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Primary Column

Jessica Conn
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2016 Posts

Why is the primary column text only? I would like to make this a drop down. When i move the primary column to the last column it then gives me difficulties with sub tasks. Any suggestion on how to use a droup down in the first column and also have subtask


  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    You want your Dropdown to also have sub-tasks?



  • Jessica Conn
    edited 03/08/16

    I really want to have the primary column (or the first column) to be a drop down. In addition to that, once i have chosen from my drop down i that want to be able to indent (sub-tasks) so i know that task or item is associated with the above line item. does that make sense?

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    The Primary Column does not need to be the first column (you can move them around). The Primary Column is the only one that indents but all of the other columns "know" that they are indented.


    In a Checkbox type column, you can determine if you are parent or child.


    where 1 (checked) is a parent.

    Note, some are both, those are shown as parents.


    You can use that IF check in more complex formulas to grab the value from the parent and populate the child rows.


    Hope that helps.




  • SashaR
    edited 03/08/16

    As Craig mentioned, the primary column does not need to be in the first column - you can move it around. But it cannot be changed from a text/number column and will be the only column where hierarchies are displayed. 


    If you want to use a dropdown list as your main descriptor for the row, you can use Craigs formula to apply formatting to parent rows. You could even stick the (blank) primary column right next to it, so you can expand and collapse, like this:


    Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 11.38.23 AM.png

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Now THAT is a neat trick, Sasha




  • Sasha, can you tell me how to apply a formatt so a column or cell so the sheet hows to decipher and pulls from that cloumn.

  • Sorry, I dont understand what you are asking...


    To do what I did, you can use Craigs formula in a checkbox column:


    =IF(COUNT(CHILDREN()) > 0, 1, 0)


    Which identifies a parent row if the box is checked. You can then set a conditional formatting rule to apply a format to any row where the box is checked - thus formatting parent rows. 

  • Is there any way to get a dropdownmenu simulation for the primary column?


    Sasha's comment gave me the idea. Could for example you have column 2 be a drop down of departments and then have column 1 (the primary) used to group entries by department so that when a new entry is added by form, it would go into a child of the correct parent?

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 05/14/16



    You could use a formula in the Primary column and pull that from a drop down.

    There is not a way to move a new row added by a Smartsheet Webform from within Smartsheet.



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