Creating start lists with spreadsheets

A spreadsheet is a convenient tool if you don’t have a dedicated sports meet software to manage your start lists. There are several ways to transfer the list from the spreadsheet to the Results manager in SprintTimer. They are briefly described in the Guide, but there are a large number of options, so this post will give some more details and tips about how to set up an effective workflow. I will assume that you are using a spreadsheet on a Mac/PC and want to import it into SprintTimer. I will give some tips on how to work with Apple Numbers, Microsoft Excel, and Google Sheet. I will also discuss how to transfer the data via iCloud Drive, DropBox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.

Creating the file

The format
Independent of which spreadsheet and cloud solution you are using, SprintTimer will assume that the data is formatted in a certain way. The first line should contain the name of the race, plus heat, round and event numbers if needed: 
Race name, heat, round, event id
The consecutive lines should contain one competitor per line with the content in the following order:
Start-number, Lane, First name, Last name, Team
If you don’t want Start-number or lane, leave that cell empty, but don’t shift the names left.

You can include several heats in one list, they should then be separated by a line beginning with a #
So a start list with two heats could look like:

Legends M 100 m11
Legends W 100 m21

Example files are available here
Apple Numbers
Google Sheet

The CSV-file
The second requirement is that the data is exported as a CSV-file (something all spreadsheets can do). This is a simple text-file with the fields separated by comma (,) or semicolon (;). The advantage is that the file can be read and created in essentially any text-editor. The disadvantage is that any comma is interpreted as a field separator. So do not use commas or semicolons in the text, e.g. in the race name. An example file is available here

Transferring the file

The clouds
All cloud transfers are best handled through the Files app on the iPhone/iPad. iCloud Drive is available by default. If you prefer any of the other cloud solutions, download the respective app and login to your account. They will then automatically appear in the Files app.

You have two ways to get the file from the Files app to SprintTimer. You can either open SprintTimer and go to Results manager – Start lists – Import and pick the file. See video. This usually works fine with iCloud and DropBox, but Google and Microsoft sometimes erroneously reports that the file doesn’t exist (this not only with SprintTimer). An alternative method is to open the file in the Files app, tap “Share” and then select “Copy to SprintTimer” among the available applications (tap on more if you don’t see it). See video.

If you are creating the file on a Mac you can use AirDrop to transfer. Save the CSV-file locally and airdrop it to your iPhone/iPad. You will get question about which application to open it with. Tap SprintTimer and the file is imported.

Copy and Paste
SprintTimer also supports pasting the data directly into the Results manager (if you have SprintTimer Pro). You can do this from any of the iOS spreadsheet apps. You can also use the Universal Clipboard to copy directly from a Mac. If you are on Mac OS Catalina you can also paste to an iPad attached with Sidecar.

Select all relevant fields in the spreadsheet and copy. Go to the start list page in SprintTimer and tap Import. You will now get a question if you want to paste the data. Paste and save. See video. Note that the option to paste only will appear if the clipboard contains enough data.

The spreadsheets

All three spreadsheets can export CSV. All three have an iOS companion app that automatically has access to what you have created on the desktop (if you are logged in respective account). On iOS only Numbers can export CSV, but you can copy from all three.

Apple Numbers
Numbers will give you the easiest way to transfer the data. Save your spreadsheet in iCloud (Numbers-iCloud, not iCloud drive). Then open the Numbers app on your SprintTimer device. Open the file and tap the more button (…) in the top right corner. Then choose “Export” and CSV. You will get a list of applications. Tap on SprintTimer (tap on more if you don’t see it). Your start list will now be on the import page in Results Manager and you can save it from there. You can also use copy and paste from the iOS app or directly from the Mac. To summarize your options:

  • Save on the Mac, open in Numbers on iOS, export as CSV to SprintTimer
  • Save on the Mac, open in Numbers on iOS, copy and paste into SprintTimer
  • Export as CSV on the Mac, Airdrop to iOS and choose SprintTimer
  • Export as CSV to iCloud Drive, import in SprintTimer

Microsoft Excel
Excel gives you the ability to save a CSV-file directly to OneDrive. From there you can open it as described above in “The clouds”. You can also copy and paste from the Excel app on iOS. Your options in short:

  • Export as CSV to OneDrive, import in SprintTimer
  • Export as CSV on a Mac, Airdrop to iOS and choose SprintTimer
  • Save on Mac/PC, open in Excel on iOS, copy and paste into SprintTimer

Google Sheet
This is the least flexible of the solutions since you can’t save a CSV-file directly to the cloud. But you can download the data as CSV. You then have to upload it to a cloud storage and proceed from there. Or, when on a Mac, Airdrop it. Your options in short:

  • Export as CSV on a Mac/PC, upload to the cloud, import in SprintTimer
  • Export as CSV on a Mac, Airdrop to iOS and choose SprintTimer
  • Save on Mac/PC, open in Google Sheet on iOS, copy and paste into SprintTimer
  • Open the sheet in Safari on an iPad with iOS 13. Copy and paste into SprintTimer