Navigating the Smartsheet UX

We have rolled out a new way to navigate Smartsheet that will help you work even faster. We're pleased to walk you through the changes to help ensure a smooth transition.

Smartsheet Navigation Improvements FAQ

Smartsheet has recently undergone changes to improve the user experience. Below are frequently asked questions about these changes and what they mean for you.

Please also check out our help article on using the new navigation menu.

How has the navigation in Smartsheet changed?

  • A new navigation menu provides constant access to recents and favorites.
  • Direct links to every sheet, report, and dashboard simplify bookmarking and sharing your work.
  • Shifting to browser tabs from tabs in the app speeds up switching between your work.

What can I access in the navigation menu?

  • Home
  • Recents (up to 20 items)
  • Favorites (unlimited)
  • Solution Center (including templates, Create, and Import)

What is a direct link?

A direct link is a URL that contains a unique, permanent ID for a sheet, report, dashboard, workspace, or folder.

In addition to containing a unique ID, a direct link can also specify additional parameters such as:

  • Sheet view (grid, card, Gantt, calendar)
  • Specific row or card
  • Shared filters
  • Card view level
  • Card "view by" column

The direct link automatically updates in the address bar of your browser based on what you are viewing in Smartsheet: you can bookmark and share your item exactly as you view it. You might find it useful to use multiple direct links for the same item (for example, one in grid view, one in card view, one with a certain filter, and so on).

Why has Smartsheet shifted away from having tabs in the app?

Based on extensive customer research, we determined that the new navigation menu and direct links can offer customers a better navigation experience. Here are some examples:

  • In the past you could only view ~4-10 tabs on your screen at the same time. The new navigation menu will give you constant access to up to 20 of your most recently viewed items in a more intuitive list, and you’ll be able to pin items to the top of that list as needed.
  • Favorites will move from the Home screen to the navigation menu for quicker access.
  • Direct links will make it easier to bookmark and share your Smartsheet items.

If you use only a few Smartsheet items at a time and want to recreate the tab experience, you can:

  • Access your sheets at all times in the recents list of the navigation menu.
  • Bookmark the items in your browser and add them to your bookmarks bar.

Will I have the option to opt out of the changes?

No, we have released this update to all of our customers at once and will not support both interfaces moving forward.

How are direct links different than the secure links that are already available?

A direct link incorporates key attributes like sheet view and filters so bookmarked and shared links will open exactly as you intend them to be seen.
Direct links are also faster to use. You’ll be able to bookmark your Smartsheet items as you would any other webpage and send your teammates a link by simply copy/pasting straight from the address bar.

Will my old links continue to work?

Yes. All of your older links will continue to work following this update, but they will not include the additional attributes that are in direct links. Moving forward, you’ll be able to copy the direct link straight from the address bar in your browser.

Can I share a direct link with someone instead of using the share button?

Yes, but the same permission restrictions apply (see Sharing Permission Levels).

If you send a direct link to someone who already has access, they will immediately be able to view the Smartsheet item the way you are viewing it.

If you send a direct link to someone who does not yet have access, they will be prompted to request access to the item when they click on the link. After they receive access, they can then click on the direct link again.

Has this release changed how my sheets, reports, and dashboards are organized in the Home panel?

The biggest change is that you will now find your favorites in the navigation menu instead of the Home screen. While the Home layout will change a little, the way in which you organize Smartsheet items using workspaces and folders will remain the same.

This update also gives you these alternatives to using Home:

  • Organize your Smartsheet items using bookmarks in your browser of choice
  • Access favorites and recents in the navigation menu

Why does it take more clicks to open my Smartsheet items from within Smartsheet?

Since your Smartsheet items open in browser tabs now, you can take advantage of other functionality that exists in your browser. 

  • You can now bookmark Smartsheet items just as you would any website that you frequent.
  • Open the left panel to Recently Opened or Favorites, then hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) when clicking on an item to quickly open a sheet in a new tab.

How do I open multiple Smartsheet items simultaneously?

If you have multiple items that you use often, you can bookmark them and group them together in a bookmark folder. Then, you can hold Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) to open all of the items in your browser at the same time! More information on how to create bookmark folders can be found on the sites linked below:

Where on the navigation menu can use the Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) shortcut to open Smartsheet items in a new browser tab?

Currently, you can use this shortcut to open Smartsheet items in the Recently Opened and Favorites panels. Item's cannot be opened from the Home panel at this time.

Access and Organize Your Work from the Left Panel

The left panel provides quick access to that important sheet, report, or dashboard when you need it.

Click the Menu icon in the upper-left corner of Smartsheet to open or close the left panel.

Menu icon

Here are features that you can take advantage of to customize how you access your most used items in the left panel.

Use a Keyboard Shortcut to Open an Item in a New Browser Tab (Google Chrome)

  1. Locate the item that you want to open in the left panel.
  2. Hold down Ctrl+Enter (Windows) OR Command (Mac), then click the item.

Organize and Access Items in Your Directory

Home contains every Smartsheet item that you own or are shared to. Here, you can organize your Smartsheet items into folders and workspaces. 

More on workspaces can be found in the Manage Items in a Workspace help article.

Quickly Locate and Manage Recently Accessed Items

Select Recently Opened to see your most recently accessed Smartsheet items (the list can contain up to 20 items).

recently opened panel

Pin Important Items for Easy Access Later

From Recently Opened, hover over an item and click the Pin pin icon icon to keep it at the top of the panel. You can pin up to 20 items here. 

NOTE: Recently Opened can contain a maximum of 20 items. Pinning 20 times in Recently Opened will prevent other items from appearing in the panel.

Hover over a pinned item and click the Unpin icon next to items that are already pinned to unpin them.

The order in which pinned items appear is based on when you’ve pinned them—newly pinned items appear closer to the top.

NOTE: Unpinning an item does not remove it from Recently Opened, delete it, or remove your access to it. You can always access items you own or are shared to from Home.

Manage Recent Items by Removing Them

To remove an item from Recently Opened, right-click the item in the list and select Remove from Recents.

NOTE: Removing an item from Recently Opened does not delete it or remove your access to it. You can always access items you own or are shared to from Home.

Add Items That You Access Often to Favorites

Open a Smartsheet item and click the Add to Favorites icon on the left of its name to add it to your Favorites panel for quicker access later.


If you’d like to remove an item from your Favorites panel, open the item and click the icon again.

NOTE: Removing an item from Favorites does not delete it or remove your access to it. You can always access items you own or are shared to from Home.

Create New Smartsheet Items

Click the Solution Center (plus) icon for options to create new sheets, reports, or dashboards. You can create blank items to build from scratch, import existing third-party files into Smartsheet as new sheets, or start from a template.

More information on these is available in the following articles: