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Same Name Columns

Stephanie Taylor
Stephanie Taylor ✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2017 Posts

Does anyone know a work around for naming multiple columns the same name?  I have found that if you have a column with at lease two words in the title you can put multiple spaces between the words and it will allow you to name the columns the same but will display as if only one space is between the two words.


For example:

Column 1 is titled - "Assigned To"

Column 2 is titled - "Assigned  To" but displays as "Assigned To" (two spaces vs one between Assigned and To)


However I have not found a way to name multiple columns the same with only one word titles.

Has anyone else?



  • Richard Rymill SBP
    Richard Rymill SBP ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Stephanie, one of the first things we do when helping new users of Smartsheet to build great workflows is discuss, agree and finalise your corporate list of column names, so each is unique and means the same thing across departments, same with the use of colour. That way, your sheets can be analysed, reported on, combined in reports etc..... which you cannot do without that corporate standardisation. 


    So, I suggest you think again about the reasons for having duplicated, similar sounding Column titles. I suspect there is a better way to get what you want?

    Hope that Helps?



  • Stephanie Taylor
    Stephanie Taylor ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you Richard but I am not a new user and I have specific reasons for having columns with the same name. 


    This sheet does not need to be analyzed, reported on or combined in a report. 


    Thank you anyway. 

  • Richard Rymill SBP
    Richard Rymill SBP ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Ouch! hope i havent caused offence? 


  • Brett Evans
    Brett Evans ✭✭✭✭✭✭



    Have you tried adding columns thru the API?  I haven't, but I have been looking at the API a lot recently.   In the API it looks like the uniquie identifier is the Column ID number and not the column name.  The UI that users (Admins included) see uses the column name to define columns.


    I would suspect that if th API allows you to add same named columns you would run into some conflicts when you get back to the UI if there are methods that refer to columns by name and not ID #.


    If the business requirement is having multiple columns with the same name, it seems like it is in conflict with the technical requirement of UI variables (columns) needing unique names.



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

    Neat trick with the spaces, but that seems like a bug.

    If it wasn't (in my opinion), then


    "  F  " would be different than "F"

    but it isn't.


    Have you considered a non-intrusive, non-blank character like ","?



  • Stephanie Taylor
    Stephanie Taylor ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Craig, 


    I have considered a non-intrusive character but I just didn't like the way it looked.  And shhhh about the bug.  If it is a bug I don't want them to fix it.  haha



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



    I won't tell if you don't. I've hit my bug quota for the week already.


    I'm curious about use case for multiple columns with the same name.

    The only one I can come up with a different column types. 

    Can you share?



  • Stephanie,


    I'm also curious for your use case so that I can pass your feedback along to our Product team for how this could be used.

  • Stephanie Taylor
    Stephanie Taylor ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 02/23/17

    Craig & Shaine,


    I could use this in a couple of situations.  First it would be great to have two contact columns to assign employees to a task.  The first contact column is the primary person responsible for the task and the second column is for the back person incase the first emloyee is sick (I know I could name the columns 1st Assigned To and 2nd Assigned To but I just don't like the look of it - I know I'm being picky :-).  Secondly I am using the smartsheet as a simple spread sheet.  I need to list functions and who is responsible for that function in multiple columns grouped together by catagory.  


    For me it is not he end of the world I can usally find a work around.


    Thanks guys!

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

    Thanks Stephanie.



  • Stephanie—


    Thanks for taking the time to provide this info.


    For a feature like this to work, we'd need a different way of representing column uniqueness when building reports.

  • Hi Team,



    I have run into the same issue. I do not need reports and absolutely want/need the columns the same name. My example is different than Stephanie's. I am creating a personal checklist of items I have to run through to complete a project. Using the checklist option for a column, I would like them all to say 'Done' at the top of the column, so that I know the task to the left of that Done column is completed. Please let me know if there is a workaround for this.



    Thank you!

This discussion has been closed.