For project status and risk dashboards - what are your favorite ways to use SmartSheet with Excel?

Brent Ross
Brent Ross ✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

Hi all,

I've reviewed some of the threads on the community here about limitations with Smartsheet not being able to export Harvey Balls or other images into Excel. These icons are extremely useful for risk dashboards and the like. When we registered for SmartSheet, I was hoping to be able to export these things, but it looks like we can't. 

Short of inviting customers into SmartSheet (some won't be able to use b/c of corporate restrictions), how are you working around this? I'm aware that Excel has conditional formatting ability, but only if there's a value present in the cell, which means you basically have to clear it and retain formatting. 

I'm still figuring out how to transition our organization onto Smartsheets for more than just gantt charts and project plans. This is an unfortunate limitation. Would love to hear about how project managers and consultants are overcoming (or not overcoming) this challenge. 



  • Debbie Sawyer
    Debbie Sawyer ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Brent

    Have you experiemented with Publishing your dashboard at all (rather than sharing it?) If you use the publish option, you can share the generated URL with your clients and all they need to view your current data (refreshed every 10 mins) is an internet browser.  It is a really powerful feature.

    Publishing the dashboard is different to sharing it.  For more information see this help article:

    Hope this helps.

    Kind regards


    ​​Debbie Sawyer Consultant & Training Manager



  • Thank you Debbie, and I apologize for the slow response. Was out of the office for about a week on travel. I'll definitely check this out. 

  • Ok, just a quick follow up here - I realized that I'm using the term dashboard a little more broadly (in the project management sense) than the functional definition implicit in SmartSheet. So for example, I might create a dashboard that is like a regular task list with stoplights to represent risks in a project, and or the status of various deliverables and whether or not they are on track. 

    Rolling aspects of that up into a dashboard and publishing based on rules and filters could be very useful, but ultimately, many of my customers will need to be able to show their stakeholders current project status summaries in a PowerPoint deck. Hence my question on export. 


  • Debbie Sawyer
    Debbie Sawyer ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Brent

    Ok, thanks for the followup definitions.  The first paragraph that you describe is a Smartsheet Project type sheet.  All the functionality you have described in that paragraph is present in a Project Sheet.  You can share a Project Sheet as Readonly or Editor and the collaborators can view / edit without the requirement for a license.  Alternatively you can also publish the sheet (just like publishing the dashboard I described earlier).

    If you don't wish to share the whole sheet you can set up a Report which selects just the columns you do wish to share and again the publish command is available there.  You can link to the published items from a PowerPoint deck, then you know the data you are viewing is always current.

    I hope that helps.

    Kind regards


  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Brent,

    I might have a solution to make this work. Do you always need to export/show the same sheet or how many can it be?

    I hope that helps!

    Have a fantastic day!


    Andrée Starå

    Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD



    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: | | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me for help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or anything else.