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Remove or Increase Cross Sheet Reference Limitations

Please consider removing or increasing cross-sheet reference limitations. I recently built a solution that would require me to manage 3-4 sheets each month for monthly audit results tracking from Joint Commission. I spent weeks building and testing and at the end had to add more questions (total of about 125 to the form. Two days ago, I was adding the new info and cross-references for metrics and I reached the limit. I spent the last two days working non-stop to restructure the sheets to bi-pass the limits (on a holiday weekend). Now, I have approx 15 sheets to manage and still not sure I can make it past a couple of months for metrics/reporting. It is also important that I maintain past months/year's data for Joint Commission for each clinic (approx 125) - I created regional scorecards listing each clinic's results. The limitations just made managing the build much more inefficient and difficult and I am still worried I will reach the max soon, breaking everything again for a rebuild. This is not scalable. Thanks for your consideration.

17 votes

Idea Submitted · Last Updated


  • EmilyL
    EmilyL ✭✭

    I love Smartsheet. I think it is a wonderful program.

    In using Smartsheet for a couple of large organizations that have a high volume of transactions, etc., however, I have run up against the limits of Smartsheet so much that it comes close to negating all of the benefits.

    I am sure I am not the only one who would appreciate the following limits be removed (I don’t know if it’s server space or what needs to be done):

    1. 500,000 cell limit for a sheet
    2. 100,000 cells referenced in a sheet (this comes up a LOT and to deal with it I end up making 20+ extra sheets to try to recombine data for reports that shouldn’t be necessary)
    3. report limits—I’m less familiar with these but something like 2500 rows (large organizations have a lot of data)

    And then the other big limitation is the processing time. When dealing with larger amounts of data it takes be 3-4 times as long as it should to complete tasks because every time I have to open a sheet or reference another sheet I have to wait for several minutes. It takes me less time to do the work in the sheet than it does for the sheet to open most of the time (and this is when I’m creating them)

    Again, Smartsheet is a wonderful tool. It is my most frequent choice when I’m working with a company to organize their data and set up workflows, etc.. These are just things that would absolutely change things for the better.

  • Swicker
    Swicker ✭✭
    edited 08/15/23

    I absolutely ditto this! If Smartsheet wants to be used in large companies for wide-scale solutions - it will be critical to expand their cell limitations and speed up the processing time.

  • Riaan Kotze
    Riaan Kotze ✭✭✭
    edited 07/05/23

    Hi guys, kindly look into it to remove the cross-referencing limitation. I have to build a report over 12 months, reporting on each month, with quarterly reports as well as YT reports and the cross referencing is completely breaking my

    Please I love SS and would really like to build this report on the platform.

    Best regards,

  • Swicker
    Swicker ✭✭
    edited 08/15/23

    Adding my support for this improvement! Generally increasing the capacity of sheets to reference other sheets/reports/dashboards, etc. would greatly improve my ability to develop company wide Smartsheet solutions.

  • I've a employee weekly survey running over SmartSheet Sheets, it's being very tough to create new data/KPIs as there is a hard limitation of Cross Reference Sheet, I suggest to at least double current number

  • I am currently trying to pull in data from multiple different sheets into 1 summary view sheet and hit the 100 unique cross-reference max limit, and I am not even halfway finished with my task. Can this limit please be removed or at the very least increased to a much larger number?

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 12/18/23

    @Jessica Limke You can use a helper column in the source sheet to combine the multiple columns across each row into a single string (with a unique delimiter), pull this string over to the target sheet, then use a parsing solution to pull the individual data pieces out of the combined string. This will also help with sheet performance since cross sheet references can have a big impact on that.

  • Jubial
    Jubial ✭✭✭
    edited 12/18/23

    Second this - I've had many sheets completely break on me due to this. :(

  • RolandoN
    RolandoN ✭✭✭✭
    edited 12/18/23

    I'd also like this.

    Smartsheet admin by day, home chef by night

  • Roxanne
    Roxanne ✭✭✭
    edited 12/18/23

    @Paul Newcome that sounds like a solution that could work for me as well, can you please give me an example, I get that I add an extra row, but please unpack the parsing solution

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 12/18/23

    @Roxanne There are a number of different ways to parse in Smartsheet in other threads. The right one for you depends on exactly how your string is created. My personal preference when I have total control over all of the variables is to use different characters as delimiters that wouldn't be found anywhere in the strings. I like to use the UNICHAR function because I can use a set of numbers within the function to output unique delimiters but also keep the delimiters in numerical order to make adjusting formulas easier. Since the helper column can be hidden after setting it up, it doesn't really matter what it looks like as long as it is functional.

    =UNICHAR(8600) + [1st Column]@row + UNICHAR(8601) + [2nd Column]@row + UNICHAR(8602) + [3rd Column]@row + UNNICHAR(8603)

    Once you bring this string over, you can use a formula to parse things out as needed.

    =MID([Helper Column]@row, FIND(UNICHAR(8600), [Helper Column]@row) + 1, FIND(UNICHAR(8601), [Helper Column]@row) - (FIND(UNICHAR(8600), [Helper Column]@row) + 1))

    =MID([Helper Column]@row, FIND(delimiter for start of piece you want to grab from string, [Helper Column]@row) + 1, FIND(delimiter for end of piece you want to grab from string, [Helper Column]@row) - (FIND(delimiter for start of piece you want to grab from string, [Helper Column]@row) + 1))