Blue Lines

Melitta King
Melitta King ✭✭✭✭
edited 12/16/20 in Smartsheet Basics


I have a set of templates and one person who really likes to indent, a lot. And at times, this causes some of the cells to turn blue.

I can remove the blue by removing the calculation in the left most column, see the difference between Campaign Brief and Setup Campaign, but I'm looking for a reason as to why this happens. It's not conditional formatting. There is conditional formatting but nothing that does that.

Is it a visual indicator that Smartsheet puts in place? or what? Anyone have an idea?

Thanks very much for any suggestions,



  • Maxwell Griffith
    Maxwell Griffith Employee Admin

    Hi @Melitta King!

    I'm going to move this discussion to our "Using Smartsheet" category, as you will probably get a quicker response due to its importance of utilizing the app itself.


    Maxwell from Smartsheet

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi @Melitta King

    Based on your description it does sound like there is Conditional Formatting applied to the sheet which is dependent on the numbers in one of your helper columns on the left. I can see from the second screen capture that there is a scroll bar in the Conditional Formatting window... can you scroll down and see if there are any additional rules down below?

    If that's not the cause, then it would be helpful to know specifically which Template Set you are using; I'd be happy to download the same set and perform some tests. Other than Conditional Formatting and Manual Formatting there's no way to automatically set the colour background of a cell.



  • Melitta King
    Melitta King ✭✭✭✭

    Hello @Genevieve P ,

    There is no rule in the rest of the conditional formatting rules that causes this blue formatting.

    Thanks for the question about a template however, this set of sheets, reports and dashboards was built when I arrived so I have no info on whether it was built from a set or not.

    Parent row: has a calculation and if it's underlying value = 0, then it is a task. So we can calculate status based upon Parent Row = 0.

    Lvl: There are 4 levels. 0, 1, 2, 3. 0 = project, 1 = phase. 2 and 3 are shades of grey and used for parents underneath a phase. However, as I mentioned, we have someone who really likes to indent and when he indents and a row is 4, 5, 6 - that is when the blue color appears.

    If I remove the calculation and make Parent row = 0 with no calculation - then it shows white. That's the conditional formatting which is Parent Row = 0, make entire row white. That conditional rule take precedent over Lvl so the rows are Parent Row = 0 and show up white.

    I can't figure out where the blue comes from. Any suggestions with this detail provided?

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi @Melitta King

    Thank you for clarifying! Based on your description it sounds like someone may have originally coloured rows manually. Then the Conditional Formatting rules were applied and made cell colours change back to White, but this keeps the underlying colour as blue. Therefore, when a row doesn't match a rule (because there's a number that doesn't have a rule applied), it turns back to the original, manually applied blue colour of the row.

    To get rid of this, select the row and then apply the white paint-can to manually change it back to white (or back to the default "automatic"). You can select your whole sheet and do this for all rows at once. It will change the default background of the cells back to be white without affecting any of the Conditional Formatting rules currently applied (aka. your grey rows will stay grey).

    Let me know if this works for you!