Control data entry and allow only specific values in a column

Applies to

Smartsheet
  • Pro
  • Business
  • Enterprise

Even when a column property is set, you can still type text or a new value into a cell. For example, you have a checkbox column in your sheet. Collaborators can still add free texts in it and overwrite the checkbox. Another example is if you have a list of dropdown values in your dropdown column. Collaborators can still add a different value from the ones listed by typing in free text to the cell.

The only columns you can't overwrite are the following system columns:

  • Auto number
  • Latest comment
  • Created by
  • Created date
  • Modified by
  • Modified date

Read on to learn how to restrict values in a cell or form field.

Restrict column data to specific values

Before you begin

Only Owners and Admins can restrict values for a column. They can also bypass data validation. If they attempt to enter a different value from those specified as valid for the column, they will receive a warning message.

To restrict values for an existing column

  1. Right-click the column header.
  2. Select Edit Column Properties. 
  3. Turn on the Restrict to toggle. 

To restrict values for a new column

  1. Insert a new column.
  2. Turn on the Restrict to toggle.

These same restrictions apply to any web forms that are associated with the sheet.