How to Make Phone Numbers Callable in Google Sheets
If you click an email link on a webpage, it opens your default mail program. Similarly, you can make phone numbers on your website “callable” meaning when someone clicks the phone number, it will launch the dialer on their mobile phone and initiate dialing of the specified phone number. It is recommended that you make phone numbers clickable as more and more people would be accessing your site on their mobile devices.
We use the simple tel protocol to convert a plain text phone number on a web page into a clickable telephone link.
For instance, if you click this link on a mobile phone, it will open the phone dialer prefilled with the specified number. There’s no need to copy-paste numbers.
It is a bit tricky to type phone numbers inside Google Spreadsheets. Here’s why:
Phone numbers are mostly made of digits preceded by the plus (+) symbol. The problem is as soon as add the plus sign in the spreadsheet cell, it assumes that you entering a math formula and tries to calculate the value.
There are two simple workarounds to this problem. You can enclose the phone number inside double quotes (”) and precede it with an equal to (=) sign.
An even easier alternative is to use the single quote (’) before the phone number. Google Sheets will then interpret the cell’s value as text and the phone number formatting will be preserved.
Coming to the main problem, how do you make phone numbers inside a Google Sheet clickable. The obvious answer would be to use the =HYPERLINK() method with the tel protocol but, unfortunately, Google Sheets do not support it.
So a formula like
=HYPERLINK("tel:12345", "Call Me") would not work since sheets will only allow regular http and mailto hyperlinks. There’s a simple workaround though.
You can create a regular hyperlink in the cell pointing to a website which in turn redirects to the actual telephone link. To see this in action, add
https://ctrlq.org/call/ before any phone number in the Google Sheet and it will turn into a clickable telephone link.
Say you have the phone number in cell A1. Add this simple formula in any other cell and it will create a telephone link just like on a regular webpage.
=HYPERLINK("https://ctrlq.org/call/"&A1; "Call our support team")
To get a better idea, open this Phone Number Google Sheet inside the Sheets app of your Android or iPhone and try clicking any of the phone links.
Also see: Add Images in Google Spreadsheets
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.