Applies to

  • Pro
  • Business
  • Enterprise

Reference Children, Parents, and Ancestors with Hierarchy Functions


  • Smartsheet
  • Pro
  • Business
  • Enterprise

You can use hierarchy in Smartsheet to indent or outdent groups of cells to better show relationships between groups of data. Hierarchy functions allow you to include cells in other functions based on their indent level in a sheet. You can place a hierarchy function inside of another function, for example, to automatically reference all indented child cells underneath a parent, even as new child rows are added to the parent row. For example, you could use the following formula to sum all of the child values in a particular column:


For more information about how to use the functions that allow you to work with hierarchy, see  the following in the Smartsheet Function reference:

You must have Editor- or Admin-level sharing permissions or be the sheet Owner to create and edit formulas in a sheet. Editors can only create and edit formulas in unlocked cells. Details about locked cells can be found in our Locking and Unlocking Columns and Rows article.

Hierarchy functions are not supported in cross-sheet formulas. Attempting to use the CHILDREN, PARENT, and ANCESTORS functions in a cross sheet formula will result in an #UNSUPPORTED CROSS-SHEET FORMULA error in the cell containing the formula. For more information, see Formula Error Messages and Formulas: Reference Data from Other Sheets.

Still need help?

Use the Formula Handbook template to find more support resources, and view 100+ formulas, including a glossary of every function that you can practice working with in real time, and examples of commonly used and advanced formulas.

Find examples of how other Smartsheet customers use this function or ask about your specific use case in the Smartsheet online Community.

Ask the Community

Was this article helpful?