Copy parent row only

I have automation set up to copy rows marked as "key deliverables" in my project schedule into a separate, key deliverables status tracking log. Unfortunately, when a key deliverables row in the schedule is a parent row -- i.e., has subtasks under it -- the automation (rightfully) copies the parent row AND its child subtasks into the destination status tracking log sheet.

Is there a way to ONLY copy over the parent row, without its subtasks?



  • SoS | Dan Palenchar
    SoS | Dan Palenchar ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Make a new column with formula =COUNT(CHILDREN()), let's call it "C". All parent rows will have a number in this column above 0, while non-parent (child) rows will display 0.

    So, if you add a filter in your automation to only copy rows where the value in this formula is *not* 0 it will only copy the parent row.

    👨🏼💻 Dan Palenchar | School of Sheets Solutions Consulting | Smartsheet Aligned Gold Partner

    If this helped, help me & the SSC by accepting and reacting w/ 💡insightful, ⬆️ Vote Up, and/or ❤️Awesome!

    PS - If you have a follow up response tag me @SoS | Dan Palenchar so I get notified of your reply!

  • Hi Dan -

    Good idea, but doing what you suggest will omit all of the child rows within the overall project schedule that represent key deliverables and ONLY focus on the parent rows. It needs to pick up both.

  • Furthermore, Dan, I just tested your approach, and it doesn't work (irrespective of the shortcoming I just described). It's behaving as if the child rows are attached to the parent row and immune to the logic you suggest.

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @John DeRoy

    Unfortunately, as far as I know, it's not possible to only copy a parent row to another sheet.

    A possible workaround could be to use cross-sheet formulas instead. (VLOOKUP or INDEX/MATCH)

    Would that work/help?

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic weekend!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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  • Thanks, Andree - a good idea, but won't help, unfortunately. Looks like I need to ensure that any such key deliverable rows are child rows only.

  • Kelly Moore
    Kelly Moore ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    If you have access to Data Mesh then it might be a potential solution. DataMesh can use reports as an input in place of a sheet. With a helper column (or two) on your main sheet you could probably produce a report with only the info you need. The caveat is having access to Data Mesh.



  • Hi @John DeRoy ,

    I stumbled onto this thread and I had a similar task I wanted to perform. Would creating a column to check if the row is a parent and having a "copy row" automation with the condition that only rows with that column checked are copied work for you? You will have to set the automation to run on specific dates, but if I read the issue correctly, this may work.

  • Hi @John DeRoy - did you ever find solution to the copy of parent row only? I tried the suggestions above but they do not work to copy only the parent row.

    Would appreciate if anyone has other ideas on how to do this.

    Kind Regards, Bob

  • Hi Bob -

    My need for a solution disappeared b/c that project was backburnered. Rene's suggestion looks like it's worth a short, however.


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