Smartsheet Tips: 3 Web Form Tricks to Try


Smartsheet Tips: 3 Web Form Tricks to Try

Web forms are a great way to quickly gather information from others directly into a sheet. The IT department at BBN Radio uses web forms to gather Help Desk requests and Loyola University’s major gifts department funnels data requests into one master sheet using web forms. The sheet / web form combo is invaluable for teams often inundated with requests from other departments - now they’re organized, processes are streamlined, and nothing falls through the cracks.

This week, we’ve got a few new tips to help you make your web forms even smarter.  Check out these three tricks to optimize your next web form: using timestamps, setting personal notifications, and adding multiselect questions.

#1. Keep track of timestamps

Adding a System Column into your sheets is an easy way to automatically capture information without adding another step for those filling out and submitting your web form.  

Use a ‘Created (Date)’ column in your sheets to instantly timestamp all web form submissions – date and time captured!

  • Add the system column by clicking the drop-down arrow underneath an existing column's header and selecting Insert 1 Right or Insert 1 Left.

  • Set the column's type to Auto-Number/System > Created (Date), then click OK

    • Click the Save icon in the left toolbar and the column will automatically populate with the date each row was created. 

    Now every time a new entry is added to your sheet, this added column will reflect the exact date and time that the submission came through.  Use timestamps when you have a web form that you’d like others to be able to complete quickly but you need more detailed information on the backend, in your sheet.  Great for event RSVPs with a registration deadline, detailed bug tracking, Help Desk tickets, quickly adding updates from your mobile phone and more.

    #2. Set up personal notifications

    If you’re managing a team and assigning them tasks from one master sheet, you may not need to set a global alert to notify everyone each time your sheet has a new submission.  Instead, use these steps to set up your own personal instant notification.  When a new help desk issue is sent in, you’ll immediately know and can hop into your sheet and assign ownership to one of your technicians.  

    It’s simple to set up: 

    • Add a checkbox column to your sheet called Submitted via Web Form

    • >Hide the column by clicking the drop-down arrow underneath the column's header and selecting Hide Column. This will prevent the column from being edited by your team members shared to this sheet. 

    • Open the web form editor then click on the Add Field section to add the column as a field on the web form.

    • Make the column a hidden field and give it a default value of Checked.

    Now, each time a web form submission is made, the checkbox in this column will get checked automatically without any interaction from the person filling out the form.  

    • Set up a Notification that sends you an email Right Away when the Submitted via Web Form column changes. 

    Now you'll receive an email alert every time your web form is filled out and submitted.

    #3. Add multi-select questions

    Web forms are an easy way to get a lot of information from someone really quickly.  Try building your own multi-select question.  They’re great for follow-up surveys after events, or on help tickets where multiple things may be wrong with a machine or software.

    • Create new checkbox columns in the sheet, one for each check-able option.
    • Open the web form editor and click on Add Field. Add a Heading/Description to the web form and set the Heading to the question you want to ask.

    • For each of the checkbox fields change the Display Type to have Caption to the right. 


    Voila! A multi-select checklist is now a part of your web form.

    What are your favorite web form tricks? We’d love to know!

    Til next time, dig in and explore!

    - Support Team


    Smarter Web Form

    I use web forms to track expenses. When sending the form, it would be great to be able to include data that already exists in the sheet! That way my form could say "You have $xxx.xx in your account. How much have you spent today?"

    Froms - to update existing data

    I'm importing data that I need someone to update using Web Forms. Is that possible? How do I get the form to show data from an existing row?

    Re: Forms - to update existing data

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Jay, Today, web forms only add information to new rows, you aren't able to use them to update existing data. Thanks for your feedback, I've shared your suggestions with our product team to keep in mind as we work on our next iteration of web forms. Best, Kelly

    Using web forms to update existing rows

    I would also love to be able to have a web form tie to an existing row so it could fill in data that may already be listed. I use the web form as a new client interview template and I love the interface, but I'm finding I need to start keeping notes related to that client before the phone interview occurs. What I have to do now is delete the row with my notes after I complete the phone interview. I would love a way to merge the rows or have the form pre-populate with fields already entered.

