# Custom Formulas or build in formulas for symbol to value conversion

We are currently evaluation Smartsheets (and others) for our team. Smartsheets feels very intuitive. The one thing I like are the symbols for completion e.g. the bar or the pie symbol, but then I'm struggling to use those in formulas.

E.g. I use the bar symbol but now want to get to the overall progress for a parent task. They way I got it to work was converting the symbol into a percentage in an extra column, then summing those percentages up, then turning the sum back into a bar, takes 3 steps and seems overly complicated:

Percentage=IF(Progress@row = "Quarter", 0.25, 0) + IF(Progress@row = "Half", 0.5, 0) + IF(Progress@row = "Three Quarter", 0.75, 0) + IF(Progress@row = "Full", 1, 0)

then avergage percentage numbers

Average Progress bar then is

Progress=IF(Percentage@row = 0, "Empty", IF(Percentage@row < 0.5, "Quarter", IF(Percentage@row < 0.75, "Half", IF(Percentage@row < 1, "Three Quarter", "Full"))))

I feel those symbols will be used quite often. Is there a simpler (build in) way for conversion? If not, can I build my own functions? Else I'd probably need to make an excel sheet with all commonly used symbol2value and value2symbol conversions and copy paste manually which seems quite unnecessary.

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You can use a series of COUNTIFS to weight the child rows in a formula on the parent rows.

=IFERROR(((COUNTIFS(CHILDREN(), @cell = "Quarter") * 0.25) + (COUNTIFS(CHILDREN(), @cell = "Half") * 0.5) + (COUNTIFS(CHILDREN(), @cell = "Three Quarter") * 0.75) + COUNTIFS(CHILDREN(), @cell = "Full")) / COUNTIFS(CHILDREN(), OR(@cell = "", @cell <> "")), 0)

Then you can drop this into your nested IF that outputs the "Empty", etc. on the parent rows.

=IF(IFERROR(..........) = 0, "Empty", IF(IFERROR(..........) < 0.5, "Quarter", IF(IFERROR(..........) < 0.75, "Half", IF(IFERROR(..........) < 1, "Three Quarter", "Full"))))

• edited 02/20/24

Hi Paul,

thanks for this tip. The averaged parent/child symbol was just one example illustrating the overly complicated nature of Smartsheets formulas. But your workaround is actually an even better example of how lengthy even the most basic function like an AVG get very quickly. You save the extra column but the formula becomes impossible to read.

So no way of putting this monster into a function or macro? Or a native symbol 2 value conversion ( given that we both already showed a solution, it seems straight forward to implement for a developer ) ?

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