Is there a way to Auto ADD rows after a form has been submitted?

KimAffolder ✭✭
edited 07/17/23 in Formulas and Functions

I've been trolling training and searching for a way to have extra Children rows automatically added after a form has been submitted, to no avail. Is this possible?

The Move and Copy rows options don't seem to get the job done.

For example: I have a form (for data intake), when a User submits the form, I would then like the system to add several Child rows (roughly 21) below the original intake information so I can use those and generate Workflow.

Is this possible?



  • Cory Page
    Cory Page ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think this is possible but it might be a tad tricky to explain over a chat box but I will try.

    Right off I would create a template sheet that has your "Roughly 21 Child rows" and I would use this sheet for my form submissions. I would change the form settings to make sure that any new rows come in at the top rather than bottom.

    When a form is submitted I would trigger the automation to "Copy" the 21 child rows and the submitted form row over to a separate Raw data sheet. This will meet your main requirement of triggering the child rows and keeping your form data on top. In this same automation when it runs make sure to "Record a date" on at least the form Row, this way when a new form comes in you can say only copy if the form row doesn't have a date but always copy the "Child Rows". A filter of some kind will be needed what will depend on what data is in your forms.

    Now you need to reset the Template sheet, for this you will need some kind of flag in the form data so that we can clearly mark that row in our automation. The second automation can run daily or as frequently as you would like basically we will say "Move" Rows that are our form submissions only (Again filter of some kind) and that have our "Record a Date" (AKA Time stamp indicating it was moved to the main sheet with the Children) to a delete sheet. Once you set this up your Template should constantly remain clean without a pile of submissions stacking up.

    It will take 3 sheets because Smartsheets doesn't have an automation for delete but it shouldn't be too difficult to set up and shouldn't require any maintenance once everything is working other than to delete the "Trash sheet". I set up a few automatons like this and it works pretty well, I didn't have "Child Rows" but it shouldn't be too different.

    Concerns: I would worry if you had a high risk of multiple forms coming in at the same time, if there is a low risk of this happening then usually the automatons can keep up. I would say so long as the submissions are spaced about 5 - 10 minutes apart you should be fine, but anything under 5 would risk a copy that contains two submissions but only one set of Children. I have tested the record a date and Copy/move feature and it does pay attention to the time stamp of the row change but its a risk I had to mention.

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    There is no way to get the extra rows added and automatically indented as child rows within the core product itself. To get the indentations for the child rows, you would need to leverage the premium add-on Bridge, the API, or some other third party app (such as Zapier).

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @KimAffolder

    I hope you're well and safe!

    I recently developed something similar for a client.

    • Would it always be the same amount of children rows?
    • How often would there be new submissions?

    @Cory Page You're on the right track, but that wouldn't create Parents and Children rows.

    @Paul Newcome It's possible! 🧙‍♂️

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe, and have a fantastic week!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Andrée Starå How would you get them automatically indented without API/Bridge/etc.?

  • Cory Page
    Cory Page ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well I managed to find a work around for everything including the parent/child and I even improved my previous response but I have now found my most hated Smartsheet restriction ever. Because I am not allowed to trigger an automation using any updates from a formula/cross sheet reference I am unable to automatically trigger the copy function in my template. I used Right to pull the time from a modified column which works but it doesn't update unless I go into the sheet so that was a bust as well. This will work if anyone has an idea on how we can trigger an automation automatically using the template that doesn't require us to do anything.

    Currently everything below works but you have to be in the sheet before the ridiculous restrictions allow for the automatons to run. I am very sorry for having to give up it was soooo close.

    Raw data example when I manually trigger the automation:

    Template Sheet with the copy automation and with the preset children, the parent row is driven by index/match.

    Template contained a default list of items that would copy over with the submitted web form data if the automations would have triggered.

    Web form sheet that drives the Template sheet and should have triggered the Copy automation grrr. I even added a confirmation tab that would confirm once the Template data was moved to the Raw data sheet. I used index and match in the template so that it will match with the very first one in the row removing the need to delete from the submission sheet.

  • Thank you all so much for the information. I am fairly new to all this, and I'm trying to create as I learn the ins and outs.

    @Cory Page I appreciate the extensive efforts

    @Paul Newcome your responses in ways fuel my backup questions

    @Andrée Starå

    Doing great thank you!

    I'm creating a "New Employee Intake" form that will drive when certain tasks are created/followed up. I did see the "New Hire Checklist Template", but we had a lot more information to add and my intention is to automate the majority of the process (sending emails for provisioning request, etc) So yes, there would always be the same amount of Parent & Children rows. The submissions would just depend on when we have a new hire. Right now, we have 6 people coming in so I probably should have started this process when I thought about it a couple months ago. But hind sight is 20/20.

    Any and all feedback is welcome!

    Thank you!

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I was finally able to do some testing and it looks like the Copy row automation on the parent row will also pull the children indented under it, but...

    When it copies over, the section will always be added to the bottom of the sheet, and it will always be at the first level.

    Another catch is that automating it will only work on an (at best) hourly schedule because we would need some type of formula on the base template sheet with a cross sheet reference evaluating the working sheet. If you want this added more than once in an hour, you would still have to go to the template sheet and manually copy the rows to the working sheet.

    @Andrée Starå Do you have something different?

    For example, If I copy the Parent row, it will grab all rows indented beneath it including the sub rows, but it will always go to the bottom of the sheet. We still can't tell it to drop in somewhere in the middle of the sheet.

    Also, if I just copy the "Child D" row, it will of course be sent to the bottom of the sheet, but it will be at the first level where the "Parent" row currently resides. It will not be indented underneath of the row above.

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