    Editing existing responses

    I really need the ability to edit/updating existing responses. For example if a user wants to come back to complete a previous response, they can continue. Although the responses are saved and new entries are added the person completing the form doesn't know that their responses are saved. Usability become awkward for the person completing the form.

    Me too - better presentation/edit/review options

    Hi, I have this issue; and a couple of questions around it: 1) is there another product that can tie into smartsheet to give this functionality? Ideally customisable webview of the data within a specified row with the ability to edit specified fields. 2) can you give existing webform functionality to the "update row" feature - this would be a partial workaround thanks

    RE: Me too - better presentation/edit/review options

    Smartsheet Community Manager's picture
    Hi John, currently there is not a way to return to a web form and update it. I have submitted this suggestion to our Product Team. One option for now is to send an update request with the selected column and fields you want updated. Please contact [email protected] with anymore questions. Thank you! - The Smartsheet Team

    RE: Editing existing responses

    Smartsheet Community Manager's picture
    Hi Doneen. Thank you for your feedback. As of now the user can opt to have their responses sent to them for their records, but they are unable to edit previous submissions. I have sent your request to our Product Team for consideration. Thank you! - The Smartsheet Team

    It would be great if the

    It would be great if the forms could have a drop down for some of the fields to make sure that multiple users are entering data the exact same way.

    Re: It would be great if the

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi there, Including drop-down fields in forms (and sheets!) is a great way to maintain consistency and are easy to add to Smartsheet web forms. You'll first need to add a drop-down column to your sheet, then add that column to your web form in the web form editor. You can choose to keep the standard drop-down format or radio buttons if you prefer. Let us know if you have any other questions! Thanks, Kelly

    Web Form email confirmation adding information

    Hi, Is it possible in the confirmation email sent after a web form is filled in to include Smartsheet generated information? We have service reps filling in material orders that are submitted to head office. Works well. It would be great to be able to send a Purchase Order number in the confirmation email that they could use with the suppliers. Rather than have them call in for one right after submitting the form..

    Re: Web Form email confirmation adding information

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Craig, Today, there isn't a way to have unique numbers, like POs, generated from Smartsheet and included in response to a web form submission but I've shared your suggestion with our product team to consider as they work on the next update to web forms. Thanks, Kelly

    Has this ever been

    Has this ever been implemented? I note it was submitted in 2014 as an idea to the product team. We would like to be able put the unique row id in the confirmation email to the webform submitter - they can then use this as a reference if they want to make a further submission. Thanks, Kirsten

    RE: Has this ever been

    Smartsheet Community Manager's picture
    Hello Kirsten, Auto-numbers cannot be natively added to the confirmation email. This can, however, be done with third party apps such as Zapier or Azuqua. Both (paid) apps use our API. Triggered by a new row (form submission) they can email the content of the row (including the auto-number) to an email address listed in the row. We have some great webinars for help with this: - The Smartsheet Team

    Webform for POs

    I use a second fired that is formula linked to the main PO field. It s a radio button lookup with the text "(leave blank)". When the user submits and receives the email confirmation, it will show the PO number. The only problem is that if a user selects it, it fails for subsequent submissions.

    RE: Webform for POs

    Smartsheet Community Manager's picture
    Hi Sean. Please contact support at [email protected] to help resolve this issue. Thank you! - The Smartsheet Team.

    How can a webform automatically fill in the user's name

    I would like to have the webform fill in the user's name when they enter the task rather than ask them to enter it. Is that possible?

    Re: How can a webform automatically fill in the user's name

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Li, That isn't possible today in Smartsheet, though I've shared your request with our product team. Please let us know if you have any other questions! Thanks, Kelly

    Re: How can a webform automatically fill in the user's name

    Hi- Has this functionality been created yet? I'd like to use Smartsheet for our team members to upload their completed performance reviews. Ideally Name, Title, and Manager would be pre-populated. Thanks! Laura

    Auto-populate the name and contact info?

