Smartsheet columns have special properties that make using your sheet easier and more powerful. Columns define your data types in Smartsheet and unlock powerful functionality like views, forms, automation, filters, reports, and more. To learn more about how to select the appropriate column type for your data, review the information in this learning topic.
Column Type Reference
Column types help you better control what data is allowed in columns—use specific types to ensure more consistent data entry. In Smartsheet, you'll work with default columns and configurable columns:
- Default columns cannot be changed or removed, including the primary column. Default columns will always have a type of Text/Number. (More on that here: Work With the Primary Column: Overview and Best Practices.)
- Configurable columns have options you can change to make them work best for your needs.
Every sheet has a primary column. This column is mandatory; you can not delete it. The value in this column is frequently the main descriptor for the row: it will always have a type of Text/Number. You cannot change the primary column type. (For more information, see Work With the Primary Column: Overview and Best Practices.)
Next to the row number are columns with icons that provide information about each row. Hide a column by hovering over the header and clicking Hide Column.
- Row Menu: Icon hidden by default. Hover and click to access the Row Menu.
- Attachments: Select the icon to review attachments.
- Comments: Select the icon to review comments.
- Proof: Select the icon to review the proof.
- Row Action Indicators: This column shows the reminder icon by default , but it may also show Update Requests , Locks , and Allocation Alerts associated with the row.
Details for each column type are provided below.
This column type can include text, numeric values, or both. Text/number is the best choice for comment columns that might have long entries or number-focused columns, such as the projected expense for a sheet tracking a budget.
You can apply formatting to a text/number column to display values in currency or percentage format by clicking the column header and clicking the Currency Format or Percentage Format button in the toolbar.
NOTE: If the first character of a number is zero, followed by another digit or a letter, Smartsheet will prepend the value with an apostrophe and store it as text. It does this so that the leading zero will be retained and displayed with the number. If you want the numeric as a number—to perform calculations with it, for example—you'll need to double-click the cell and remove the apostrophe and any leading zeros.
Use a contact list for columns such as Assigned To, Owner, Approved By, etc. This column type enables you to assign rows to collaborators shared to a sheet or contacts from your Smartsheet Contact List. You can also use the column to send Reminders to shared collaborators and generate reports that show a list of tasks assigned to a specific team member.
When you use this column type, you can specify preferred contact values in the Values box. Acceptable values for this list are a contact name and email address, a name only, or an email address only.
If you've set up preferred contacts in the contact column, you'll be able to quickly access them by clicking the dropdown arrow in a Contact list cell or corresponding Smartsheet form field. In the cell, you'll also see contacts and email addresses assigned to other rows on the sheet.
A Smartsheet Form field with preferred contacts will only allow form users to select the preset contacts. To enable manual entry of a name or email address, remove all preferred contacts from the column properties. Any value other than an email address will be considered free text and won't work with automation or other contact-specific features.
You can add to the list by manually typing a new name or email address into a cell. As you type, the list will display a relevant list of matching contacts from your Smartsheet Contacts List and the User Management screen (available with Business or Enterprise plans).
If you start typing a name or address and aren't seeing the list auto-resolve, you don't have any contacts matching what you've typed. Add the contact to your list to ensure you can run reports and send reminders to them. Click the dropdown arrow in the cell, select Add New to add the contact to your list, and assign it to the row.
To remove names or email addresses from the auto-resolve dropdown list, remove them from the other cells in the column and the Edit Column Properties form. People shared to the sheet will always appear as suggestions when you type in a Contact List column.
The cells in this column will display a calendar icon that collaborators can click to choose a specific date. You can manually type in dates or use keyboard shortcuts to populate the cells. Date columns must exist in the sheet to enable dependencies or display items in the Calendar view.
The dates will appear in the format set up in the Personal Settings of your Smartsheet account.
This column displays a list of values from which you can choose single or multiple, depending on how the column is configured.
You can type the values you want to appear in the list or select checkboxes if the values are restricted. Separate each list item onto a separate line by pressing Enter or Return on your keyboard.
To remove an item from the Dropdown List, select it and then press Backspace or Delete.
For more information about Dropdown List columns, see Maintain Consistency in Data Collection with Dropdown Columns.
Manually enter duration for tasks or, using start and end dates, automatically calculate duration in days. Learn more in Project Sheet Columns: Start Date, End Date, Duration, % Complete and Predecessors.
The column presents a checkbox that can be checked or unchecked. A checkbox appears in the cell only if a value is entered into another column in that row. You can display the checkbox as a box, flag, or single star.
A Symbols column will display a visual image. Use a Symbols column to describe the status of a row.
You cannot add your own (custom) symbols to the column.
To see the list of available symbols, see Available Symbols in the Symbols Column.
This type of column will automatically generate values for every row in the sheet that contains data. Auto-numbering can be helpful when you want to assign row IDs, part numbers, invoice numbers, or customer numbers without manually typing them in. For more information, see Auto-Numbering Rows.
System columns can show who created each row, who last modified each row, the time each row was created, and the last time each row was modified.
When you set them up, System column cells are initially empty: the values are generated when you save the sheet.
You can add a column to your sheet and display the newest comment in that column. The comment shows your team's latest feedback without opening the conversations panel.
For more information, see Add a comment column.
Duration represents the amount of time a task is expected to take. For more information, see Project sheet columns: Duration.