Applies to

  • Pro
  • Business
  • Enterprise


Who can use this capability

  • Owner
  • Admin 

Apply automatic formatting with conditional formatting rules

Use conditional formatting to change the appearance of rows or cells based on the values they contain. For example, you can set an overdue task to appear in red. 


  • Smartsheet
  • Pro
  • Business
  • Enterprise


  • Owner
  • Admin 

Conditional formatting does not change cell values. To change cell values based on criteria, use a formula

Conditional formatting from linked cells is not preserved in the destination sheet.

There are three steps to apply conditional formatting:

  1. Set conditions for the rule.
  2. Define the format applied when the conditions are met.
  3. Set where you want the format applied.

Set conditions for the rule

The condition determines what triggers the formatting change.

When working in timeline view, switch to grid view to set up conditional formatting. 

  1. On the top toolbar, select Conditional Formatting Conditional formatting icon .
  2. Select Add New Rule
  3. Select <set condition>

Things to know about setting conditions 

  • Available criteria depend on the column type.
    • For a checkbox column: The criteria would be Checked or Unchecked.
    • For a date column: It might be in the past or in the next [x] days.
  • Smartsheet looks at the numbers in a column formatted for percentage as values between 0 and 1. Use decimal values to get the correct comparison, for example, 0.25 for 25% or 0.5 for 50%.
  • To further customize your rule, select define custom criteria at the top of the criteria box. 
  • To format rows that do not meet your criteria, select Apply format when condition is NOT met.

Define the format

Set up the text format you want to appear when the row meets the conditions you defined. 

  1. In the Conditional Formatting dialog, select this format
  2. Use the pop-up box to style your formatting:
    • Font: Choose a font style.
    • Font Size: Set up the text size. 
    • Task Bar: If you are using Gantt chart, timeline, card, or calendar view use this to automatically change the task bar color when the row meets the conditions you identified.
    • Other formatting buttons: Set up the text formats you want to appear. You can select to bold, italic, underline or strikethrough the text, and to change the text or background color

Set where you want the format applied

By default, the format applies to the entire row. To change this, follow these steps:

  1. Select entire row.
  2. Select the column(s) where you want to apply the formula. 

    If multiple rules have the same condition and formatting, Smartsheet consolidates them into a single rule.

  3. Select OK.
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