Dialogs and Sidebars in G Suite Documents

Scripts that are bound to Google Docs, Sheets, or Forms can display several types of user-interface elements — pre-built alerts and prompts, plus dialogs and sidebars that contain custom HTML service pages. Typically, these elements are opened from menu items. (Note that in Google Forms, user-interface elements are visible only to an editor who opens the form to modify it, not to a user who opens the form to respond.)

Alert dialogs

An alert is a pre-built dialog box that opens inside a Google Docs, Sheets, or Forms editor. It displays a message and an "OK" button; a title and alternative buttons are optional. It is similar to calling window.alert() in client-side JavaScript within a web browser.

Alerts suspend the server-side script while the dialog is open. The script will resume after the user closes the dialog, but JDBC connections will not persist across the suspension.

As shown in the example below, Google Docs, Forms, and Sheets all use the method Ui.alert(), which is available in three variants. To override the default "OK" button, pass a value from the Ui.ButtonSet enum as the buttons argument. To evaluate which button the user clicked, compare the return value for alert() to the Ui.Button enum.

function onOpen() {
  SpreadsheetApp.getUi() // Or DocumentApp or FormApp.
      .createMenu('Custom Menu')
      .addItem('Show alert', 'showAlert')
      .addToUi();
}

function showAlert() {
  var ui = SpreadsheetApp.getUi(); // Same variations.

  var result = ui.alert(
     'Please confirm',
     'Are you sure you want to continue?',
      ui.ButtonSet.YES_NO);

  // Process the user's response.
  if (result == ui.Button.YES) {
    // User clicked "Yes".
    ui.alert('Confirmation received.');
  } else {
    // User clicked "No" or X in the title bar.
    ui.alert('Permission denied.');
  }
}

Prompt dialogs

A prompt is a pre-built dialog box that opens inside a Google Docs, Sheets, or Forms editor. It displays a message, a text-input field, and an "OK" button; a title and alternative buttons are optional. It is similar to calling window.prompt() in client-side JavaScript within a web browser.

Prompts suspend the server-side script while the dialog is open. The script will resume after the user closes the dialog, but JDBC connections will not persist across the suspension.

As shown in the example below, Google Docs¸ Forms and Sheets all use the method Ui.prompt(), which is available in three variants. To override the default "OK" button, pass a value from the Ui.ButtonSet enum as the buttons argument. To evaluate the user's response, capture the return value for prompt(), then call PromptResponse.getResponseText() to retrieve the user's input, and compare the return value for PromptResponse.getSelectedButton() to the Ui.Button enum.

function onOpen() {
  SpreadsheetApp.getUi() // Or DocumentApp or FormApp.
      .createMenu('Custom Menu')
      .addItem('Show prompt', 'showPrompt')
      .addToUi();
}

function showPrompt() {
  var ui = SpreadsheetApp.getUi(); // Same variations.

  var result = ui.prompt(
      'Let\'s get to know each other!',
      'Please enter your name:',
      ui.ButtonSet.OK_CANCEL);

  // Process the user's response.
  var button = result.getSelectedButton();
  var text = result.getResponseText();
  if (button == ui.Button.OK) {
    // User clicked "OK".
    ui.alert('Your name is ' + text + '.');
  } else if (button == ui.Button.CANCEL) {
    // User clicked "Cancel".
    ui.alert('I didn\'t get your name.');
  } else if (button == ui.Button.CLOSE) {
    // User clicked X in the title bar.
    ui.alert('You closed the dialog.');
  }
}

Custom dialogs

A custom dialog can display an HTML service user interface inside a Google Docs, Sheets, or Forms editor.

Custom dialogs do not suspend the server-side script while the dialog is open. The client-side component can make asynchronous calls to the server-side script using either the google.script API for HTML-service interfaces or server handlers for UI-service interfaces.

The dialog can close itself either by calling google.script.host.close() in the client side of an HTML-service interface or UiInstance.close() in a UI-service interface. The dialog cannot be closed by other interfaces, only by the user or itself.

