How to create a leaderboard using Google Sheets

Creating an online leaderboard in Google Sheets is a great way to keep score and motivate any team or group. You can use the sharing function of Google Sheets to “broadcast” your leaderboard to as many people as you want. At the same time you can ensure that only selected individuals can update the information.

Let’s look at how to setup a leaderboard and share it using Google Sheets.

To get started, create a new Google Sheet with 3 columns: Rank, Name and Score. See screenshot below.

Google Sheets Leaderboard

Note that the rank column is empty and that our scores are not sorted.

Create an auto incrementing field in Google Sheets

The first thing we will do is add a formular to the Rank column to ensure that it always displays a series of numbers beginning at 1 and then counting up. We’ll do this using the row function. Go to the cell A2and enter the following formula =row()

Google Sheets Leaderboard

You’ll see that after pressing enter, cell A2 now contains 2. This is not what we want, because it should say 1 – but it is correct, because we are in the second row 😉. The solution is quick: we alter the formula to say =row()-1.

We now need to copy the formula to all the rows below. Click on the cell you edited and hover your mouse over the square caret, click and drag downwards. It should now look like this:

Google Sheets Leaderboard

Sort the scores

Next we want to sort the leaderboard so that the highest score is at the top. This requires 2 steps

  1. We “freeze” the top row of the spreadsheet to ensure our titles (Rank, Name and Score) always remain at the top (and are not moved elsewhere due to the sorting)
  2. We use Google Sheets' inbuilt sorting.

To freeze, click the “view” entry in the menu, then click on “freeze”, then click on “1 row” as shown below:

Google Sheets Leaderboard

You should now see a thick grey line under the first row of your table. Now for the sorting.

Go to the header of the column that contains your scores (in our case C) and click the small triangle. In the resulting menu select “Sort sheet A-Z”. See below:

Google Sheets Leaderboard

That’s it! Your new leaderboard is now correctly sorted. If you add new players or change players' scores, you’ll need to sort again using the step above. Note that you only need to freeze once!

Share the leaderboard

The final step is sharing the leaderboard. You probably want to share the read-only view of the leaderboard, so here are steps for doing that:

  1. Click on the green “Share” button at the top left.
  2. Click on “change to anyone with the link” to allow anyone to view the leaderboard (see below)

Google Sheets Leaderboard

You can now copy the link and share it. Here’s the link to the leaderboard used in this article.

You can also give editing rights to certain users.

One more thing

By the way, all of this functionality is also provided by Keepthescore.co but in a much better looking and easier to use package.

Please let us know if you have feedback in the comments below. Bye 👋.


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