Video: Smartsheet Interface Basics

Cleversheet ✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited 12/23/19 in Smartsheet Basics

I probably just didn't use the right search terms in the Smartsheet Support system, but I was surprised not to find anything dedicated to the users of the grids we create. Lots of good content about how to build in Smartsheet, but since I couldn't locate how they launch new users (ie, the consumers, as it were, not the creators), I put together my own video. It covers these topics:

  1. Menu bar
  2. Tool bar
  3. Column Descriptions
  4. Expand/Collapse
  5. Filter & Find
  6. Add Row
  7. Drag/Indent
  9. Highlight Changes
  10. Cell history

Feel free to share the YouTube link if you find it useful. And if Smartsheet already did something like this, please point me to it. Theirs will be a lot more polished than the one I whipped out.



Here's the raw link for easy reference and copying:


  • Gwyneth C
    Gwyneth C ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Cleversheet! In fact we do have some great Intro training in the Smartsheet Learning center. You'll find that here:

  • Cleversheet
    Cleversheet ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Gwyneth, I’ve looked thru those resources and found plenty on how to create sheets and develop process improvements. But if that’s all you’ve got for a) the field people who do the day-to-day work using Smartsheet assets created by b) the audience for those learning resources, then Smartsheet has somehow overlooked the needs of the a) category. There’s nothing I could find that deals with basic navigation and interaction from the unlicensed user’s point of view, their practical experience of being asked by a creator to use a Smartsheet asset without any prior introduction to the platform.

    If you or anyone else could look at my video and then point me to the better one that Smartsheet already has (dealing with comparable subject matter and intended for Smartsheet “consumers”), I’d be most grateful.

    Back story: I sent the sheet shown in the video to several people and heard back, “I’m not smart enough to use Smartsheet” because they couldn’t figure out how to add a new row. I realized I’d thrown something at them without enough coaching on how to perform their very simple expected tasks. So of course I went straight to the Smartsheet Help system (all paths: Learning, Community, ...) but was amazed and chagrined to find nothing out there for that audience.

  • Cleversheet
    Cleversheet ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    BTW, here is the video script in case helpful for anyone.


  • Gwyneth C
    Gwyneth C ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 12/31/19

    Hi Cleversheet,

    Your video does a great job of explaining an overview for newly shared users to your sheets. You may also want to direct them to our article for free collaborators, here:

    Then, once they understand the overview, you could direct them to our "Get Started" learning track for more in-depth information on each feature:


  • Cleversheet
    Cleversheet ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for pointing that out, Gwyneth. It's closer than anything I'd yet seen to what I have in mind. Would you agree—or not—that it would be helpful for Smartsheet to offer free users, in a much more polished way than what I created, some guidance about the elements not addressed in the video you cited? Namely, these actions that are useful if not central to the Free User interaction in Smartsheet:

    Menu bar (hiding it is admittedly a low priority)

    Tool bar (active in the Free User view when clicked on a cell, so seems worth mentioning)

    Column Descriptions (granted this depends on the Admin's forethought, but it's one of the most helpful of the recent interface upgrades and should be taken advantage of to help the Free User understand the meaning and use of each column)

    Expand/Collapse (use of the + sign is intuitive for probably only a fraction of those first encountering Smartsheet)

    Filter & Find (this one seems to me essential, especially the distinction between Find [within sheet] and Search [across assets]

    Add Row (this is the one that tripped up my user, yet it's a basic action many Free Users may be expected use as they contribute to the sheet)

    Drag/Indent (without knowing the implications of how things are nested and, as illustrated in my video, having a row appear formatted unexpectedly could be very surprising to the unfamiliar user)

    Comments (the existing Smartsheet video only mentions the full-sheet view and doesn't point out that comments can be focused on particular rows)

    Highlight Changes (the existing Smartsheet video references "since last visit" but displays "in last hour"; a bit more on how to use this function seems potentially valuable)

    Cell history (knowing the entire history is recorded can help someone feel confident that errors they make can be recovered)

    So with all due respect, I hope you and others at Smartsheet will realize that the Free User deserves more attention and guidance than they're presently able to get within the Learning Center—and certainly something more professional than they'll find in my amateur YouTube. :/

    Thanks for keeping on listening, Gwyneth.


  • Gwyneth C
    Gwyneth C ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks so much for the feedback and for providing a useful resource that meets the needs of the people you are working with. I'll pass this along to my colleagues here at Smartsheet who craft the Learning Center tracks and video content. I really appreciate the dialog and your interest in helping all Smartsheet customers!

  • Cleversheet
    Cleversheet ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Rich Coles, have you already come across my basic-user tutorial video? Your feedback welcomed. And if you think it's worth sharing with others then of course please do so.

    (There are minor interface changes since I created the video in 2020, and the new Latest Comment field option obsoletes the "< <" tip I mention in segment 8. Good that Smartsheet keeps getting better.)