How to Use People Chips in Google Sheets

Insert People Chips in Google Sheets to tag a person inside a cell to view their contact information and to connect with them in a jiffy.

People Chips is a new feature introduced to Google Sheets at end of 2021. It allows you to tag a person from your Google Contact list inside a cell and show the contact details when hovered over the name. This feature is similar to the Smart Chip in Google Docs that allows you to choose people, email, group, and others when you type the @ symbol.

When you hover over the inserted People Chip (name) you will see various vital information about that person including job title, location, and contact info (email address, phone number, etc.). Adding People Chips can be really helpful for sending emails or messages, starting video calls, scheduling meetings, and assigning tasks to individuals directly from the Google Sheets cell. Let’s dive in and see how to insert and use People Chips in Google Sheets.

What are People Chips

People Chips are a part of the new direction that Google Workspace is heading in with the Smart Canvas initiative. They show useful information about your contacts when you hover over them, including contact info, your recent interactions with them, calendar events as well as easy ways to communicate with them.

Although very similar to smart chips in Google Docs, they are limited in the extent of functionality. You can only add people or groups with the People Chips option. One important thing to note is that they don’t notify the person when you add them to the sheet; that’s simply not their purpose. At least, not for now. Maybe Google will add more features in the future.

You can also format the People chips such as changing the color, size, and font style.

How to Insert People Chips in Google Sheets

Using People Chips in Google Sheets is as easy as eating potato chips. You can easily insert people chips in Google Sheets in a few steps by either using the menus or typing ‘@’ in the cell.

Insert by Typing @

First, select a blank cell and type the @ symbol. As soon as you type the @ symbol, you will see a drop-down that’ll show you the people you recently interacted with in Google Workspace.

Type the person’s name or the first few letters of the person’s name you want to add to the People Chips to narrow down your search. Then, select a contact from the drop-down list under ‘PEOPLE’ or ‘GROUP’.

Insert from the Menu

The second method to insert People Chips is by clicking the ‘Insert’ menu and selecting the ‘People chip’ option.

Now, you can type the first letter of the contact name or their full name and select the contact from the drop-down list.

And your people chip will be inserted into the selected cell.

Convert Email to People chip

You can also convert the typed email address into a people chip.

First, type the email address in a cell where you want to insert a people chip.

Then, right-click on the email address and select the ‘Convert to people chip’ option.

If you have a list of email addresses in a column, all of which you wish to convert to people chip names, then simply select the whole column, right-click on it and select the ‘Convert to people chip’ option.

Now, the people chip will be inserted into the selected cell(s).

Note: Cells with values other than an email address won’t be converted to People Chips.

Sometimes, even when you are trying to convert an email address into a people chip, you will see an error similar to this – ‘Cell B11 contains an invalid email’.

In such cases, open Google’s ‘Contacts’ app, and click the ‘Create contact’ button. Then, enter the necessary information into the contact profile and save it.

After that, try inserting the people chip again in the people chip.

How to Use People Chips in Google Sheets

If the contact has a Google profile (Google Contacts), you will only see the name of the person, otherwise, you will just see their email address as plain text. After the people chip is inserted, hover over the smart chip to reveal the information about the contact such as email address, phone number, his/her organization as well as ways to communicate with them.

In the smart chip, you have ‘Send email’, ‘Send message’, ‘Start video call’, and ‘Schedule an Event’ options to connect with the person directly from within the cell. Click ‘Open Detailed View’ from the People Chip card to view more details like your recent interactions with them across Google Workspace.

As soon as you tag a person in a document, you will also see a prompt box at the corner of the window stating that they don’t have access to the document. Click the ‘Share’ button if you wish to share access to the document with the tagged person.

How to Disable People Chips/ Revert the Chips to Email Addresses in Google Sheets

If you no longer want the smart chip and you wish to revert the People Chip into an email address, you can easily do that in two steps.

Select the cell(s) that contains the People Chips. Then, right-click on it, go to ‘View more cell actions’, and select the ‘Remove smart chip’ option.

And the people chips will be now displayed as regular email addresses in the cell.


That’s it. The People Chip functionality is pretty limited as of now and there’s not much you can do with it.