Assigning a count to each dropdown category


Recently with the help of this community and customer support, I have created this reference table of categories and sub-categories (see screenshot 1):

However, I would like to also track the amount of times the sub-categories are entered. Say for example, A was found 5 times. 

In the dropdown menu from the solution, let's say we have A B and C subcategories that would print XY in the main category column. I want A found 5 times to be listed in the drop down as such (A, 5, B, C) so that the main category is X5Y, as A sub category falls into X (see screenshot 2):

However, when I want free values in the dropdown, it moves the 5 to the last option (A,B,C,5). I found out that this is stored this way alphabetically in the help.smartsheet website here: 

  • In Multi-Select dropdown columns, free text values are saved alphabetically at the end of the cell they are added to.

I believe I have figured out the code to automatically put the subcategory layout into category, if the subcategory is correct (A5BC).

Is there any way I could either change the dropdown option to remove alphabetic order to the order I want (input), or is there an alternative solution to this?



  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi @jgrn

    There currently isn't a way to customize the order that the multi-select options appear in a dropdown list. If you have the formula to get the correct order, you could return that in a regular text/number cell (as in your Desired column) so that the order stays the same.

    If you need it in a multi-select, it would be helpful to know more about the context for that column. It would also be useful to know what formulas you're using, looking at the reference table.

    Are you using the SUBSTITUTE function, to replace individual values in the Category column with values from your dropdown list?

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