Applies to

  • Pro
  • Business
  • Enterprise


Who can use this capability

The sheet's Owner and Admins can modify the sheet Project Settings.

Project sheet columns: Start Date, End Date, Duration, % Complete and Predecessors

Enable automated dependency functionality in the Start Date, End Date, Duration, % Complete, and Predecessors on your project sheet.


  • Smartsheet
  • Pro
  • Business
  • Enterprise


The sheet's Owner and Admins can modify the sheet Project Settings.

Enable dependencies

If you enable dependencies in the Start Date, End Date, Duration, % Complete, and Predecessors columns, you can't use formulas.

Right-click any column header and select Project Settings to enable dependencies and map your columns to the automated functionality.

View of the Project Settings window.

With dependencies enabled, each parent row reflects a summary overview of the child rows (subtasks) indented underneath. The system calculates the values automatically, you can't modify them.

Start Date and End Date

Keep the following in mind when setting up Start Date and End Date columns:

  • Each scheduled task requires a start date and end date with month, day, and year. Use the date-picker icon to ensure the date is in the correct format. 
  • Right-click any cell and select View History to see previous date values saved. This helps you see where the timeline differs from your original schedule.
  • Rows with a given Duration and Predecessor values automatically calculate start and end dates.
  • Using the default Finish-to-Start (FS) or Start-to-Start (SS) predecessor relationship automatically sets the start date based on the dates of the Predecessor task.
  • To calculate the end date, the system automatically adds the given duration to the start date.
  • If a predecessor drives a task's start or end date, you can change it manually by clicking the cell and selecting a new date. Doing so overrides the association with the predecessor and removes the value from the row.
  • If a parent row has a predecessor value listed, this dependency relationship drives the start dates for each child row. Deleting the predecessor value on the parent row makes child rows editable for you to change dates manually.

With dependencies enabled, the start and end dates of subtasks dependent on a predecessor are not editable from a report, a row update request, or any of the mobile apps. You can manually update the Start Date or Duration of a task for it to automatically update the End Date for you.

In Gantt View, click and drag on the center of a taskbar to move the task to new start and end dates. Doing so may change the duration value, break any previously established dependencies, and remove the predecessor values. Dragging from either end of the taskbar extends the duration to new start or end dates.


The Duration column shows the duration in days only. For other times units, enter the duration manually. 

Duration represents how long a task may take. Select the Duration cell of a subtask and type in the length of time.

You can use different formats:

  • Weeks (2w)
  • Whole working days (4d)
  • Partial working days (3.5d)
  • Hours (7h)
  • Minutes (60m)
  • Seconds (500s) and milliseconds (50000ms)
  • A combination of hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds (4h 30m)
  • Elapsed time (lead with an e) indicates elapsed time duration (e3d, e5h, e3.5d)

A task with a duration in elapsed time ignores non-working time. The task starts and ends in the amount of time specified regardless of working day length and non-working days in the sheet.

Parent rows always reflect duration in partial working days.

If your task takes longer than anticipated, you can increase the duration to push out the end date. This also pushes out the end dates of any dependent tasks automatically. A duration of zero creates a diamond shape on the Gantt chart to indicate that the task is a milestone marking a significant event or checkpoint.

When you provide a duration and a start date, the dependency functionality calculates the end date automatically by adding the number in the Duration cell to the start date, excluding any non-working days.

If using partial working days, Smartsheet also considers the length of working days when calculating the end date. You can manually schedule a task to start on a non-working day. When doing so, the start date is included in the duration, but it excludes subsequent non-working days.

By default, the number of hours per working day is eight, but you can change this in the Project Settings of your sheet.

% Complete

On each child row, you can use the % Complete column to manually fill in the percentage of work completed for that task. This overlays a gray bar on each task in the Gantt chart to visualize the progress. In parent rows, Smartsheet automatically calculates the % Complete based on both the Duration and % Complete values of the child rows.

To format values in this column as percentages, click the column header at the top, then click the % icon in the left toolbar.

The % Complete automation in parent rows is optional. Open the Project Settings and set the % Complete column drop-down list to None to disable automation. You can use formulas in the parent rows or set the parent row values manually to remove the progress indicator from the Gantt bars.


You can make a task dependent on another task by typing another row's number in its Predecessor column. The dates for the task automatically adjust as the predecessor task dates change.

The task dependencies you create using the Predecessors column also drive the project's critical path. With task dependencies in place, Smartsheet can determine the sequence of tasks that drive the duration of the overall project. You can display this sequence in the Gantt chart via the critical path feature.

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