Announcing Formula Support for Contact Columns



  • This is great news however I am having a few problems getting it to work seamlessly.

    I am using an Index Match formula to bring in their email address from a Contact List field from another Smartsheet based on a common key/reference they both share.

    The problems I am having are two fold:

    1. There is a delay of several minutes before the formula takes effect which is off-putting for users leaves me with doubts about the next stage of my automation efforts (I'm going to be using the Contact List bought in to trigger alerts and notifications so it needs to be reliable). Attached shows that I still receive the error message that you got when previously attempting formulas in Contact Lists.

    2. When a name has been added alongside the email address to the Contact on the Smartsheet I am bringing the data in from, in some instances, only the name was bought across and not the email address. I had to copy the contact list information across to a spreadsheet and manually convert all the contact names back to email addresses and then copy and paste this back into the source Smartsheet to sort this which isn't ideal.


    Are these issues unique to me or is this a recognised issue that's being worked on in the background?

    Contact List.PNG

  • In case you need it, the formula I am using is:

    =INDEX({Audits & Inspections Range 7}, MATCH([Audit Ref]982, {Audits & Inspections Range 2}, 0))

  • neil.pattinson90956
    edited 08/28/19

    P.S. I am also getting this message when I export the Smartsheet into a spreadsheet even though the email address is shown in the Smartsheet:

    Contact List2.PNG

  • Hi Neil,

    There is some current instability. My sheets have been pulling in the correct Contact for the last 24 hours, but suddenly I also experienced the #CONTACT COLUMN DOES NOT SUPPORT message. After a while, it came back, so I suspect something is updating somewhere on the Smartsheet servers. Fingers crossed it comes back for you as well.

    Rob Eberstein

    Managing Director, Cheetah Transformation

  • Hi Neil and Rob,

    Thanks for letting us know. If you see that #CONTACTCOLUMN error again, please refresh your browser and it should go away. We found the code that is causing that this week and working on a fix for it.

    When the contacts are not coming over via a formula as expected, here are a few things to check:

    Both contact columns are the same type: either both should be multi-assign or single assign. If there's a multi-assign populating a single assign column, the contacts will be converted to text. 

    If the contact column was converted from a dropdown list - go to the column properties, select dropdown list, remove the entries (emails and/or First/Last names, click on Contact List again then save (don't save prior to selecting Contact List again :) )

    Let me know if these do not help with that!



  • Thanks Kara.

    You're right about the multiple contacts checkbox. Looks like I didn't tick this when I converted the existing column with a formula in to a contact list, hence why they didn't convert cleanly.

    Good to hear that the issue has been found, it might also be worth checking that the fix put in place also corrects this message coming across (Despite it not showing in the Smartsheet) to the spreadsheet when it is exported.

  • Thanks Neil, 

    Glad to hear it's working. The formulas not exporting to other file types is generally expected behavior.



  • Kristin Komassa
    edited 08/30/19

    I am still having the issues with some of my cells -- yet not all and they all have the same formula running: =INDEX({Tenant Coordinator}, MATCH([Yardi Code]@row, {Yardi Code}, 0))

    This is the same formula that is running in the column to the left -- just with a different Index Column -- match is identical. =INDEX({Ownership}, MATCH([Yardi Code]@row, {Yardi Code}, 0))  And all values are pulling correctly which leads me to believe there is still an issue with formulas in the Contact Column.


    Never mind -- I ended up finding out the source sheet WAS originally a drop-down list -- I did Kara's suggestion on clearing out the list then changing it back to a contact column and it seems to have fixed the issue.

    New Update -- after clearing out per Kara's suggestion -- every 5 minutes or so I am receiving an error (again) that contact list doesn't support formulas -- using a simple =Parent() on the source sheet...these are the only cells affected.


  • Same issue occurring with all our contact columns containing formulas -- working fine, then refreshes and error, then refreshes and works.  When first opening the sheet there is an error but after a refresh the values come thru -- tried all suggested fixes.  This is also causing our reports to not pull correctly.

  • Hi Kristen,

    Just sent you an email, will try to help.



  • Maxim Lobko
    Maxim Lobko ✭✭✭✭

    I'm having issues with VLOOKUP. First it seems to work, but as soon as one of the referenced values is changed, the formula generates #CONTACT COLUMN DOES NOT SUPPORT message. However once the sheet is refreshed the error goes away, but the sheet is asking to save it. If not saved, then the error message stays, if saved then it goes. Not sure how to deal with it as I cannot re-save the sheet each time when any of the referenced values are changing..

    Any suggestions are appreciated.



  • Tim Meeks
    Tim Meeks ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 09/11/19

    I'm seeing the same thing that Maxim describes except for the error message. If I update the source sheet that  the VLOOKUP Is pointing to, the vlookup column appears as in the attached screen shot. 

    The main issue is that it affects the Dynamic View that is using this vlookup to filter. The user was seeing items but is no longer. 

    To resolve, I then have to resetup the vlookup formula and copy it down. Then it works. 



    vlookup error.PNG

  • Maxim, Tim,

    We are so sorry that you are seeing the formula errors. We are aware and have a correction being pushed out next week. I will update this channel as soon as that is live.

    Thank you,


  • Maxim Lobko
    Maxim Lobko ✭✭✭✭

    Hello Kara,

    just wanted to let you know that the issue still persists. Could you please help?



  • Hi Maxim,

    Yes, I'm so sorry you are still seeing this. We had hoped to have the fix out last week, and it has now shifted to this week. I will update the thread once the fix is available.

    Thank you,