What is linking? What are linked sheets?
Linking sheets lets you reference the rows of one sheet from a column of another. For instance:
- If you're tracking projects and tasks, the Tasks sheet might have a Project column that would link to the Projects sheet. Then each task can be assigned to a project. (For an example, see our project tracking template.)
- In a contact manager, you might have a sheet for Contacts and one for Companies. In the Contacts sheet, you would have a Company column that links to the Companies sheet:
- When tracking a sales pipeline, you might have a sheet for Companies and one for Meeting notes. You would link these so that each meeting could be linked to the company it was with:
What good is linking? Why and when would you link sheets?
The first reason to link is to see linked rows on the detail page. In this example, Contacts and Meetings are both linked to Companies. When we look at one company, we see all the related contacts and meeting notes:
You can edit the linked rows or even add new ones here, and any changes will be reflected on the original sheet and on all views where the linked data shows up.
You can enter multiple values in a link cell:
Links are two-way
When you link a column to another sheet, a second column is created in the target sheet to link back to the source. For instance, in a recruiting tracker, if you link a column in the Candidates sheet to the Roles sheet, another column is created in the Roles sheet to link back to the Candidates sheet:
Any time you add a role to a candidate, the candidate will be added to the role, and vice versa. Both sides are kept in sync automatically.
To link two sheets, just use the “Link sheets” button:
Then choose the target sheet:
This will create a new column in the current sheet that links to the sheet you picked.
Converting a column to links
If you already have a column that you want to convert into links, just choose “Convert to links…” from the column menu:
Linking to a new sheet
If the sheet you want to link to doesn't exist yet, you can create it automatically by linking.
For instance, suppose you have a Tasks sheet with a Project column specifying the project, but there is no Projects sheet yet. Just convert the Project column to links, and choose “A new sheet”. A new Projects sheet will be created and filled in for you!
Choosing columns to show in links
By default, the links show the value in the first column of the linked sheet. Sometimes you want to use multiple columns. In this example, we're only getting the first name of each contact:
Just choose “Link settings” from the Contacts column:
And then you can choose multiple columns to show up in links: