When Smartsheet form is returned it contains all columns in sheet, not just ones I used in the form

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I have a Smartsheet with about 80 columns. When I make a form based on this sheet I may only use 10 of them as fields. When I publish the form, it looks good with only 10 fields. Yet when I get the filled out form returned, all the columns get returned including the ones that were NOT used as part of the form.

It is super annoying to get all these empty column/fields returned as it gives an annoying long form. I have tried hiding columns and fields and every trick I can think of. What can I do to only get the fields back I use in the form?

Hope somebody knows. Thanks, -Birgit H.

Best Answer

  • Jeff Reisman
    Jeff Reisman ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Admittedly I'm not that familiar with Card View, however after looking at your screen shots again I think I see what you're asking about.

    It looks like when someone completes a form and submits it, you are viewing the row in Edit mode and seeing all the columns. This is by design. Every row in a sheet includes every column in that sheet, whether or not those columns are populated for that row. As an owner/admin/editor of a sheet, you can add data to or remove data from any column in any row. So of course you are going to see all the columns in the edit window.

    Using a report is a good way to only see columns you want to see from a given sheet. Create the new report, select the sheet you want as your source, and then select the columns you want to view. You can add filters such as "show me rows with created date in the last 3 days" to only see the latest responses, and set default sorting order. Then the report will only show you the columns you're interested in and the rows you are interested in. The drawback is that you can't use Card View with a Report, only Grid, Gantt, and Calendar Views. 

    Alternatively, if your organization uses the Data Mesh add-on, you can create sheets that are automatically populated/updated when rows in the source sheet are added or changed. In the Data Mesh configuration, you can select which columns from the source sheet you want to populate into your new sheet. As long as your new sheet contains a checkbox, symbol, or single-select drop down column, you can use Card View with that sheet. 

    Hope this helps!.

    Regards,

    Jeff Reisman

    Link: Smartsheet Functions Help Pages Link: Smartsheet Formula Error Messages

    If my answer helped solve your issue, please mark it as accepted so that other users can find it later. Thanks!

Answers

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Hi @Birgit H.

    I hope you're well and safe!

    Strange!

    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, andree@workbold.com)

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic week!

    Best,

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    Did my post(s) help or answer your question or solve your problem? Please support the Community by marking it Insightful/Vote Up or/and as the accepted answer. It will make it easier for others to find a solution or help to answer!

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  • Birgit H.
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    Hi Andree,


    I am attaching some screenshots

    This what I am referring to. No matter how many or few fields are being used in a form, theall get returned, which is such a mess.


    Cheers, -Birgit H.

  • Jeff Reisman
    Jeff Reisman ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    I'm not sure what you mean by "they all get returned." Do you mean like a copy of the responses in an email?

    If you only want to see the 10 fields from the form, just create a report from the underlying sheet, and only include the columns you care about.

    Regards,

    Jeff Reisman

    Link: Smartsheet Functions Help Pages Link: Smartsheet Formula Error Messages

    If my answer helped solve your issue, please mark it as accepted so that other users can find it later. Thanks!

  • Birgit H.
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    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for your answer.

    By "They all get returned", I mean when a form gets returned and I look at in "Card View", the 8-10 fields get returned, but so do the 60 other fields that were never included in the form (but exist in the sheet that provide question choices for the form) I would have expected that only the 8-10 fields that were used in the form would get returned.

    Let me read your second statement back to you, if I don't want every field returned, I should make a "new report" that only includes the 8-10 fields I am interested in? What do you mean by a "new report"? Could that report be based on the previous Sheet form responses? Should it be a Line form or a Summary form?

    Thank you again for your help!

    Cheers, -Birgit H.

  • Jeff Reisman
    Jeff Reisman ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Options

    Admittedly I'm not that familiar with Card View, however after looking at your screen shots again I think I see what you're asking about.

    It looks like when someone completes a form and submits it, you are viewing the row in Edit mode and seeing all the columns. This is by design. Every row in a sheet includes every column in that sheet, whether or not those columns are populated for that row. As an owner/admin/editor of a sheet, you can add data to or remove data from any column in any row. So of course you are going to see all the columns in the edit window.

    Using a report is a good way to only see columns you want to see from a given sheet. Create the new report, select the sheet you want as your source, and then select the columns you want to view. You can add filters such as "show me rows with created date in the last 3 days" to only see the latest responses, and set default sorting order. Then the report will only show you the columns you're interested in and the rows you are interested in. The drawback is that you can't use Card View with a Report, only Grid, Gantt, and Calendar Views. 

    Alternatively, if your organization uses the Data Mesh add-on, you can create sheets that are automatically populated/updated when rows in the source sheet are added or changed. In the Data Mesh configuration, you can select which columns from the source sheet you want to populate into your new sheet. As long as your new sheet contains a checkbox, symbol, or single-select drop down column, you can use Card View with that sheet. 

    Hope this helps!.

    Regards,

    Jeff Reisman

    Link: Smartsheet Functions Help Pages Link: Smartsheet Formula Error Messages

    If my answer helped solve your issue, please mark it as accepted so that other users can find it later. Thanks!

  • Birgit H.
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    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you so much for your answers. They resolved my issues. Fortunately, our organization does use the Data Mesh Add-on, and I have been able to create a new sheet based on a selection of columns from the old source sheet, then crated a new form based on the sheet and when the form is returned it can be displayed in Card form. This is pretty neat and I thank you for mentioning it.

    Cheers✔️, -Birgit

  • Jeff Reisman
    Jeff Reisman ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    @Birgit H. 😊 Glad I could help. I've just started using Data Mesh myself and I've found that I may be able to redesign a LOT of my solutions to take advantage of it and expand functionality.

    Regards,

    Jeff Reisman

    Link: Smartsheet Functions Help Pages Link: Smartsheet Formula Error Messages

    If my answer helped solve your issue, please mark it as accepted so that other users can find it later. Thanks!