Automatically issue Teachable course certificates with Apps Script

In this post I’m going to show you how you can setup a system to automatically issue certificates to students who complete an online course on the Teachable platform, using Google Apps.

First, it captures course completion data in a Google Sheet. Second, it creates a PDF certificate based on a Google Doc template. And third, it emails that certificate out to the student via Gmail.

It has the advantage that it’s free and doesn’t involve any other paid third-party tools.

It has the disadvantage that there’s quite a few steps involved to get it all hooked up.


Teachable course certificates Apps Script process

Basic webhook example

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Slow Google Sheets? 🐢
Here are 27 ideas to try today

Slow Google Sheets?

We’ve all been there, stuck watching the little loading bar creep slowly, frustratingly to it’s conclusion:

Slow Google Sheets loading bar

How can you speed up a slow Google Sheet?

First off, this is a difficult question to answer because there are so many factors that may or may not be causing you to have a slow Google Sheet.

What follows in this article is some suggested optimization strategies and some research into what causes slow Google Sheets.

Strategies to speed up Google Sheets

  1. How to recognize slow Google Sheets (details)
  2. Know the size limits of Google Sheets (details)
  3. Measure a Google Sheet’s size (details)
  4. Measure a Google Sheet’s calculation speed (details)
  5. Delete un-used cells (details)
  6. Convert formulas to static values wherever possible (details)
  7. Use closed range references (details)
  8. Remove volatile functions or use with caution (details)
  9. Vlookup strategies (details)
  10. Index-Match strategies (details)
  11. Query function strategies (details)
  12. Array Formula strategies (details)
  13. Import Formula strategies (details)
  14. Google Finance function strategies (details)
  15. Use IF statements to manage formula calls (details)
  16. Manage expensive formulas with a control switch (details)
  17. Use Filter, Unique and Array_Constrain functions to create smaller helper tables (details)
  18. Avoid long calculation chains (details)
  19. Reference data on the same Sheet (details)
  20. Use helper columns (details)
  21. Split your slow Google Sheet into separate Sheets (details)
  22. Use Conditional Formatting sparingly (details)
  23. Leverage the power of Apps Script (details)
  24. Use custom formulas sparingly (details)
  25. Other troubleshooting tips for slow Google Sheets (details)
  26. Understand changes in the cloud can take time to propagate (details)
  27. Know when it’s time to move to a database (details)

Continue reading Slow Google Sheets? 🐢
Here are 27 ideas to try today

Explaining syntax differences in your formulas due to your Google Sheets location

Did you know that formulas are written differently depending on where in the world you’re located? For example, the syntax in the US is different to that in Italy.

This post explores the syntax differences that occur based on your Google Sheets location, i.e. the location you’re working in, assuming your Google settings match (which they would by default).

Formula syntax based on Google Sheets location
What wizardry is this? Either this format will look utterly normal to you, or it won’t.

If you’ve ever copied a template but been unable to get it working, or simply not understood a formula, then it’s possible you’ve run into this syntax issue due to Google Sheets location.

This handy guide will show you the differences and hopefully help you translate seamlessly when sharing Sheets in different locations.

For the most of the world, aside from Europe, you write decimals with a decimal point notation (for example $2.50) and your formulas will use commas to separate the different parts.

I’m currently based in the US, my Google account is set to a US location, so all the articles and template downloads on this site use this notation. (Incidentally, I’m from the UK originally, but since they use the same decimal notation there, formulas in my Google Sheets are the same regardless.)

For countries using decimal comma separators (for example €2,50), which is most of the European countries and a select few others, the syntax for formulas is slightly different, as explained below.

So, ask yourself now where you’re based and how you write your decimal numbers, and then see the different sections below for guidance on how your formulas are written.

How to change Google Sheets location

Before getting to the nitty-gritty of formula syntax, let’s first see where we set the location.
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How to use the Google Sheets Filter function: a guide to get you started right now

The Google Sheets FILTER function is a powerful function we can use to, well, filter our data.

Filter function in Google Sheets

Suppose we want to retrieve all values above a certain threshold? Or values that were greater than average? Or all even, or odd, values?
Continue reading How to use the Google Sheets Filter function: a guide to get you started right now

How to use Google Sheets: A Beginner’s Guide

How to use Google SheetsHow to use Google Sheets: A Beginner’s Guide

This tutorial will help take you from an absolute beginner, or basic user, of Google Sheets through to a confident, competent, intermediate-level user.

Google Sheets is a hugely powerful tool, for everything from digital marketing to finance modeling, from project management to statistical analysis, in fact, just about any activity involving the recording and analysis of data.

And if you’re (relatively) new, it really pays dividends to learn how to use Google Sheets correctly. This tutorial will help you transition from newbie to ninja in short order!

If you’re new to Google Sheets, then I recommend you start from the beginning of this article.

However, if you’ve used Sheets before, feel free to skip sections 1 and 2, and begin with the Data and basic formulas section.

A template is available for copying to your Drive, to accompany this tutorial:

Want a copy of the template from this tutorial?
Click here to create your own copy >>

In addition, various advanced resources are listed for you to take things a step further. Look for this logo: Advanced Resource


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