skypager google docs helper

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import skypagerHelpersGoogleDoc from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/@skypager/helpers-google-doc';


Google Docs Helper

Provides a model for working with google documents, as collections of documents and individual instances.

Use this helper to build a content object model which combines an organized collection of google documents, with JavaScript functions that can be used to represent the information in them in some desired format.

This can be used to power a static site generator, a blog, use your imagination.

Learn about their structure

This can be used to turn google documents into markdown, or to treat google documents as a content database for a CMS.


To use this library in your own project, make sure to install it


npm install @skypager/node @skypager/helpers-google-doc --save


yarn add @skypager/node @skypager/helpers-google-doc --save

Required Setup

You'll need

  1. a Service Account JSON
  2. The Google Drive and Google Sheets APIs
  3. Google Sheets shared with the client_email from the service account.

Server to Server Auth

Using this module requires using interacting with Google APIs using their server to server auth method, which is powered by Service Account credentials.

A Service Account credential looks like:

  "type": "service_account",
  "project_id": "your-project-id",
  "private_key_id": "your-private-key-id",
  "private_key": "-----BEGIN PRIVATE KEY-----\nYOUR-PRIVATE_KEY\n-----END PRIVATE KEY-----\n",
  "client_email": "some-random-email@your-project-id.iam.gserviceaccount.com",
  "client_id": "your-client-id",
  "auth_uri": "https://accounts.google.com/o/oauth2/auth",
  "token_uri": "https://oauth2.googleapis.com/token",
  "auth_provider_x509_cert_url": "https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v1/certs",
  "client_x509_cert_url": "https://www.googleapis.com/robot/v1/metadata/x509/your-project-id.iam.gserviceaccount.com"

You can manage your Service Accounts by going to the Google Cloud Console and creating a project or selecting the one you want to work with.

Once you are there, under the IAM & admin section you can click on Service Accounts. (e.g. https://console.cloud.google.com/iam-admin/serviceaccounts?project=your-project-id)

Create a service account, and download the JSON to secrets/serviceAccount.json, or some other path.

You'll use this service account when activating the helper, as you'll see in USAGE.

Enable Google APIs

You'll also need to enable the Google Drive Google and Google Docs APIs.

In the Google Cloud Console, under APIs and Services choose Library (e.g. https://console.cloud.google.com/apis/library?project=your-project-id)

Share Your Docs

With the server to server auth set up, the last step is to share the documents you want to load with the service account client email you'll be using to access them.

You can find the email address in client_id property of the service account json


Until I get better acquainted with the underlying google apis this library uses, the service account has to be saved to disk.

const runtime = require('@skypager/node')
const GoogleDocHelper = require('@skypager/helpers-google-doc')

const pathToServiceAccount = process.env.GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS || '/path/to/service-account.json'
const serviceAccount = require(pathToServiceAccount)
const googleProject = process.env.GCLOUD_PROJECT || serviceAccount.project_id

// this creates runtime.googleDocs and runtime.googleDoc 
runtime.use(GoogleDocHelper, {
  serviceAccount: pathToServiceAccount,


async function main() {
  await runtime.googleDocs.discover({ includeTeamDrives: true })

  const firstAvailable = runtime.googleDocs.available[0]
  const googleDoc = runtime.googleDoc(firstAvailable)

  await googleDoc.load()

  const { 
    // the title of your doc
    // all of the content nodes 
    contentNodes = [],
    // all the heading nodes
    headingNodes = [],
    // all the paragraph nodes
    paragraphNodes = [], 
    // all the lists
    lists = [], 
    // all the tables
    tables = [] ,
    // all of the styles (e.g. heading 1, heading 2)
    namedStyles = {}
  } = googleDoc

    contentNodes: contentNodes.length, 
    headingNodes: headingNodes.length, 
    lists: lists.length,
    namedStyles: Object.keys(namedStyles).length