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Backup - Link attachements to row ID/number

Daniel Nordvik
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2017 Posts



When you make a backup of a sheet with many attachments such as pictures and pdfs these will all be downloaded to one big ZIP folder. Say you have 500 rows with attachments, there is no way to link the attachment to the right row.


Is it possible to automatically rename attachments as you upload them? With row number or with an ID nr?



Daniel Nordvik


  • Bill Stadler

    I like this idea!!!

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    Do you mean if I drag a WordDoc to row 43, that it will be renamed something like old_name_43 or old_name_3434451325534 (the row ID)?


    I don't think that will solve your problem and create new ones.

    That seems to me like getting a tattoo on your arm of the address of the apartment you are renting. MAYBE if you owned the apartment, but still, things change.

    If I has a new row at row 35, then your old_name_43 won't be valid anymore.

    RowID may be OK ... maybe. That follows the row but not sheet to sheet, and the number means nothing unless you know how to get under the hood and find that ID.


    I suggest we restate the problem and see if there is a solution.

    What I am hearing is that if there is a backup, there is no link between where it was (on the sheet level or on the row level and which row) so no way to put it back where it was.

    Is that the problem?


    As much as I want a backup system, at this point, I need to trust Smartsheet to be able to recover just about everything - there is no way I could really rebuild my system from the ground up with Excel backups. And least, not cost effectively.

    That seems to me to be the bigger problem, of which yours is only one of the major sticking points.


    To solve my restatement of your problem would be something like a list of filename and where-it-was, From such a list, the next feature would be a batch function to put them back from a jumbled directory.

    (That's not very many lines of code either)

    from list

     - does file exist in folder? then put it back

     - else tell user at end the file was not found.




  • JamesR
    JamesR ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Possible we need to rethink how we use attachments.

    If you upload you attachments then when people want to read them they need to download the attachment thus ending up with multiple copies of data stored in multiple users Download folder on the Laptops, PC etc.


    If instead as part of your setup you create cloud storage to suit. Dropbox, Box Sharepoint list etc.  Structure appropriatly with the right permissions and rights to match the Smatsheet or workspace.  Then whenyou want to attach the document you save it to the Cloud storage Named appropriatly, get is url and Attach in smartsheet using the URL option.


    If the Smartsheet trashes the attachments are sahe on Cloud storage named appropriatly.


    Still not an Ideal solution as you still need to link them back to the rows etc or as they are named appropriatly just link the storage to the sheet rather than the individual files to the rows.

  • Daniel Nordvik
    edited 02/07/17

    J. Craig Williams,


    Thank you for your respons. 


    I see that linking an attachment to a certain row is not a good idea as rows can be moved around during the process, but linking it to a unique ID number could work as long as you auto-generate ID-numbers and lock the column. 


    My intention is not to recreate the list in Smartsheet, but I need to be able to file the information outside of Smartsheet. In our company we have a CRM Sharepoint system where all our documentation needs to be archived.  need to be able to extract all lists and attachments when a project is done.


    I did however find a manual way link the attachments to the list:

    -Take a backup of the list

    -Select all rows in Smartsheet and send as an e-mail to yourself. All of the attachments will be listed at the bottom, with a description on which row it belongs to.

    -Copy this list and paste in a separate sheet in yout excel list.

    -The row numbers in excel will not match the Smartsheet-rows as the excel list will give the headline row number 1. Therfore insert a new column and start numbering from row nr. 2.





  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    That's a nice work-around.


    You can have the sheet sent to you as an Excel file. This can also be done automatically & periodically.


    You can skip the select rows part.




This discussion has been closed.