Disable sorting for users, but still allow data entry

edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

We are having a problem where accidental sorting occurs on a sheet used by several users, and I am looking to only allow users to enter data into a cell, but protect the placement of columns and rows.

In my research I can not see a way to do this, because it is my understanding that if a row is locked, no data can be entered. 

Does anyone know of a way to protect rows and columns from accidentally being sorted other than making back ups and hoping for the best?

Much thanks


  • Hi Jen‚

    You might try creating a report and directing everyone to view and edit from the report instead of the source sheet. People can sort the report as they like without affecting the structure of the source sheet. Details on reporting can be found in our help center: https://help.smartsheet.com/articles/522214-creating-reports

    Another idea is to add a system column to your sheet that numbers the rows automatically. (Recommend sticking to a simple 1, 2, 3, etc. type of pattern.) If someone accidentally sorts the source sheet, you can sort it back by the system column. More on the System Column here: https://help.smartsheet.com/articles/1964567-system-columns

  • Thank you, your suggestions are very helpful and I will implement them. :)

  • MarkA.
    MarkA. ✭✭

    I'm also having a related problem. I use formulas for several reasons to provide contextually relevant information (mostly vlookups & concatenate w/in this sheet). End users are sorting to find their information, and I'm not aware until formulas break due to the bottom rows lacking the formula to continue to copy...

    I can't copy the formulas to all rows, because that will change the "last modified" date which we use for metrics until smartsheet finally provides a timestamp() function that will copy the timestamp that exists already within "View Cell History."

    I will try to create a report that can be edited.

  • Ami Veltrie
    Ami Veltrie ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Shaine.

    Reports are no longer an option for us now that Smartsheet requires users to have a license to modify reports.

    Is there some other way to prevent users from sorting and saving data?

  • We continue to have problems with sorting as well. We can't lock the columns or use a report because the same users needing to be locked out from sorting also need the ability to enter data. It would be ideal if there was a way to lock all sorting. This and the inability to link email addresses to active directory when adding information from a form are the two most frustrating features of smartsheets. I like it as an administrator of the issue log where smartsheets are used, but our end users are highly dissatisfied with the extra steps caused by these design limitations.

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @lewis hamilton The solution you provided is for Excel. Smartsheet does not have the same capability.

    @Keith Florea Have you submitted any Product Enhancement Requests outlining the changes you would like to see made?