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Tutorial on Connected Data

Connecting your Data to Visage

Connecting your Visage graphics to a Google Sheet allows for powerful data mapping and manipulation. With standard Google Sheet/Excel formulas, users are empowered to automate reporting by accessing raw data from various sources and pull them into Visage with a click of a button.

Create Connected Google Sheet

When your report design is finished, simply click on the Connect Data button in the Visage header menu button in the header

Visage header menu containing Connect Data button

Select Items to Connect:

Connect All/None text & chart items

  • To select all text and chart items in your Visage graphic, click the checkbox here:
  • To only connect specific items, click Map item button in the item toolbar to select individual Visage items on the toolbar of each item. The number of items you select will be displayed next to the “Create sheet” button like this: “3 selected”. This represents the number of items that will be mapped to the connected Google Sheet.

Create the Google Sheet:

Once you’ve selected all the items you want connected, click Create Sheet button in the Connect Modal to create the Google Sheet template. A connected Google Sheet will be created and stored in your Google Drive.

Connect Modal showing Create Sheet button

We will export all text and chart items selected to this Sheet, each denoted with a unique ID. If there are items you don’t need to be connected and updatable, you are free to ignore or delete those items from the Google sheet.

Success message showing creation of Google Sheet

See Data Format to get familiar with how these generated Google Sheets are formatted.

Refresh Data

The Refresh Data button in the Connect Modal to read data from the connected Google Sheet button will pull current data from the connected Google Sheet, which is linked in the modal window.

Connect Modal when a Google Sheet is connected to a Visage Graphic

You are free to rename the sheet in Google Drive. Those changes will be reflected in the link in this modal.

Update Sheet

If your Visage graphic is linked to a Google sheet but you need to connect new items, all you need to do is to click Map item button in the item toolbar to select individual Visage items on each new item’s toolbar and then click Update Sheet button in the Connect Modal to append newly selected items to the bottom of the connected Google Sheet. This will append all the newly added items to the bottom of the Google Sheet as shown the screenshot below.

Google Sheet layout showing Added Items appended to the bottom of the Google Sheet

Keeping the same data format, feel free to move these ranges of cells within your sheet to the correct graphic page number or position.

Disconnect Sheet

If you want to create another connected Google Sheet, click the Disconnect button in the Connect Modal to disconnect the Google Sheet from the Visage graphic allowing creation of a new Google Sheet button. You’ll click a second time to confirm, and this will disconnect the sheet. The modal window will return to the disconnected state, allowing you to create a new sheet.

Advanced Options: Connect Sheet

This functionality allows to pick an existing Google Sheet that properly formatted for Visage and connect it to your Visage graphic. Clicking Connect Modal Connect Sheet Button will display a Google Driver file picker allowing you to select the existing sheet.

Note: this button is hidden away under the “Advanced Options” menu. The “Advanced Options” link will only be visible if the Visage graphic does not have a connected sheet. If it does, click the disconnect (Disconnect button in the Connect Modal to disconnect the Google Sheet from the Visage graphic allowing creation of a new Google Sheet) button.

Data Format

When you click Create Sheet button in the Connect Modal to create the Google Sheet template, Visage will create a Google Sheet that has the formatting show below.

Google Sheet layout showing exported Google Sheet data format

Data format of Google Sheet created from Visage graphic

Each Visage Text or Chart Item will be labeled as such followed by a “::” and a Visage Item ID directly to the right of that cell. Each item in the Google Sheet will be grouped by page number.

Visage graphic relies on Google Sheet tab called "VISAGE_DATA" to read the data from

Connected Google Sheets have a tab that is named “VISAGE_DATA”. You can add multiple tabs to a Google Sheet as long as this tab remains. This is the tab that your graphic will reference when pulling refreshed data.
You are free to use formulas to pull data from other tabs into your “VISAGE_DATA” tab. This enables you to upload/paste your data in any format to a Google Sheet, then use formulas to transform or “pull” it into the Visage readable format of the VISAGE_DATA tab

The Cardinal Rule

We designed the connection process to be flexible. Visage reads the connected Google Sheet from left to right, top to bottom. When Visage encounters a special “::” character, it enters “parsing mode” and assumes that the data in the cell immediately below is data for an updatable chart or text item. It also assumes that there is a unique ID in the cell immediately to its right. A blank row stops “parsing mode”. This blank row is required to separate each item in the Google Sheet. Everything else is ignored.  
What that means is that users are free to organize however is useful, and have comments and text anywhere in the Google Sheet as long as the above rules are observed.


Google Sheet showing users that they are free to add notes/borders or any other customization You are welcome to add text that makes it easier for you to understand the data and layout of the sheet. You can also add borders or colored cells to your data to make it visually easier to organize.  

Google Sheet customizability showing how users can edit the title of the item. The special :: character is required however.

You can also edit the text preceding the “::”  to whatever you’d like, just make sure to keep the “::”. In this case we changed the name from “TEXT Layer 1 ::” to “Page Title ::”

Users can move items around in the Google Sheet template

You can even move around the data ranges within the Google Sheet to make it easier to understand. Anything goes as long as the cardinal rule is observed.

Common Error Messages

While flexible, there are certain requirements to the data structure that need to be met. Visage will display errors if requirements are not met. We try to make this as intuitive as possible.

Error: Expected Data But Found it Blank

This error will occur if Visage encountered a “::” but there was a blank line on the next row.


Error: Expected Blank Line

This error will occur if there was no blank row between mapped items. The beginning of these mapped items are indicated by “::”.