As shown in the example below, Google Docs, Forms, and Sheets all use the method Ui.showModalDialog() to open the dialog.

Code.gs

function onOpen() {
  SpreadsheetApp.getUi() // Or DocumentApp or FormApp.
      .createMenu('Custom Menu')
      .addItem('Show dialog', 'showDialog')
      .addToUi();
}

function showDialog() {
  var html = HtmlService.createHtmlOutputFromFile('Page')
      .setWidth(400)
      .setHeight(300);
  SpreadsheetApp.getUi() // Or DocumentApp or FormApp.
      .showModalDialog(html, 'My custom dialog');
}

Page.html

Hello, world! <input type="button" value="Close" onclick="google.script.host.close()" />

Custom sidebars

A sidebar can display an HTML service user interface inside a Google Docs, Forms, or Sheets editor.

Sidebars do not suspend the server-side script while the dialog is open. The client-side component can make asynchronous calls to the server-side script using either the google.script API for HTML-service interfaces or server handlers for UI-service interfaces.

The sidebar can close itself either by calling google.script.host.close() in the client side of an HTML-service interface or UiInstance.close() in a UI-service interface. The sidebar cannot be closed by other interfaces, only by the user or itself.

As shown in the example below, Google Docs, Forms, and Sheets all use the method Ui.showSidebar() to open the sidebar.

Code.gs

function onOpen() {
  SpreadsheetApp.getUi() // Or DocumentApp or FormApp.
      .createMenu('Custom Menu')
      .addItem('Show sidebar', 'showSidebar')
      .addToUi();
}

function showSidebar() {
  var html = HtmlService.createHtmlOutputFromFile('Page')
      .setTitle('My custom sidebar')
      .setWidth(300);
  SpreadsheetApp.getUi() // Or DocumentApp or FormApp.
      .showSidebar(html);
}

Page.html

Hello, world! <input type="button" value="Close" onclick="google.script.host.close()" />

File-open dialogs

Google Picker is a "file-open" dialog for information stored in Google servers, including Google Drive, Google Image Search, Google Video Search, and more.

As shown in the example below, Picker's client-side JavaScript API can be used in HTML service to create a custom dialog that lets users select existing files or upload new ones, then pass that selection back to your script for further use.

To enable Picker and obtain an API key, follow these instructions:

  1. In the script editor, select Resources > Cloud Platform project.
  2. In the dialog that appears, click the name of the project your script is associated with.
  3. In the console's left navigation, expand the section APIs & auth and click APIs.
  4. In the filter box, type "picker", then click "Google Picker API" once you see it.
  5. On the next screen, click Enable API.
  6. In the console's left navigation, click Credentials.
  7. In the section for public API access, click Create credentials > API key. This will create the key, but you should restrict it. Click Restrict Key.
  8. In the new tab, select the HTTP referrers (web sites) radio button.
  9. In the referer section that appears, add these URLs as referers, then click Save:

    *.google.com
    *.googleusercontent.com
    
  10. In the credentials tab, copy the API key you created for use below, then return to the script editor and click Close to close the dialog.

Code.gs

/**
 * Creates a custom menu in Google Sheets when the spreadsheet opens.
 */
function onOpen() {
  SpreadsheetApp.getUi().createMenu('Picker')
      .addItem('Start', 'showPicker')
      .addToUi();
}

/**
 * Displays an HTML-service dialog in Google Sheets that contains client-side
 * JavaScript code for the Google Picker API.
 */
function showPicker() {
  var html = HtmlService.createHtmlOutputFromFile('Picker.html')
      .setWidth(600)
      .setHeight(425)
      .setSandboxMode(HtmlService.SandboxMode.IFRAME);
  SpreadsheetApp.getUi().showModalDialog(html, 'Select a file');
}

