Quick Start: Columns, Cells, and Ranges

In Spreadsheet.com, columns, ranges, and individual cells go beyond the text, numbers, and formulas of traditional spreadsheets.

With more than 25 rich data types, Spreadsheet.com allows you transform a static grid of data into a collaborative application for projects big and small.


In Spreadsheet.com, Columns behave just like columns in traditional spreadsheets. You can freeze columns, copy columns, move columns, delete columns, insert columns, and more. But in Spreadsheet.com columns also have data types with data type-specific settings, and an explicit column name. Naming a column will change what appears in the column header and any place the column is referenced (like in an expanded row or in related row cells).

The primary column and column-level data types are covered below, but for more information, check out all of our articles on columns.

The Primary Column

Each worksheet contains a primary column shown with a key icon mceclip10.png in the column header. Cell values in the primary column are used as display names for rows. To designate a column as the primary column, click on the downward arrow to the right of the column name and select "Set as primary column" from the dropdown.


Now that Column A ("Name") is set as the primary column, the value from that column will be shown as the display name when any row is expanded. To expand a row, double-click on the row number or click the double-arrow icon to the right of the row number.


Spreadsheet.com uses display names for rows in multiple places, such as related row cells and row cards, Kanban cards, and more. Any column can be the primary column, but there can be only one primary column per worksheet. 

Column-level data types

Spreadsheet.com goes beyond text and numbers with support for over 25 rich data types that you can choose from at the cell, range, and column level. Each column, range, and individual cell has a defined data type that you can change at any time.

To change the data type for a whole column at once, double-click the column header to open the Update column dialog. Or, click the downward arrow to the right of the column name and select "Edit data type..." from the top of the dropdown.


From the Update column dialog, you can choose your intended data type from the "Type" field and configure the column accordingly. Note that each data type will have different configuration options.


Setting column data types allows you to customize the data and data formatting in each column of your worksheet, plus enables unique features for each data type. For instance, setting a column of phone numbers to the Phone data type opens your default phone app so you can call numbers directly from your spreadsheet. Setting a column to the Select data type enables users to select from a list of drop-down options to enter into each cell of that column.

You can override column-level data types at the cell or range of cells level. However, one unique advantage of column-level data types is the ability to sort and filter your data using data type-specific criteria.

In addition, you can validate or restrict data in your columns with the Strict setting. Columns set to strict only allow users to input data of that data type, and cannot be overridden at the cell or range of cells level.

For more information about working with different Data Types, check out our full suite of articles on Data Types


In Spreadsheet.com, cells operate like those in traditional spreadsheets with custom formatting, merging, and more. But Spreadsheet.com's data types enable unlock new capabilities for cells. Cells can serve as drop-down select lists or contain ratings for users to score, allow you to assign and work with users in your project plan, or hold attachments for documents and images associated with each row, among other things.

Cell Data Types

In Spreadsheet.com, there are over 25 different data-types that can be applied to cells. In addition to the attachment, user, select, and related row data types mentioned above, there are data types for text, numbers, percentages, dates, email addresses, icon sets, and more

Sometimes you may encounter a situation where you need to designate one cell as a different data type than the rest of the cells in its column. For example, you may want the cells in your header rows to have different data types than those in the same column in your table region.

You can do this by changing the data type for a single cell. To do so, select the desired cell, right-click on it, and select "Edit data type..." from the dropdown.


Cell Messages

In addition to workbook-level messages, you can add a message to a particular cell (akin to commenting) or even @mention a user to call attention to something. Cells with messages in them will show a yellow message indicator in the top right corner.


You can add or view cell messages by right-clicking on the cell and selecting Cell messages, or by expanding the row.



Like columns and cells, ranges in Spreadsheet.com behave similar to ranges in traditional spreadsheets. You can select and reformat ranges by holding the left mouse button and dragging your cursor across the desired cells.

Similarly, you can use the drag handle at the lower right of a selected cell to copy that cell's data or formula and apply it to other cells.


For more information on working with autofill, see our article on Adding Data to Existing Worksheets via Autofill.

Range-level Data Types

Like with columns and cells, you can apply over 25 different data types to a range of cells. To do so, select the desired range of cells, right-click on your selection, and select "Edit data type..." from the dropdown. Range and cell-level data type settings can override column data type settings only when a column is not set to Strict.

In the next part of our Quick Start series, learn more about working with rows ➡️.