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How add the Row ID field to Smartsheet

This article will show you how to add a Row ID to your Smartsheet project plan.

Adding the Smartsheet Row ID

The Row ID field in Smartsheet is useful, since it acts as a primary key or unique identifier for each task in your Smartsheet project plan. It's especially useful if you have several tasks in Smartsheet with the same name, and need to distinguish one from the other. To add a Row ID to Smartsheet:

  1. Log into Smartsheet and open one of your projects:

    Example project plan in Smartsheet.

  2. Right-click on any existing column and choose Insert Column Left

    Add a new column to Smartsheet.

  3. On the Insert Column screen, select a Column Type of Auto-Number/System, and then choose Auto-Number as the System-Generated Column. When you do this, Smartsheet will automatically set the Name of the new column as Row ID:

    Add an auto-number column to Smartsheet.

  4. Click OK, and the Row ID column will appear in your Smartsheet project. It will initially be blank, but we'll show you how to add the auto-number values in the next step:

    Smartsheet project with blank auto-number values.

  5. To auto-populate the values into the Row ID column, all you need to do is save your Smartsheet project. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + S on your keyboard, or by going to Files > Save instead. Either way, as soon as you've saved your project, you will see the Row ID values populate:

    Smartsheet project plan with Row IDs

How the Smartsheet Row ID Adjusts to Project Changes

The Row ID is a read-only field, and its values are automatically assigned by Smartsheet so that you don't have to worry about it. Let's see what happens if we add more tasks to our Smartsheet project plan.

  1. We'll add a few more tasks to our Smartsheet project. We'll add one task in the middle of the project called "Final Testing" and then a task at the end of the project called "Ongoing Maintenance":

    Add more tasks to the Smartsheet project plan.

    There are two important things to notice here. First, as we add new tasks, Smartsheet preserves the original Row ID values for the original tasks. It doesn't reassign them to different tasks. Second, notice that the Row ID is no longer the same as the row number. For example, the "Launch" task has a Row ID of 5, even though it's the 6th task in the list. This is normal.

  2. Save the Smartsheet project again, and you'll see new Row ID values assigned to the newly-added tasks:

    Row IDs auto-increment as tasks are added to Smartsheet.

    Each task has a unique Row ID, which is tied to the order in which you added the tasks, not the order in which the tasks appear in Smartsheet itself. As a result, the "Final Testing" task has a Row ID of 6, even though it is the 5th task in the project. The "Ongoing Maintenence" task has a Row ID of 7 because it was the 7th task to be added to the project.

    In other words, if you see that your Row ID values are out of order, don't worry about it. This is the way that it's supposed to work.

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