Linking directly to files from a dashboard?

Carly Sorensen
edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

I understand there is no way to link directly to a file from dashboard unless it is in a cloud-based storage program. Has anyone found a workaround? We don't use this kind of storage and I want to be able to link directly to files. 

Saving as images wont work either, as we have 10+ files to link to, and want to organize them under specific widget categories (not have 10 separate image widgets)

I uploaded some of the documents to my google drive, but that's not a good solution either (having to grant access through my personal email address, having corporate docs saved in my personal account...many issues with this solution).

Looking forward to hearing any work arounds.




  • Matt Stofka
    Matt Stofka ✭✭✭✭
    edited 05/31/18


    How about creating a new sheet that lists all of the document names with the documents attached to each row? You could then create a report from that sheet and display that on the dashboard using the report widget.

    The person viewing the dashboard would click the tile to access the report, then click the attachment icon to view it. Perhaps it's not the ideal one-click document access you're looking for, but might be a viable solution since you don't have another cloud-based document repository to pull from.

    If you wanted to add more docs, you might create a webform that feeds the main document sheet that requires you to fill out the document name and upload an attachment. Those new docs would automatically show on the report and dashboard.


    Smartsheet Document List Example 01.jpg

    Smartsheet Document List Example 02.jpg

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    If you publish a report then use that URL in a Web Content Widget, the attachments column will be available on the dashboard.

  • This is limiting and does not help to create appealing dashboards. Can you please consider adding that in the report.

  • JayPedde
    JayPedde ✭✭✭


    Great solution - and very timely for me as I was just looking to solve this problem today

    I took the added step of using the picture widget, took a .jpg snapshot of the document and used the advanced settings to go to the document URL.

    Now a user can click on the picture and download the pdf.



  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Dustin Harrah

    Amazing workaround!

    Thanks for sharing!

    @JayPedde Nice evolvement of the workaround!

    Be safe and have a fantastic week!


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  • @Dustin Harrah and @JayPedde did the link stay after 30 days? I see there is a warning under the sharable link. I need to figure something out by Thursday and found this solution but im building a digital library so there will be many links to update in a month if it didn't stick! Thanks!

  • I'm looking for a solution too. Our site blocks any cloud services for hosting files, so my choices are very limited. I was hoping that I could attach a .PDF to a grid and link to it on a dashboard, but the 30 day expiry is a deal breaker.

  • Nicole Walker
    Nicole Walker ✭✭
    edited 10/15/20

    +1 for linking documents from desktop. We have an intake process that includes forms, sheets and reports in Smartsheet, but I also would like to attach a Word Doc (our creative brief) and an Excel Doc so that everything for the process is in one place (the dashboard). I may possibly have the option to store them on Teams, but I do not see the option to link from there either. I only have Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, Evernote and Egnyte.

  • Scott Peters
    Scott Peters ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 03/17/21

    Kudos @Dustin Harrah - I just used your idea but still needed a way for our project dashboards to give users A) a list of files with B) detailed descriptions, C) be able to click/open each specific file, and D) sort by most recent. Here's how I did it:

    1. Create a project-specific Smartsheet for file storage with columns for name, URL, Description, Status, and Modified date
    2. Add the files and use the send trick to grab the URL, paste that into the URL column, give it a friendly name
    3. Create a report of that file, revealing the URL, Description, and Modified columns. Sort by Modified newest at top
    4. On the dashboard, add a REPORT widget exposing that report. Keep it small, people can use the scroll bar if they need a file older than the most recent 4-5

    I had to play around with sizing a bit: Adjust font in the source file, refresh the report, then reload the dashboard until I liked how it fit. My only wishlist item is related to customizing the Symbols column, I'd love to add the PDF/XLS/DOC icons, but this is good enough.

    Alternative: You could have just one master project files sheet, add a column for "Project", and then add a second filter to the

    project-specific report

  • @Dustin Harrah,

    I was searching for a workaround to attach external files to the dashboard. Your solution was right on time.


  • Hi everyone! To those who were able to try Dustin's workaround to copy the download link, did you experience link expiration after 30 days? It says, active for 30 days

  • Yes!! I am still looking for this feature. Being able to attach a download link or a file to a dashboard would be an extremely valuable feature. I am trying the "send as attachment link" but also am worried about the 30 day expiration.

  • I could be wrong but I think this is Smartsheet's way of getting you to upgrade to an Enterprise account. I read somewhere that you could possibly turn this option (to expire after 30 days) off if you had an Enterprise account.