    Has any functionality been added to allow a dropdown for user names that would autopopulate certain fields of a form? If not, do you have any suggestions for how we could do this? Thank you!

    Is this form also powered by Smartsheet?

    Hi, I'm considering setting up a form similar to how you describe here, but need to add the protection of a CAPTCHA, similar to how you're doing here. Can I incorporate a CAPTCHA when I set up a web form? Thanks.

    Re: Is this form also powered by Smartsheet?

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Isaac, There isn't a way to incorporate a CAPTCHA in Smartsheet web forms today, but I've shared your feedback with our product team to consider for future enhancements. Thanks! Kelly

    CAPTCHA on forms

    We also have a need for this. We want to put a Smartsheet form on our public facing website, but our Executive team requires the use of CAPTCHA. Until that feature is available, we won't be able to utilize the forms.

    Re: CAPTCHA on forms

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Gina, Thanks for your feedback, I've shared it with our product team. Best, Kelly

    Conditional email notification for submitted webforms

    We would like to send a email notification when submitted web forms have selected content/values in selected fields only. Send an email to xxxx right now when "satisfaction" is 3 (say out of 5) or less.

    Re: Conditional email notification for submitted webforms

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Rick, Thanks for sharing your feedback -- I've shared your thoughts with our product team to consider as we add more conditional rules in to the product. Best, Kelly

    We would also like to use

    We would also like to use conditional email features from webform, if at all possible. Call to action via email when a specific choice is made on the webform is highly desirable. Karin

    RE: We would also like to use

    Emily Esposito's picture
    Hi Karin -- Thank you for your feedback! I've added another vote for this feature and passed your comment along to our product team. Best, Emily

    Hi Karin,

    Hi Karin, We've noticed that the web form has a "form confirmation" email function... "Send me a copy of my responses", for our form users. The email address entered gets a great HTML form-view/preview of the information they just submit. Is it possible to have this html form view sent to the admin of our sheet? We've added an Alert/Notification with a hidden field condition (as recommended in this blog), but the email format sends the information as row data. The "Form Confirmation" email view is so much better for a preview of the submit form content. Does this function exisit, and maybe I'm missing it? Thanks! A

    RE: Hi Karin,

    Smartsheet Community Manager's picture
    Hi Allison. As of now that feature does not exist. A possible option is to use the 'Edit Row' feature - when you hover over a row and the drop-down arrow appears to the right of the row number, click into the drop-down menu and select 'Edit Row'. From there, you'll have a vertical view of row information, similar to a web form. In the meantime, I will pass your request to our Product Team to consider for future updates. Thanks! - The Smartsheet Team

    Agree with feature enhancement

    We would really like to have a web form send a copy of exactly what the user would see if they ask for a confirmation. Seems odd that we can't by default have that happen. There's no way for a hidden field to make this work?

    RE: Agree with feature enhancement

    Smartsheet Community Manager's picture
    Hi Tom. Thank you for your feedback. Currently there is no built in way to do this, but I have submitted your suggestion to the Product Team. An option for now is to utilize our API with Zapier. You can set up rules which will look for new rows added to your sheet and send someone an email with the contents of that row. You can also organize the email like a normal email with the content, rather than the grid which is what you would see if you sent a row. Zapier is a paid service, but it does come with a free option that might be a good fit for your team. Thank you! - The Smartsheet Team

    Agreed on Request for Form View - Copy sent to Admin

    I also agree (Vote - yes) for the enhancement of having the Admin or any Smartsheet user to be able to see the vertical form format with all the data. So much easier to read. I actually made a Google Doc with all the form fields just to get the data to display how I want it on a page. That was a great work around, but a pain if I start using Forms to the fullest of its capabilities. Respectfully, NetEng.33

    RE: Agreed on Request for Form View - Copy sent to Admin

    Smartsheet Community Manager's picture
    Thank you for your vote! It has been submitted to our Product Team. Best, The Smartsheet Team

    I second this suggestion.

    I second this suggestion.

