Public sharing, importing, and embedding of Looks

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Looker admins and other users with the create_public_looks permission can enable public access for a saved Look. For users to be able to enable public access for a Look, an admin must also enable the Public URLs setting.

The first step in any method of public sharing, importing, or embedding is to enable public access on the Look you want to share.

Enabling public access for a specific Look

Public access lets you share your Look with a broader audience. When public access is enabled on a Look, Looker provides a list of shortened, unguessable public URLs. Those URLs allow anyone that you share them with to view the Look's data or its visualization.

To enable public access for a saved Look:

  1. If you are in Development Mode, click Exit Development Mode.
  2. Navigate to the Look you want to share.
  3. Select the Look's gear menu.
  4. Select Edit Settings. This opens the Look Settings window.
  5. In the Look Settings window, turn on the Public Access option.
  6. Select Save. This will make the previously grayed out URLs for the Look accessible to you.

Once you have enabled public access for the Look, you can copy its URLs from the following sections of the Look Settings window, allowing you to use the URLs in the following ways:

The sections below walk you through each option.

Sharing Look results through a public URL

To share Look data through a public URL, copy and use the URL from the URL section of the Look Settings window. The 32-character hash that appears in the URL should make it unguessable, so no one will be able to access this data unless you explicitly provide them with this URL.

Anyone who has the URL will be able to access the data without logging in to Looker. Therefore, do not put sensitive data into any public Look.

Changing the format

You can share and access the data in text, JSON, CSV, and HTML formats by changing the format extension of the URL. For example:

  • https://instance_name.looker.com/looks/tRpghtMTZc6ByPHVMJX8hk9FspZx3VjS.txt
  • https://instance_name.looker.com/looks/tRpghtMTZc6ByPHVMJX8hk9FspZx3VjS.json
  • https://instance_name.looker.com/looks/tRpghtMTZc6ByPHVMJX8hk9FspZx3VjS.csv
  • https://instance_name.looker.com/looks/tRpghtMTZc6ByPHVMJX8hk9FspZx3VjS.html

Default application of visualization and value_format settings

Looker applies any value_format settings that you've put in place. Looker also applies some visualization settings to your public URLs, causing your data to appear similar to a table chart. Any of the following Plot and Series visualization menu settings for the Look will be applied to the public URLs:

Removing visualization or value_format options

The application of visualization options shows up in the URL as the apply_vis=true argument. If you do not want visualization options applied, simply remove the apply_vis=true from the URL.

The application of any value_format settings shows up in the URL as the apply_formatting=true argument. If you do not want value_format settings to be applied, remove the apply_formatting=true from the URL.

The example URL below shows both arguments (scroll to see the full text):

https://instance_name.looker.com/looks/JRJTR5dDYZRVX56vyrmnpKn2HRbnhsMq.txt?apply_formatting=true&apply_vis=true

Public embedding with iframe tag

You can embed a Look's visualization or data table into a website using an HTML iframe tag.

If you want to embed the visualization that is saved with your Look, use the Embed Visualization iframe code from the Look Settings window.

If you want to embed the data table that is saved with your Look, use the Embed Data Table iframe code from the Look Settings window.

Public embedded tables cannot be sorted.

It is also possible to view an embedded visualization or data table without inserting the HTML iframe tag into your HTML code.

For private embedding, see the Private embedding and Single sign-on (SSO) embedding documentation pages.

Viewing an embedded visualization or data table without an iframe

To view an embedded visualization or data table without inserting it with an HTML iframe tag, you can paste the embed link in your browser. For example, suppose the iframe link for an embedded visualization looks like the following:

<iframe src="https://mycompany.looker.com/embed/public/CNdbvTys8ZVgQn423Sf4y2GYhy6b6522" width="600" height="338" frameborder="0"></iframe>

In this example, you can view just the embedded visualization by pasting the following URL into your browser:

https://mycompany.looker.com/embed/public/CNdbvTys8ZVgQn423Sf4y2GYhy6b6522

Exporting to Google Sheets

You can also export a Look's data directly into a Google Sheet without having to download it first.

You can also export data directly to Google Sheets using the Google Sheets action from the Looker Action Hub rather than implementing the method described below. See the Looker Actions — Google Sheets Help Center article for more information.

To import the data into a Google spreadsheet, copy the Google Spreadsheet formula from the Look Settings window. Paste the formula into the cell of the Google spreadsheet where you want the upper-left cell of your data to appear, then hit Enter. You might need to refresh the Sheet to see your imported data.

Tips and notes for Google spreadsheets

There are some things to keep in mind when using this method to export data to a Google Sheet:

  • Google Sheets are limited to 5 million cells for the entire Sheet, so your data table's columns, rows, or tabs cannot exceed that limit.
  • The URL in the Google spreadsheet function points to the saved Look rather than to a specific query. Although this lets you make changes to the data exporting to the spreadsheet, be careful when you update a Look on which a spreadsheet relies. For example, if you overwrite a saved Look, your Google spreadsheet will begin to populate with the new format.
  • Looker recommends importing a single Look to any given worksheet (tab) in your Google Sheet. The Google array functions — like VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, and ARRAYFORMULA — can help you filter, extract, and copy data between Sheets. You can also place results on separate Sheets, then build one main Sheet that graphs it all.
  • You may need to force the data in the Sheet to refresh. See the Exporting Data to Google Sheets article in the Looker Help Center for more information.

Exporting to Excel

To import the data into Microsoft Excel, you will need to download a .iqy file by completing these steps:

  1. Enable public access for the Look as described above.
  2. Save these settings. The Look Settings option for Excel Web Query File will now show a download link next to it.
  3. Click Download to download the .iqy file to your computer.

Read the instructions below for more information on how to use the .iqy file depending on your version of Excel.

Both Google and Excel will only interact with servers that have valid SSL certificates. If your Looker instance is hosted by Looker this will not be a concern. However, if you have a customer-hosted Looker instance, your admins will need to have followed these instructions when they initially set up Looker.

Tips and notes for Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to Mac Office 2011

There are some things to keep in mind when using Looker in combination with Excel spreadsheets on a Mac.

Initial data import

  1. Download the .iqy file to a known location on your computer.
  2. From the Data drop-down menu in Excel's menu bar, select Get External Data > Run Saved Query.
  3. From the Enable drop-down menu in the prompt, select Query Files.
  4. Navigate to the saved .iqy file.
  5. Click Get Data.
  6. Select location in spreadsheet to place data and click OK.

Refresh Data

  1. Click on Excel's Data tab.
  2. Click the Refresh Data button.

Tips and notes for Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to Windows Office 2013

There are some things to keep in mind when using Looker in combination with Excel spreadsheets on Windows.

Initial data import

  1. Download the .iqy file to a known location on your computer.
  2. Click on the Data tab in Excel.
  3. Click on the Existing Connection button.
  4. Click on Browse for More.
  5. Navigate to the .iqy file.
  6. Click Open.
  7. Select location in spreadsheet to place data.

Refresh Data

  1. Click on Excel's Data tab.
  2. Click the Refresh Data button.

For admins: Enabling public URLs

For any of the above features to work, you must enable Public URLs.