Rows and Hierarchy

Smartsheet has smart rows that allow you to build hierarchy, and easily organize, track, and move data.

Rows & Hierarchy in Smartsheet

Rows are a key element in your sheet and can contain information like customer names, order information, or tasks. Rows can also include additional information, like attachments and comments. Use Row Reminders to keep track of important items like due dates. Share information with your team with the Send Row option, and Request Updates on row items from team members.

Smartsheet offers a powerful organizational feature, the indent tool, which allows for creating row hierarchies. Rather than facing hundreds of rows in one project, easily condense your data so you can focus on a particular aspect and how it relates to the project as a whole.

Follow the step-by-step instructions below to indent and outdent rows.

Hierarchy: Indent or Outdent Rows

You can create a hierarchy on your sheet by indenting rows. When you indent a row, it becomes a child of the row above it (the parent row). 

NOTE: Hierarchy is created from the child row. It is not created by designating a row as a parent.

Hierarchy buttons

Note that hierarchy creates relationships between rows, it doesn't control row formatting.

Indent a Row

Click on a cell in the first row you’d like to indent, and then click the Indent button on the toolbar. The row above it will become the parent row.

NOTE: If the Indent button is unavailable, you may be trying to indent a blank row. In order to create hierarchy, data needs to exist in both the parent, and child rows. Make sure neither row is blank before indenting.

TIP: You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + ] or Command + ] on a Mac. 

Indents are displayed only in a sheet's Primary Column; however, the relationship is applied to the entire row. (More information on the Primary Column can be found here.)

Remove Hierarchy

To remove the parent-child relationship, click on a cell in the child row and then click the Outdent button on the toolbar.

TIP: You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + [ or Command + [ on a Mac. 

    Expand or Collapse Indented Rows

    When you expand or collapse rows and then save the sheet, this changes the sheet structure for all collaborators shared to it. That is, everyone who uses the sheet will see the same rows collapsed and expanded that you do.

    To show or hide the indented items beneath a parent row, click expand/collapse/ in the parent row’s Primary Column.

    To expand or collapse all sub-items on a sheet, right-click on the Primary Column header and select Expand All or Collapse All.

    Hierarchy Best Practices 

    Keep the following in mind as you work with hierarchy:

    • There is no fixed level of indenting. You can continue indenting rows on your sheet to create multiple levels of hierarchy.
    • When you click and drag a row that has items indented below it, the child rows will move with the selected item.
    • You can’t delete a parent row without also deleting its indented child rows. (To delete the row without deleting the child rows, remove the parent-child relationship first).
    • When dependencies are enabled on a project sheet, parent rows reflect a roll-up summary of the start date, end date, duration, and % complete values entered for the indented child rows. Check out the Help Center article on the Parent Roll-Up Functionality for more information.