Utilizing Google Docs as a Code Runner: A Step-by-Step Guide

Utilizing Google Docs as a Code Runner: A Step-by-Step Guide

Good day! Google Docs is undoubtedly something you’ve used for producing documents and essays, but did you realize it has a lot more capabilities? You’ll be pleasantly delighted to hear that Google Docs can also be used as a JavaScript playground, in addition to being a word processor. It’s ideal for quickly executing JavaScript code snippets, but it won’t replace a specialist IDE like Visual Studio Code.

Let’s take a look at an example Google Docs page that uses a JavaScript function to determine how many days are remaining till the upcoming holiday.

Unleashing the Magic: Code Runner in Google Docs:

A little-known Google Apps Script performs the magic in the background. This script reads the body of your Google Document as a text string and then evaluates the text using JavaScript’s robust eval() method.

/**
 * @OnlyCurrentDoc
 */

function codeRunner() {
  const doc = DocumentApp.getActiveDocument();
  const text = doc.getBody().getText();
  const response = eval(text);
  DocumentApp.getUi().alert(response);
}

function onOpen() {
  const ui = DocumentApp.getUi();
  const menu = ui.createMenu('Code Runner');
  menu.addItem('🦄 Run JavaScript ', 'codeRunner');
  menu.addToUi();
}
How It Works:

We may utilize the eval() function in Google Docs to run code snippets thanks to Google Apps Script. It’s really simple, and with just a few easy steps, you can test it out for yourself.

Step 1: Setting Up the Environment

You must have a Google account in order to utilize Google Docs as a code runner. If you don’t already have one, visit Google and register for free. Access Google Docs (docs.google.com) after logging in and start a new document.

Step 2: Enabling Google Apps Script

You must first enable Google Apps Script in order to run JavaScript script. This is how:

  • In the Google Docs top menu, select “Extensions”.
  • A new Apps Script window will emerge after you choose “Apps Script” from the drop-down option.
  • Give your script a name, then select “File” > “Save” to store it.

After completing that, you are ready to run your code!

Step 3: Running Your JavaScript Code

You can now write and run JavaScript code snippets inside your Google Docs document because Google Apps Script is enabled.

Say you want to determine how many days are left until Christmas in the future. Just enter the code shown below into your document:

function daysUntilChristmas() {
  const today = new Date();
  const christmas = new Date(today.getFullYear(), 11, 25);
  if (today.getMonth() === 11 && today.getDate() > 25) {
    christmas.setFullYear(christmas.getFullYear() + 1);
  }
  const oneDay = 1000 * 60 * 60 * 24;
  const daysLeft = Math.ceil((christmas - today) / oneDay);
  return daysLeft;
}

daysUntilChristmas();

Step 4: Executing Your Code

Click “Add-ons” in your Google Docs’ top menu after selecting the complete code snippet. The Apps Script window will show up on the right side after you choose “Apps Script” from the drop-down menu. Finally, activate the code by clicking the play icon (▶).

Voilà! The number of days until the following Christmas will be indicated in a pop-up notification.

Tips for Smooth Code Running:

Although Google Docs is an excellent tool for running JavaScript code, it has certain drawbacks. The following advice will help you maximize your experience:

  • Keep It Simple: Google Docs works best for brief snippets of code and instructional purposes. Use specialized code editors and integrated development environments for more complicated tasks.
  • Debugging: Check your code again for missing brackets and syntax mistakes if it’s not behaving as you’d expect. To conveniently log messages and debug your code, use console.log().
  • Organize Your Code: As your collection of code snippets grows, make it easier to navigate by combining related functions and adding comments.
  • Take advantage of Libraries: Google Apps Script provides a number of libraries that can increase its capabilities. Use them to speed up time-consuming processes and reduce effort.

Conclusion:

Congratulations! You’ve now unlocked Google Docs’ potential as a code runner. JavaScript code snippets may be executed quickly and effectively, making coding simple for newcomers and simple applications.

Remember that while Google Docs provide a convenient environment for testing code, it cannot take the place of dedicated IDEs for more complicated projects. In order to improve your programming skills, explore the world of code and experiment with various snippets.

Happy coding, and may your coding path be filled with a lot of “aha” moments!

Learn how Google Docs may be used as a JavaScript playground. Learn how to run code snippets within your documents with the help of Google Apps Script. Get the code running now and unlock the magic!

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