/**
 * Gets the user's OAuth 2.0 access token so that it can be passed to Picker.
 * This technique keeps Picker from needing to show its own authorization
 * dialog, but is only possible if the OAuth scope that Picker needs is
 * available in Apps Script. In this case, the function includes an unused call
 * to a DriveApp method to ensure that Apps Script requests access to all files
 * in the user's Drive.
 *
 * @return {string} The user's OAuth 2.0 access token.
 */
function getOAuthToken() {
  DriveApp.getRootFolder();
  return ScriptApp.getOAuthToken();
}

Picker.html

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://ssl.gstatic.com/docs/script/css/add-ons.css">
  <script>
    // IMPORTANT: Replace the value for DEVELOPER_KEY with the API key obtained
    // from the Google Developers Console.
    var DEVELOPER_KEY = 'ABC123 ... ';
    var DIALOG_DIMENSIONS = {width: 600, height: 425};
    var pickerApiLoaded = false;

    /**
     * Loads the Google Picker API.
     */
    function onApiLoad() {
      gapi.load('picker', {'callback': function() {
        pickerApiLoaded = true;
      }});
     }

    /**
     * Gets the user's OAuth 2.0 access token from the server-side script so that
     * it can be passed to Picker. This technique keeps Picker from needing to
     * show its own authorization dialog, but is only possible if the OAuth scope
     * that Picker needs is available in Apps Script. Otherwise, your Picker code
     * will need to declare its own OAuth scopes.
     */
    function getOAuthToken() {
      google.script.run.withSuccessHandler(createPicker)
          .withFailureHandler(showError).getOAuthToken();
    }

    /**
     * Creates a Picker that can access the user's spreadsheets. This function
     * uses advanced options to hide the Picker's left navigation panel and
     * default title bar.
     *
     * @param {string} token An OAuth 2.0 access token that lets Picker access the
     *     file type specified in the addView call.
     */
    function createPicker(token) {
      if (pickerApiLoaded && token) {
        var picker = new google.picker.PickerBuilder()
            // Instruct Picker to display only spreadsheets in Drive. For other
            // views, see https://developers.google.com/picker/docs/#otherviews
            .addView(google.picker.ViewId.SPREADSHEETS)
            // Hide the navigation panel so that Picker fills more of the dialog.
            .enableFeature(google.picker.Feature.NAV_HIDDEN)
            // Hide the title bar since an Apps Script dialog already has a title.
            .hideTitleBar()
            .setOAuthToken(token)
            .setDeveloperKey(DEVELOPER_KEY)
            .setCallback(pickerCallback)
            .setOrigin(google.script.host.origin)
            // Instruct Picker to fill the dialog, minus 2 pixels for the border.
            .setSize(DIALOG_DIMENSIONS.width - 2,
                DIALOG_DIMENSIONS.height - 2)
            .build();
        picker.setVisible(true);
      } else {
        showError('Unable to load the file picker.');
      }
    }

    /**
     * A callback function that extracts the chosen document's metadata from the
     * response object. For details on the response object, see
     * https://developers.google.com/picker/docs/result
     *
     * @param {object} data The response object.
     */
    function pickerCallback(data) {
      var action = data[google.picker.Response.ACTION];
      if (action == google.picker.Action.PICKED) {
        var doc = data[google.picker.Response.DOCUMENTS][0];
        var id = doc[google.picker.Document.ID];
        var url = doc[google.picker.Document.URL];
        var title = doc[google.picker.Document.NAME];
        document.getElementById('result').innerHTML =
            '<b>You chose:</b><br>Name: <a href="' + url + '">' + title +
            '</a><br>ID: ' + id;
      } else if (action == google.picker.Action.CANCEL) {
        document.getElementById('result').innerHTML = 'Picker canceled.';
      }
    }

    /**
     * Displays an error message within the #result element.
     *
     * @param {string} message The error message to display.
     */
    function showError(message) {
      document.getElementById('result').innerHTML = 'Error: ' + message;
    }
  </script>
</head>
<body>
  <div>
    <button onclick='getOAuthToken()'>Select a file</button>
    <p id='result'></p>
  </div>
  <script src="https://apis.google.com/js/api.js?onload=onApiLoad"></script>
</body>
</html>

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