Hide comments in a published report?

Jamie Bedford
edited 08/07/20 in Smartsheet Basics

Hi there,

Is it possible to hide comments in a published report? I see this is an option when publishing a sheet as "Read only - HTML", but this option does not appear to be available when publishing a report. There are comments in our main sheet that the report is built on which we do not want to be visible in the published report.

I know that I can hide the comments column in the report which also hides it in the published report, but someone can still view the comments in the published report for a row by clicking on the row and then clicking the "Conversations" icon.

I do, however, see that adding a report to a dashboard removes things like comments -- but the interface is a bit more clunky. Is this the advised way to accomplish this? Add report via widget to a dashboard, then publish the dashboard? If I do it this way, do users need access to the report in order to see it in a published dashboard?

(I'm on a government tenancy, by the way.)




  • Ben Goldblatt
    Ben Goldblatt Employee
    edited 08/12/20

    Hi @Jamie Bedford,

    As you found, when publishing reports you only have the Read Only - Full option which does allow for viewing comments. I highly recommend Submitting a Product Enhancement Request to include more publishing options on reports, as I can definitely see a use case for restricting comments and attachments in a published version.

    Using a Report widget on a dashboard would produce a snapshot of the reporting data to show the report information without the comments. When you add a Report widget, within the Edit Report widget window you'll see a button for "Advanced Options". Clicking this button will give you options to configure how the data is displayed.

    If you want people to see the data in the widget as you are able to see it, and you want it to remain the same for all viewers, no matter who is viewing the dashboard, choose the Widget editor option. If you select Dashboard viewer, people will need to be shared to the underlying source sheet(s) that are being pulled into the report in order to see the information in the dashboard. More information on these advanced options can be found in the Help article titled Control Widget Content When Source Is From a Report

    Another option you could consider would be to share the report as an attachment via email (PDF or Excel format) to distribute the report without the comments. This could be set up to send out on a recurring basis if needed and the email attachment would only include the cell data from the report. Note though that if you go this route, the recipients would need to download the files to be able to view the information as opposed to viewing the information in one place in a dashboard.

    I hope this helps!



  • Does anybody know if this enhancement has been completed yet? It seems silly to publish a report which allows the end users to read through all the comments/conversations. Makes the publishing feature unusable in a lot of scenarios.

  • John Knipper
    John Knipper ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you hide the comments/attachment columns on the report before the report is published, they are not visible on the published report.

  • @John Knipper -- as I said in my original post, it is ineffective to hide the comments column before publishing the report as a viewer of the Published Report can still see the comments via the Conversations function. This is still true as of today for Government users, at least.

  • Does anyone know this enhancement was ever implemented? I've got teams using comments more, as it's a natural thing to do if you're used to commenting in Google Sheets/Excel.