Sheet Summary


  • Smartsheet
  • Business
  • Enterprise

Sheet Summary enables you and your team to spend less time tracking down key information, ramping up on projects, and reporting on critical metrics so you can execute and make better decisions, faster.

When mission-critical information is hard to maintain directly in your sheets, Sheet Summary provides a standard, robust way to organize and report on that information. Located in the right panel, you can customize sheet summary fields and include text, symbols, images, links, and high level formulas aggregating data across your sheet.

Define your work with sheet summary


  • Smartsheet
  • Business
  • Enterprise


Who can use this capability?

The sheet Owner and Admins can add new sheet summary fields, edit field properties, and type in existing locked or unlocked fields.

The sheet Owner, Admins, and Editors can type in existing, unlocked fields. A license is required to add new sheet summary fields, edit field properties, and type in existing locked or unlocked fields.

An Unlicensed Admin can edit unlocked sheet summary fields.

Use the sheet summary pane to define, organize, and report information related to your work. Use the summary fields to enter or review information about the sheet. You can embed formulas in sheet summary fields, allowing you to see key metrics every time you open the sheet summary pane. Summary fields can also contain data, hyperlinks, images, and more. 

You can work with the pane open so you can see the sheet and the summary at the same time. 

Sheet Summary pane open on the right side with icon highlighted


Access the sheet summary pane

  • Select the Summary icon Sheet Summary Icon on the right feature bar.

Create new sheet summary fields

With your sheet summary open:

  1. Select the Add Field button at the bottom of the sheet summary.
  2. Choose the field type for the information you want to display. 
  3. Type a name for your field and select OK. A new, blank field will appear on the sheet summary.
  4. Make other changes (add new fields, edit properties, add a formula to a field).
  5. Select the Save button in the top toolbar of your sheet. 

    You must save the sheet to store your changes. 

You can edit your sheet summary fields at any time. Open the pane and select the More More icon in column header icon to the right of the field you want to change. 

Summary field types

Field type Description
Text/Number Text descriptions, numbers, (for example: project summary, overall budget)
Contact List Display someone from your available contacts (for example: the project manager or a point of contact)
Date An important date (for example: the start or finish date of a project) 
Dropdown List Choose a dropdown option from a custom list (for example: department name, project type, project status)
Checkbox A checkbox that can be checked or unchecked
Symbols* Collections of visual icons (for example: harvey balls, stars, signal bars)

*With boolean symbols (flag, star, and checkbox) write the formula in a text field, then change the field property to the symbol you want to use. 

Sheet summary limits

Sheet summary supports the following:

  • Up to 200 fields (does not count against sheet columns)
  • Field Names up to 50 characters
  • Field values equal to cell sizes
  • Up to 500 dropdown options


Sheet summary tips and best practices


  • Smartsheet
  • Business
  • Enterprise

Take advantage of sheet summary to display overall project metrics, tag sheets with custom metadata for better search, and more.

Depict key project details using formulas or symbol columns

One of the many uses for sheet summary is depicting sheet health—an example being project health if on a project plan. You can accomplish this and even update it automatically by placing a formula in a Sheet Summary field.

Insert a formula in a summary field, referencing data from the grid or another summary field, to calculate key information automatically.

You can select grid cells and cell ranges by clicking and dragging in the grid to quickly build a formula—cells referenced in a formula will be highlighted while building the formula.

When referencing... Use this syntax Example formula
...other summary fields (same sheet) [Field name]# =SUM([Budget 2016]#, [Budget 2017]#)
...cells in a grid (same sheet) [Column name]<row number> =SUM(Expenses1:Expenses3)
...cells in a grid (from another sheet) {cross-sheet reference name} =COUNT({Warehouse B Inventory})

    Make search easier by categorizing sheets

    You can create sheet summary fields that contain key values that can be easily searched. A few examples of this include:

    • Label the department that a sheet pertains to using a Dropdown List field or Text/Number field.
    • Add keywords to a Text/Number field that can be searched for. For example: construction, electrical, engineering 

    Check out Searching in Smartsheet for details on the search functionality.

    Create a legend to explain how symbols are used

    Build a legend in the sheet summary to describe the meaning of each icon or symbol on your sheet.
    To create a legend:

    1. Add a Text/Number field at the top of your sheet summary with a description of the legend.
    2. Add Symbol fields to the sheet summary, one for each symbol. In the name of the field, type the purpose of the symbol. Make sure to select the group of symbols being used on the sheet for each individual field.
    3. In each Symbol field, set the icon that matches your description.

    Sheet Summary Legend

    Standardize sheet summaries across sheets


    • Smartsheet
    • Business
    • Enterprise


    Who can use this capability?

    Owners and sheet Admins (who also have a license) on both the source and destination sheets can batch copy sheet summary structures. 

    Maintain consistency with your metadata and portfolio data by copying the sheet summary structure, formulas, and other content to up to 20 existing sheets at once.

    Copy the sheet summary

    In the sheet summary that contains the fields that you want to copy: 

    1. Select the menu icon Menu icon on the right side of the sheet summary.
    2. Select Copy summary to other sheets.
    3. Select up to 20 sheets to copy to. You can choose to copy only the field names or include any values and formulas in the fields.
    Brandfolder Image
    Copy Sheet Summary popup, where the user selects up to 20 sheets to copy the sheet summary to.
    1.  Select Copy.

    Copying a sheet summary to other sheets is a permanent process, which you cannot undo. If there is a risk of overriding data, you'll see a prompt before beginning the batch copy process. 

    Calculate key project metrics with sheet summary formulas


    • Smartsheet
    • Business
    • Enterprise


    Who can use this capability?

    Owners and sheet Admins (who also have a license) can add new sheet summary fields, edit field properties, and type in existing locked or unlocked fields. Owners, Admins, and Editors can type in existing, unlocked fields. Anyone shared to the sheet can view the sheet summary.

    Automatically calculate budget summaries, aggregate project status and project health, and more by placing formulas in sheet summary fields.

    Create a sheet summary formula

    In your sheet summary: Type the equals sign (=) and the desired function in a sheet summary field. (Note that you can’t enter formulas in checkbox fields.)

    • Use the table below for examples on referencing other sheet summary fields in your sheet summary formulas.
    • To see a complete list of functions, see functions.

    Sheet summary formula references

    Use this table as a guide for referencing other fields as you build sheet summary formulas.

    When you referenceUse this syntaxExample formula
    Other summary fields (same sheet)[Field name]#=SUM([Budget 2016]#, [Budget 2017]#)
    Cells in the sheet[Column name]<row number>=SUM(Expenses1:Expenses3)
    Cells from another sheet{cross-sheet reference name}=COUNT({Warehouse B Inventory})


    Sheet summary field references ([Field Name]#) for formulas can be used both within Sheet Summary Fields and Sheet Cells. For more information, see Formula basics.