Processing Limitations: List of formulas in order by relative processing power required?

edited 12/09/19 in API & Developers
11/15/18 Edited 12/09/19

Hey Community!

One of my first requests. I dug around and so far haven't found anything, but my apologies in advance if this has been addressed elsewhere.

My company has been bouncing off sheet limitations for a bit now, yet none of our sheets are anywhere near 10,000 rows (I separate into logical volumes as often as possible).

The limitations that we face are sheets that creep to a halt, sheets that won't save with a small formula change, and most recently a sheet that won't accept new rows from a form (Haven't seen that before!)

I realize that the majority of this is something to do with our formulas and not necessarily a Smartsheet limitation... we love Smartsheet.

Here's the question:

What I'm wondering is this: Does anyone know of a list or an index somewhere I can look up that contains information on how much processing power a type of formula or it's usage takes? Here are a few basic questions:

  • Does a text parsing formula tend to require more power than it's numeric or boolean counterpart?
  • Is a cross-sheet range necessarily more distributed than processing on the open sheet? Or is the information still pulled into the open sheet to be calculated?
  • I've done the math that if I write a formula that references every row in a column (and lives in every row), it's inherently adding a crazy high amount of calculations (exponential) with each new row. I think it goes like this for total number of new calculations: (((Total # of Rows (Squared)) - (Total # of Rows before addition (Squared)) * # of Formulas per row that reference all rows.) Put another way, each new row adds an exponential number of calculations when formulas scan all rows.  Can anyone confirm this, or does anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks all! Any and all advice or thoughts are appreciated.

~ Jake from Seattle


  • Andrée StaråAndrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Jake,

    Unfortunately, I don't think there is an index, but that's a great idea.

    Please submit an Enhancement Request when you have a moment.

    My first recommendation if you haven't already would be to optimize the formulas already in the sheet with @row and @cell functions because that makes a big difference in performance.

    The current limits are: 5,000 rows, 200 columns, or 200,000 cells

    I know that Smartsheet is working on extending the limits.

    Here are the most processing hungry functions:

    • The sheet you are working with is using a lot of advanced functionality (conditional formatting, formulas, predecessors, inbound cell links)

    More info:

    I hope this helps you!

    Have a fantastic weekend!


    Andrée Starå

    Workflow Consultant @ Get Done Consulting


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • Elisabeth_WhartonElisabeth_Wharton ✭✭✭✭✭

    As a follow up to the above question, is there a minimum processing power that the computer needs to be at in order for sheets to perform calculations at peak capacity? 

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