Automation - Copy row to current sheet


I have a user-oriented form associated with a sheet. The sheet works as it should, but we have a specific workflow in our business where a user may need to immediately enter a nearly-identical form immediately after submitting the first form. The form has dozens of fields and the second submission is identical in all but two of the columns, so this seems like a great candidate for automation that generally follows this framework:

  1. When a form that meets a certain condition is submitted and the associated row is added, copy the row to the bottom of the same sheet. (The condition is if one field contains a specific dropdown value.)
  2. When the new row appears, find the two cells that need modification and change them.

Smartsheet doesn't appear to have a "Copy to current sheet" action, so I tried to copy the row to a new, intermediate sheet that only exists to process this condition. The row copies find, but when I try to create an automation on the intermediate sheet that's along the lines of "When a row appears, change two values" followed by "When a row is modified, copy it back to the original sheet", neither of these actions triggers.

Is there a different or better way of accomplishing this workflow?


  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @hfisch

    I hope you're well and safe!

    Strange! It should work!

    Can you describe your process in more detail and maybe share the sheet(s)/copies of the sheet(s) or some screenshots? (Delete/replace any confidential/sensitive information before sharing) That would make it easier to help. (share too,

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic week!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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  • hfisch
    hfisch ✭✭

    @Andrée Starå, I've shared both sheets with you. For posterity, here's a walkthrough of what I'm trying to accomplish in more detail:

    Copy relevant row to intermediate sheet

    A row is added on a sheet called "Project Setup Example." In the event the Project Type is a Site Investigation and the Site Type is a Level B/C, the desired workflow should begin. A screenshot of the sheet is below, followed by a screenshot of the workflow.

    When Site Type is Level B/C (which in the real Sheet is filled in via form, and has logic where Site Type can only be filled if Project Type is Site Investigation; therefore, Project Type must also be Site Investigation), the row should get copied to the Sheet named "Intermediate Example." This part of the workflow does run properly.

    Change information on row in intermediate sheet

    After the row appears in the "Intermediate Example" Sheet, it needs a few values to be changed. First, the Project Type should change from Site Investigation to Quality Control. Then, the cell value in Site Type should be cleared from its original value of Level B/C. Here is that automation:

    The Project Type does eventually change to Quality Control, although it is not immediate (according to the Activity Log, it happens after 30 seconds). The second part of this may be where things are breaking. I was hoping that I could use the Otherwise condition state to trigger the second half of my needs and clear the value in Site Type. This seems to be a shortcoming of the Smartsheet Automation structure at present - I can either change a cell value or clear a cell value in the same action or series of actions, but I can't do both. My thought for a workaround was that I could get the Automation to trigger twice; once when the row first appears in the Sheet, and then a second time when the first value was changed in the row (hence the trigger being "When rows are added or changed." I suspect there is some backend to the code that keeps an Automation from triggering based on its own actions, though.

    Send row back to the original sheet

    After the row is fully updated, it should move back to the original Sheet, where it will appear as a modified version of the original row. Here's the Automation for that:

    This obviously never triggers because I haven't gotten past the step of clearing the cell value in Site Type.

    Thank you for your help on this!

  • zsiegel
    zsiegel ✭✭✭

    I have roughly the same use-case as @hfisch . I agree that at least one of the following two options is necessary to make Smartsheet automations a complete solution for a basic task like this:

    1. Allow automations to be triggered (with trigger "When rows are added or changed") when an automation changes a row.
    2. Allow some combination of "Change cell value" and "Copy rows"/"Move rows" wherein the value is changed and then the row is copied/moved with the changed value(s).

    Furthermore, to avoid intermediate sheets, it should be possible to "Copy Row" to the current sheet it is already in (and modify values after copying via further automation steps).

    Please, Smartsheet - respond to this year-old question. Thank you!

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi @zsiegel

    We now have a new way of submitting improvement suggestions and feature requests to the Product team: you can create an Idea Post in the Smartsheet Product Feedback and Ideas topic here in the Community. This will allow other users to vote on your enhancement idea and bring visibility to the top-requested items.



  • zsiegel
    zsiegel ✭✭✭

    Hi @Genevieve P. I disagree that this is a feature request - there is limited documentation regarding chaining automations, and some behavior seems to be fully undocumented (e.g. the above-mentioned non-triggering of automations by other automations). I see the automation feature as in-development and I don't think it's a complete or correct product until some of the feedback here is incorporated. There are multiple possible solutions, but unless one is pursued it feels more like an issue than a feature request to me!