase users are organizations that need to translate large documents and files such as Google Sheets.

Here are some specific features that make Pairaphrase the best way to translate a Google Sheets document:

1. Batch Translation (Top Google Sheets Translation Method for Multiple Files)

Pairaphrase is the fastest way to translate Google Sheets spreadsheets “in bulk”. It allows you to upload a Google Sheets spreadsheet file and receive a first draft translation of it within seconds or a couple minutes.

Even text within the charts and diagrams you create within Google Sheets spreadsheet will be translated for you. Not only are all the Google Sheets cells translated for you in one go, but you also have the ability to translate multiple files or documents at the same time in a single batch.

This is particularly useful for a group of files that are related to a single project (we’ll explain further in the Translation Memory section).

2. Translate an Entire Google Sheets Document & Keep Formatting

File formatting preservation is another feature that makes Pairaphrase the best way to translate a Google Sheets file.

When you run your entire Google Sheets file through Google Sheets translator tools online, many of them will lose all the formatting and layout. Pairaphrase will attempt to retain much of your image placement, line breaks, paragraph breaks, font properties, images and charts. 

This means that you save countless hours of work because you won’t need to reformat an entire Google Sheets spreadsheet.

**Please note Pairaphrase automatic formatting isn’t perfect, but it will save you lots of time.**

3. Reuse Words & Phrases (Translation Memory)

One of the strongest arguments for Pairaphrase being the best way to translate Google Sheets is its use of Translation Memory technology.

After you receive that quick first draft translation of your Google Sheets file from Pairaphrase, you can edit the translation segments within the Translation Editor to improve the translation. As you edit the file and save your changes, your text is stored in a bilingual central repository for future use as translation memories.

How Translation Memory Helps with Translating Google Sheets

Translation memories are terms and phrases that were previously either machine-translated and human-edited or human-translated and saved within the system.

When you upload more documents for future translation work, the system separates your source text into segments and then searches for exact or fuzzy matches of those segments in your translation memories. The system will present the most closely-related phrase from your translation memories to be used as the translation. You can then accept or modify those “matches” to be used as the translation for a segment.

As you save translations in your translation memories, you get more matches and the system continuously improves translation quality. This also significantly reduces your translation time and costs. It’s important to keep in mind that in order to reap the benefits of a translation memory system, human editing of machine translation or human translation is required.

4. Google Sheets Spreadsheet Translation Collaboration

You might find yourself in a situation where you need to work with a subject matter expert on a particular translation project. Whether this person is a colleague within your organization or an external business partner, collaboration functionality is a must.

Pairaphrase offers easy, real-time collaboration. You can quickly share translated files and invite colleagues into the platform to work on edits without needing to upgrade your plan. What’s more, you can start a conversation and you can even track user edit history by segment so there’s no second-guessing regarding whom changed what.

Superior translation collaboration is another reason why Pairaphrase is the best way to translate a Google Sheet.

5. Translation Engine Options

When you use Pairaphrase as an alternative to Google Translate or in place of another free tool such as onlinedoctranslator.com, you have more flexibility. For instance, you have the choice of more than one translation engine. You can translate not only with Google’s engine, but also Microsoft and Amazon Translate.

6. Google Drive Integration

Pairaphrase is a translation management system that’s integrated with Google Drive. When you use Pairaphrase to translate a Google Sheet, you can import your Google Sheets directly from your organization’s Google Drive account for translation and export them back to your drive.

7. Data Security

Data breaches are increasing exponentially, which makes data security non-negotiable when you are translating business documents such as Google Sheets.

Pairaphrase offers the highest standards in security when it comes to protecting your translation data. Here is how Pairaphrase protects your translation data so that your company’s information stays secure and confidential:

  • SHA-2 and 4096-bit encryption
  • 256-bit SSL certification
  • Encrypted file storage in transit, in use and at rest via AWS
  • “No Return” to machine translation providers
  • PCI-compliant payment processing via Stripe
  • HIPAA, SOC1 and ISO27001 compliant datacenters
  • Multi-Factor Authentication
  • TLS 1.2 (Transport Layer Security)
  • Last login date and time display in footer
  • Automatic session logout if idle
  • Password expires after one year
  • Auto-lock after failed password attempts
  • Device Authentication
  • Compliant with GDPR & HIPAA
  • Single Sign-On
  • Supports secure browsers; Chrome, Firefox, Edge & Safari
  • Third-party security audit & assessment records

How to Translate Google Sheets Using Pairaphrase

1. Select a source language

2. Select a target language or languages

3. Click on the Google Drive icon

how to translate google sheets in google drive

4. Complete the Google verification process

5. Select the Google Sheets file or files from your Google Drive

6. Click on the Translate button

Ready to Get Started?

Pairaphrase allows you to translate a Google Sheet into more than 100 languages and 10,000+ language pairs. This includes English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Swedish, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and more. 

It also performs file translation for 21 additional file formats.

Now that you know how to translate an entire Google Sheets document efficiently using Pairaphrase, experience it for yourself!

google sheets translator

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