What exactly trigger different alerts? The labels stink!

John M Lee
John M Lee ✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

Alert 1:

If you select Create a new rule and Alert Someone you receive a pop-up that has a top line of 

'Trigger: When a row is added or changed" and the next line is 

            When Any field changes

If I press Save I see the alert with a description of 'When a row is added or changed' but nothing about any field being changed.  When you press Edit you see 'Any field'.

Alert 2:

If I select Create new rule and select A Comment then I don't get an option to have an alert for Any field BUT when I press save I see 2 lines of the alert:

          'When a row is added or changed 

           When a comment is added or changed'

Is there supposed to be an AND or an OR between line 1 and line 2?


To be alerted of any change on a sheet AND any row comment, do I have to build 2 alerts or just the second alert above?



  • Isaac Jose
    Isaac Jose Employee

    Hello John, 

    Thanks for your post! I'm happy to clarify a bit about alerts and actions. When building an alert, you'll see three blocks in the workflow editor:

    1. Trigger - At the top of the alert, you'll define the trigger. This is the specific change that will cause the alert or action to execute. Within the trigger block, there are five types of triggers (below). Additionally, under the trigger-type defined in the blue section of this block, you can define a specific change. For example, you may only want to trigger the alert when the Status column is changed, rather than triggering the alert every time any change is made.
      • On a specific date - Send an alert on a specific date or based on a date column
      • When a row is added or changed - Send an alert when a row is added to the sheet or when an existing row is modified
      • When a row is added - Send an alert when a row is added to the sheet
      • When a row is changed - Send an alert when an existing row is modified
      • When a row is deleted - Send an alert when a row is deleted
    2. Condition - In the center, you can select "Add a condition to filter rows" to filter which rows are included in alerts that are triggered by the alert. This is the section that you would use in conjunction with AND or OR operators to define which conditions must be met for the alert or action to be sent. For example, an alert may be triggered when a comment is made on a row, but you can add a condition such that the alert is only sent if the Status of the row is not "Complete."
    3. Action - At the bottom, you can define your action or alert's recipients, frequency, custom messages, and other advanced settings.

    More information about alerts and actions can be found in the following help articles:

    I hope this helps!

    Isaac J


  • Isaac Jose
    Isaac Jose Employee

    To answer your question, if you want to be alerted of any change, including comments, you only need to use your first alert When a row is added or changed. This trigger criteria will alert you of all changes made to the sheet.

  • John M Lee

    Thank you for your reply on how to get any change on the sheet to send an alert.


    Is there a way to get an alert if ONLY the comments are changed and not the fields or rows? 


    We use to be able to set an alert for comments only and that went away with the alert revision last fall so we have people who want to know about comments and not daily cell changes and they are now out of the loop causing more emails to be written manually.

  • Isaac Jose
    Isaac Jose Employee

    Hi John,

    I know I am very late to reply, and that the Automation Workflows feature has been updated since the last post, but I was going through my old threads and thought I'd reply. It looks like you can now define Comments as triggers. For example:

    • When a row is added or changed
    • When A comment is Added or Changed
    • Run workflow: When triggered

    I hope this helps anybody who finds this thread later.

    Isaac J