Copy Rows automation won't work automatically with Index function

edited 03/16/23 in Formulas and Functions


I have a main Smartsheet where I make all my changes to specific rows (Smartsheet A) and another Smartsheet file that takes certain information based on unique IDs from Smartsheet A (Smartsheet B). Every Smartsheet B has a particular Dashboard unique to its ID and I would like the dashboard to record every time I make a change to a symbol column in Smartsheet A. I use an Index function in Smartsheet B to grab the Smartsheet A symbol. I then have automation in Smartsheet B that would copy rows whenever that symbol has changed. These recorded changes would then be shown on the Smartsheet B dashboards. This all works on paper, however, whenever I change the symbol in Smartsheet A, the Smartsheet B automation only picks up the change if I refresh the Smartsheet B page. Therefore, the difference is not captured and the row is not shown on the dashboard.

I have tried using a workaround "refresher automation" where I lock and unlock the rows at midnight so I wouldn't have to refresh the Smartsheet B file every time there is a symbol change. Unfortunately, this workaround did not work well for me. Please let me know if you have any insight or other workarounds that may just work in my favor. Thank you and have a great day!


  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Are you able to provide screenshots of the sheets and automations as well as the formula(s) being used?

  • Hi @Paul Newcome ,

    I will set up a template of what I am working with later today to help explain this issue. Thank you for your help in advance!

  • Hi @Paul Newcome ,

    I have limited access to the current plan I am on, but I will try my best with the screenshots I have.

    Below is a picture of the Main Smartsheet (Smartsheet A contains all the main rows):

    Smartsheet B is specific to row # 0001:

    This Smartsheet has an index/match function that shows the same symbol as Smartsheet A:

    For Smartsheet B, I use a copy automation that copies the row into another separate smart sheet whenever there is a change to the symbol column (changing from red to yellow for instance). I only change the symbol in the main sheet (Smartsheet A) and I want this to be captured every time there is a change specific to that symbol change. However, whenever I make this change in Smartsheet A, the automation and the change does not occur unless I go open Smartsheet B. I want to avoid this as much as possible. Any help there?

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Formulas with cross sheet references and cell links to other sheets cannot be used to trigger an automation (helps avoid circular issues). You would have to set it up to run daily and set the condition for the Symbol to be Red.

  • Adam1234
    edited 03/16/23

    Hi @Paul Newcome ,

    Thanks for your response. As I said earlier, I tried using a daily refresher automation of locking and unlocking rows for the index function but I did not have success with that one.

    I was thinking of another workaround to this problem though. If there was another column in Smartsheet B that would count up every time the symbol changes (If goes from Red to Yellow it counts 1, Yellow to Red it counts 2, etc.). The copying rows column could then be triggered by every time this number column increases, that way it is directly triggered by the Smart sheet B and not the cross sheet reference. It might not immediately set off the copying rows automation but could be a good backup.

    If you know a formula that would be similar to what I am talking about or believe this is a farfetched plan. Please let me know. Thank you!

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't mean a daily lock/unlock refresher. I mean the Move Row automation set to trigger daily.

  • Move Rows/Copy Rows only work When Triggered. I tried setting it to a daily trigger but they won't allow it

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    It should let you. Where exactly are you setting it up to run daily?

  • In the Automation. Here is a screenshot I am referring to whenever I try and save this workflow with a daily run:

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Adam1234

    I hope you're well and safe!

    What happens after the Copy row action in the workflow?

    Be safe, and have a fantastic weekend!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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    Feel free to contact me for help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or anything else.

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Ah. Ok. So it isn't the Copy Row workflow that is causing the issue. Do you possibly have an alert or something similar with {{Placeholders}} happening after?

  • Hi @Paul Newcome and @Andrée Starå ,

    Yes, I believe this is more of a refresh the page issue than a copying rows issue. Whenever I refresh the page immediately after making the changes it works. No alerts or placeholders are in the file. Just the index function and the automation. My workaround also did not work well for this instance as well. Any suggestions would help. Thank you again!

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