    RE: I second this suggestion.

    Smartsheet Community Manager's picture
    Your second is noted - thanks Kate!

    Generic Date/Time fields

    We want to track our workflow, but complete work cycles happen in hours 24 hours a day. If we could capture timestamps (date/time actually so we could handle those cycles spanning midnights) it would be great. Then Gantt type process tracking would also help for process improvement. Like many others with feature requests we think this would open vast new markets for Smartsheet.

    Re: Generic Date/Time

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Rick, You can add a system column to your sheet that will capture timestamps, although the timestamps will be by row, not at the cell level. Thanks! Kelly

    Multi-select question required

    How do I include create a multiple-select question so users are required to check at least one of the checkboxes?

    Re: Multi-select question required

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Samantha, You can add instructions for your multiple-select questions asking others to provide at least one response, but there isn't a way to require at least one response be checked. Have you tried out Google Forms? Google Forms have a few more customization options than Smartsheet web forms, and you can use Google Forms and Smartsheet together. Learn how to use these tools together here: Let us know if you have any other questions! Thanks, Kelly

    Pre-populated forms

    Maybe prepopulation isn't precisely correct. I want to create forms that either 1) Have 1 or more fields already populated to save a customer time and to prevent them seeing other customer names in a drop down menu or 2) create a unique form for each customer that already contains their details which will be added to the new smartsheet row To put this another way. I want to collect information from many customers but I don't want them to have to fill in the form about who they are. I just want the information I need. can I do anything like that with Smartsheet forms or maybe do it via Wufoo into Smartsheet? Thanks, Cliff.

    Re: Pre-populated forms

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Cliff, Depending on how many people you're working with, you can try creating a separate web form for each customer. Each web form can have a different default value in the "Customer Name" field. Each customer would submit the web form that has their info filled into the fields so they don't have to type it in themselves. You may also be able to share your sheet with them so they can enter data into the rows as needed. Smartsheet will automatically capture the email address of the person who made the change, shown in cell history. Of course, if you have a system that works in Wufoo, you can always connect with Smartsheet using Zapier or give Google Forms a try. Thanks, Kelly

    Smart WebForms

    Is there a way to create smart forms in Smartsheet where if a customer enters or selects a specific category, it will pull up questions specific for that category? Is there a way to create webform workflows similar to SharePoint?

    Re: Smart WebForms

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Pam, While that capability doesn't currently exist in Smartsheet, we're looking at ways to improve web forms and I've shared your ideas with our product team. Thanks for the feedback! In the meantime, as mentioned above, the combination of Google Forms and Smartsheet may do the trick. Thanks again, Kelly

    Email notifications to email in form

    I'd love the ability to email the form information to someone listed on the form itself. So we'd have a dropdown of contacts. When the form was submitted the data was sent to the dropdown contact as well as saved to the sheet.

    Re: Email notifications to email in form

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Grant, Thanks for your feedback! I've shared your suggestions with our product team to consider as we explore new enhancements to web forms. Thanks again, Kelly

    Autofill Formulas on rows added by Web Forms

    I don't seem to be able to get the Autofill Formulas feature to work on rows added by a Web Form. It works for manually added rows but the formulas don't carry down on the rows added by the web form?

    Re: Autofill Formulas on rows added by Web Forms

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Lee, We'd love to help you out -- there are a few different things that may cause the challenge you're having. Please email us at [email protected] so we can help you troubleshoot. Thank you! Kelly

    Forms updating reports

    I am using a form to capture work requests for my department. Once completed, the form updates my main sheet. I have created a report for work requests to share with my group as new requests are submitted. My report, however, does not get updated when a form submission is completed. It is visible in the main sheet, but does not appear in my report. If I modify my sheet in any way (not necessarily the new request), the form submission becomes visible in my report. Is there a way to have this become visible in the report immediately?

    Re: Forms updating reports

    Kelly Anthony's picture
    Hi Jamie, Reports should update pretty quickly after a web form is submitted -- please email us at [email protected] so we can help troubleshoot. Thanks, Kelly


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