Inconsistency in how contacts are displayed across sheets


I have noticed inconsistency in how same contact is displayed differently across sheets. In one sheet it is displayed as name whereas in other sheet its displayed as email id. I understand that in one sheet where its displayed as name, its picking up the name from user name in my smartsheet account. But in other sheet (which I tried moving in same workspace) is not showing same behavior, it still displays as email id. In this second sheet, however few contacts are displayed as names which are stored in "My smartsheet contact list". This is pretty weird and inconsistent behavior. This is blocking me from applying formulae to compare and match resources across sheets for various task allocation activities.


  • I am following this. I have the same issue with certain contacts.

  • Alejandra
    Alejandra Employee

    Hi @Saurabh Maheshwari,

    I'd be happy to explain. When you type a name or email address in a Contact List column, the names that are displayed will include the following:

    • Any preferred contact values that you’ve set up using the Values box in the Insert Column or Edit Column Properties window.
    • All collaborators shared to the sheet.
    • Any other contacts or email addresses that have been assigned to other rows in the sheet.
    • People in your personal Smartsheet contacts list. (More information on this is available here.)
    • If you're a part of a multi-user account, other people that are in the account. (More information on User Management is available here.)

    For example, if have you listed under My Smartsheet Contacts as "Saurabh", and @Paul Nelson has created a contact for you that uses both your first and last name. When either Paul or I begin to type your name or email address into the Contact List Column, we would each see the Smartsheet contact that we created as an option.

    To maintain consistency, you'll want to consider restricting the contact list column to the preferred values only. If needed, more information on this can be found in our help article:

  • Saurabh Maheshwari
    Saurabh Maheshwari ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Alejandra

    I understood that part. What I fail to understand is that why its inconsistent across 2 different sheets. I want my contacts in both the sheets to appear same / consistently. This is causing issue while using formula to match and do some dependent calculations. Also I can't restrict the column to only preferred values as it's a resource allocation sheet and really can't put restrictions there. Any idea how I can have both the sheets to behave same or any other formula or way to fetch email id of a contact column into another column?

  • Alejandra
    Alejandra Employee

    @Saurabh Maheshwari at this time, the only way to ensure that the contacts in the Contact List column appear in the same format, is to restrict the Contact List column to the preferred values only.

    This can certainly be done on sheet with Resource Management enabled. However, if you don't wish to restrict the column to the preferred values, you can submit a Product Enhancement Request to let our Product team know that you'd like to have this functionality in Smartsheet. 

  • @Alejandra I know this is an old post but I have a similar problem and have not found a solution. I want to be able to compare two contacts (particularly email address) but there does not seem to be a way to extract he email addresses from the a contact column in the tables and because the contacts store multiple pieces of information (text and email address), there does not seem to be a way to directly compare. Setting a restricted contact list won't work for most of my applications because we are constantly adding new people, so I would be editing the restricted list every time somebody adds a new person.

    I'm open to suggestions on how to compare email addresses...



  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
    edited 06/28/20

    Hi @Craig Johnson

    How are the email addresses being input? What if you created a contact column for emails that was actually a Text/Number type column where the user input the address. Then you could set up a second, helper column that automatically pulled that data into a Contact type of column to be used for automations or workflows (you can pull the email over with something like =[Email Column]@row input into the actual Contact column).

    You could even hide that Contact column used in workflows if it looks too confusing to have duplicate information for anyone else accessing the sheet. Let me know if this makes sense and would work for you!



  • Thanks @Genevieve P ,

    Great suggestion. It seems to have solved my problem.


  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi Craig,

    Great! Glad to hear it - thanks for letting us know. 🙂