Will inserting a new column break references?

I think I know the answer, but my colleague wants a little more reassurance;

She has a data sheet, and this data sheet feeds a number of single cell reference metrics to a dashboard. She wants to add a new column of data to the initial sheet, but is concerned that it will break the references the metrics use.

I hvave advised that as Smartsheet utilizes column names in its references rather than a, b, c like Excel, that this will not happen. Is this correct?


  • Heather Duff
    Heather Duff ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Rob Wright,

    You are correct - the links will not break when you insert or rearrange columns or rows. It will even update the links automatically if you rename the column names.

    If she's still not trusting of it, have her create a new sheet and dashboard and play around with inserting and rearranging rows and columns and renaming the columns on the source sheet. That way it'll show her that it won't break the widgets on the dashboard.

    Hope this helps!


  • Rob Wright
    Rob Wright ✭✭✭✭

    Many thanks Heather!

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Rob Wright

    I hope you're well and safe!

    To add to Heather's excellent advice/answer.

    It depends on what kind of reference/formula it is.

    If it's a VLOOKUP, it could break it.

    Make sense?

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic day!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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  • Heather Duff
    Heather Duff ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Andrée Starå Thank you for adding that! I rarely (if ever) use VLOOKUP, so that fell off of my radar. I appreciate it!

  • Rob Wright
    Rob Wright ✭✭✭✭

    Hi guys,

    i think she is just pointing to cells in the metrics sheet using the metrics widget.

    it makes sense about the vlookup, as smartsheet still refers to the results column as a number relative to the lookup column, but in any case I think I will be using index and match in the future in preference to lookups, as I recently came across issues with the 100,000 cell reference limit in smartsheet.

    Thanks for the advice guys! very useful!