Introduction to Columns

Columns in Spreadsheet.com work like the traditional spreadsheet columns you know with powerful extra features like column names and a flexible primary column.

Like traditional spreadsheets, Spreadsheet.com has columns labeled A,B,C... Unlike traditional spreadsheets, Spreadsheet.com allows you to assign names to your columns and control the data inputted into each column. 

You can customize your primary column and map it to a unique identifier almost anywhere in your sheet, set a table header row to differentiate the table and header regions, and give your columns unique data types.

Furthermore, Spreadsheet.com's column features allow you to customize and validate data like ensuring dates are input in date columns and attachments are input in attachment columns).

Column Names

In Spreadsheet.com, you can give your columns names that appear in the column header row. Naming your columns is useful not only for designating what sort of data should go into that column, but because column names persist even when you expand rows, relate worksheets, or use Kanban Views. In Spreadsheet.com, your worksheets are more than just spreadsheets – they're functional databases.

By default, a column's name is not based on any row in your worksheet. However, you can designate a table header row to use a row to designate the column names and to differentiate your header region from your table region. You can change the name of a column by editing the corresponding cell in the table header row.

Alternatively, you can change the name of a column by right clicking on the column header or clicking the downward arrow to the right of the column name and selecting "Rename column" from the dropdown.

Rename-Column-Locate.jpg

The Primary Column

A worksheet's primary column is used to uniquely identify rows and is demarcated with a key icon key_icon.png. The primary column cannot be deleted or hidden, but it can be designated as a different column. By default, the first column of a worksheet is the primary column. You can designate a different column as the primary one by right clicking on the column header or clicking the downward arrow to the right of the column name and selecting "Set as primary column" from the dropdown.

Primary-Column-Locate.jpg

The primary column provides the unique identifier, or display name, that appears throughout Spreadsheet.com. For instance, the primary column serves as the identifier when rows are expanded, when rows are Related between worksheets, or as the display name on Kanban cards.

The Autonumber data type, which can automatically assign a unique string to column values, is an easy way to generate a unique identifier for your primary column.

Only columns of certain data types can serve as the primary column. The primary column is also where indented and outdented row hierarchies are noted with plus mceclip1.png or minus mceclip2.png icons.

For more information, see our article on The Primary Column.

Column Data Types

In Spreadsheet.com, Columns can be assigned a unique data type to designate the nature and formatting of data in that column. Columns can also have their data type restricted as a form of data validation to ensures that only data of the specified type can be entered into that column. See our article on editing a column's data type for more information.  

Inserting, Moving, Copying, and Deleting Columns 

It is easy to insert, copy, move, and delete columns, either by selecting on the column and picking an option from the right-click menu or via the Edit and Insert menus in the toolbar.

Inserting a Column

You can insert a new column by right clicking on a column header or clicking the downward arrow to the right of a column name and selecting “Insert column right” or "Insert column left" from the dropdown.

Insert-Column-Locate.jpg

Clicking either option will open the Configure column dialog, where you can specify the data type and name of your new column.

Configure-New-Column-Dialog.jpg

You can also insert columns via the Insert menu in the top menu bar. For more details, see our article on Inserting and Moving columns.

Moving Columns

To move one or multiple columns, grab the column or columns you would like to move, hold down left-click and drag them to the new location in the worksheet.

Drag-Drop-Column.gif

For more details, see our article on Inserting and Moving columns.

Copying Columns

There are multiple quick ways to copy and paste columns. You can copy a column by right clicking on the column header or clicking the downward arrow to the right of the column name and selecting “Copy” from the dropdown. Then, select the column in which you want to past and repeat the process, this time selecting "Paste" from the dropdown.

Copy-Paste-Locate.jpg

Pasting a column onto an existing column will overwrite the previous data (for instance, the column header in the animation below). Make sure you are okay losing that data or, if you accidentally override important data, click undo mceclip0.png and paste it into a different column.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to cut, copy, and paste columns, or access these options via the Edit menu in the top menu bar. For more details, including how to paste column values only, see our article on Copying a Column.

Deleting Columns

There are multiple ways to delete a column. You can delete a column by right clicking on the column header or clicking the downward arrow to the right of the column name and selecting “Delete column __” from the dropdown.

Delete-Locate.jpg

If the "Delete column __" option is greyed out, you may lack sufficient permissions or may be trying to delete the primary column.

You can also delete a column – or just the column values – via the Edit menu in the top menu bar. For more details, see our article on Deleting a Column.

For more information on working with columns, visit our full suite of column articles, including articles on Freezing Columns, Copying and Pasting Formats, and more.