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Feature request: Add Auto-Number as a type option to Primary Column

Bill Jenkins
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2015 Posts

I believe that the point of Primary Column is to possibly have a unique identifier for each row, beyond other possibilities. With that in mind, it would be useful to have Auto-Number as a type option for that column. I have some sheets where I need unique, autogenerated numbers, and I wish I could use the Primary Column for this.


  • SoniaR

    Hi Bill - 


    While the Primary Column can currently only be a Text/Number column, you could use a formula to put the Auto-Number value in to the Primary Column. The formula would look something like:


    =[Row ID]1


    You'll want to change the words between the brackets to exactly match your column headers, including capitalization. 


    Also, as new rows are added to the sheet, Auto-Fill may automatically fill in the formula in the Primary Column (based on whether a pattern is detected or not). Here's more info on Auto-Fill:






  • Ladislav
    edited 08/11/16

    Hello, I have tried the solution that SoniaR is proposing but it does not work. I am getting CIRCULAR REFERRENCE error message. My primary column "name" is INDEX. How the formula should look like ?

  • Kennedy Stomps

    Hi Ladislav-- What is the name of your auto-number column? This is the name that you will want to put into the formula:


    =[auto-number column name]1


    This will copy the number from the auto-number column into the primary column.

  • Ladislav

    Kennedy, I have misunderstood instructions from SoniaR. Now it certainly works, after having an additonal (auto-number, hidden) column.


    Thank you very much indeed !


  • Another vote for being able to have auto-number as a field type for the Primary Column. While the workaround above absolutely works, it seems silly to have to use 2 fields for a single purpose.

  • Rebecca Parker1
    edited 01/18/17

    Hi - I can't get the workaround to work.  My auto-number column is called "RowNum", and when I use the formula "=[RowNum]1", every column ends up with the value of "1".  


    I'm also voting for auto-number to be an option for the Primary Column.  I have a sheet where we are tracking customer interactions, and I'd just like to auto number them and have that be the primary key.  Trying now to make up some concatenated value based on the person, the date and time, or something, but not having any luck.  



  • latsyrcg3
    latsyrcg3 ✭✭✭

    I used the formula as stated above; however my sheet is a task list with multiple people adding new rows. I can expect the users of my sheet to add that formula every time they create task. An autonumber primary column would be so helpful.

  • kbobofchak

    Just confirming another user that would like to see this feature added.  For shared lists relying on the copy feature has already caused difficulties and mistakes.  I'm using the workaround suggested above and it's ok but not ideal.

This discussion has been closed.