Predecessors shift by 1 when export to Excel

Rows are numbered starting at 1 in the actual smartsheet view, and when it exports to Excel row number 1 is now the header, which causes the predecessor references to be wrong.

I wonder if the fix to this would be to have an actual Row ID column in smartsheet in addition to the row reference?  Another option is to prompt in the export menu with a disclaimer that it might not allow for re-import if you shift things.

I attached 2 screenshots showing both the Smartsheet file, and the Excel exported file.  The template I used for this sheet is "Project"


Predecessor Test - Excel Export Screenshot.PNG

Predecessor Test - Smartsheet Screenshot.PNG


  • Gwyneth C
    Gwyneth C ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 05/22/18


    Here's a quick explanation of what's going on and a potential workaround so that you can get the exported data to show what you want in Excel.

    In Smartsheet, the Predecessors column keeps track of the relationships between related tasks. When you export the sheet data to Excel, the number in the column (not the relationship it represents) is what is retained.

    Here’s one idea for how you might get a better representation in Excel for how the tasks are related: in Smartsheet, before you export the data, add a new column to the sheet and create a simple formula to show the task name (rather than the row number) for each predecessor.

    Here’s the basic process for how you’d do that:

    1. Right-click the predecessors column in Smartsheet and click Insert Column Left.
    2. Type a name for the column (“Predecessor Task Name” for example).
    3. In the new column, for Task 2, press = and then click the task name for the predecessor task.

    Repeat this for each task that has a predecessor.

    When you export the sheet, you’ll then have an accurate record of the predecessor task by its name.


    Hopefully this will get you closer to the result you're looking for in Excel. Maybe others here in the community have other ideas...




  • What is the syntax if you have more than one predecessor?



  • Corinne Flanagan
    Corinne Flanagan Employee
    edited 09/19/18

    Hello Theresa!

    I added Tasks 4 and 5 with Tasks 3 and 4 acting as predecessors to Task 5. I used the syntax =[Task Name]3 + " " + [Task Name]4 to populate both predecessors for Task 5 in the Predecessor Task Name column.

    Examples of how this would look:



  • Thanks so much!  I'll give it a try.

  • AaronO
    AaronO ✭✭✭

    Bumping this as it bit me today. I fully understand that the "export to excel" is simply saving the numbers in the predecessors column, but what's the purpose of that? I can't really use it for anything - in my case, I want to process the exported file to perform some calculations, so I have to change the predecessor numbers.

    It would be more useful for smartsheet to shift them on the way out, since you know that they're going to be off by one. That way the file would actually contain the plan - as is, it contains a list of tasks and incorrect relationships between them.

    I see the suggestion to export the names of tasks as a special predecessors column - but if the project plan is large, this would be impractical.