Ensure a cell value is unique OR if already used, match the previously used value

edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

I'm completely new to Smartsheet so I may be overcomplicating this, or going about it the wrong way.

I want to ensure the value entered into a field is either unique within the column, or if it has been used before, then I want to to be exactly the same as a previously entered value. 

The use case is:

I have a Smartsheet to track new training development requests.  These requests may be for a completely new course (the course name value entered will therefore be unique), or for an update to an existing course (a course name value will already exist and I want the same value to be used). I have another column which identifies the request as either 'new' or 'update'

Can anyone assist?


  • Hi, 

    One way of identifying whether a data is unique or not as described as below: 

    1. Have a column counting how many times the "course name" has been mentioned. 
    2. Have a conditional formatting - highlighting the course name if it is mentioned more than 1 time. 

    step 1.PNG

    step 2.PNG

  • eric.o
    eric.o Employee
    edited 01/02/19


    You may be able to achieve your desired goal utilizing a drop-down list this would ensure all entries are the exactly the same desired values. Those submitting to the sheet would be restricted to the exact desired values, you can set this restriction by selecting the 'restrict values' checkbox within the drop-down columns 'column properties'. https://help.smartsheet.com/articles/504619-column-types#dropdown


    If you wanted to automatically determine if a value is new or updated you could achieve this utilizing a formula such as:


    =IF(COUNTIF([Task Name]:[Task Name], [Task Name]@row) > 1, "Update", "New")


    This would mark all task that have any double as Update and all others as New. 

    Note: Once there is an Updated task, the Original task (which was marked as new) would change to an Updated value. This may be redundant and not ideal, food for thought.


    In any case, you may wish to explore the IF Function if neither of the above achieves your desired goal. The IF Function allows you to perform logical expressions in Smartsheet where if one value equals this, produce that. https://help.smartsheet.com/function/if



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