CSV/Excel Data Import

Quickly bring your external data into SmartSuite

Peter Novosel avatar
Written by Peter Novosel
Updated over a week ago

Feature Overview Video

Almost every software platform that stores data has the ability to export that information as a Comma-Separated Values (CSV) file. In just a few easy steps, SmartSuite lets you take that file and create SmartSuite records for each row.

SmartSuite allows you to import records from the following file types:

  • CSV

  • Excel

  • ICS Calendar files

  • vCard

Working With the CSV Importer

How do I start a CSV import?

  1. Click on the small arrow to the right of the Table's name.

  2. Select Import Data.

  3. Click on CSV Import.

  4. Note that the Import dialog will open, defaulting to the current Table as import target.

  5. CSV Import is open - see below for details on configuring your import!

Configure CSV Import Parameters

There are four steps to configuring your import - but don't worry, they're easy! Let's review each:

  1. Upload your import file.

  2. Map import columns to SmartSuite Fields or Create New Fields.

  3. Validate and clean up your data.

Let's dive into each step...

Note: The max size of one import is 20,000 records. You also may be limited in the number of records you can import based on your plan type & the number of records that already exist inside of the solution you are importing into.

i.e. On the Team Plan (5,000 records per solution max), you are limited to import 4,000 records, if the solutions already contains 1,000 records.

1. Upload your File

Before we can upload your data - we need your data! Please select a properly-formatted CSV file by either dragging-and-dropping it in the right-hand portion of the screen, or by clicking Select File to Import.

A few things to remember:

  • The file must be a properly-formatted CSV (see specifications here).

  • All Primary Field values (or Record Id values if you're using them to match existing records) MUST be unique.

Note: The file size limit of data import files is 5MB max.

2. Map columns to Fields

Now for the most important part - telling SmartSuite where to put your columns of data. Each imported CSV column can be set to Do Not Import (the default), mapped to a SmartSuite Field, or have a field be automatically created.

Select a target field for each column or leave it in a not-importing state, like this...

3. Review / modify your data.

With our new importer you now have the ability to modify your data before finalizing the import. If you decide that you're not ready after making changes, you can also export the file instead.

If your file has errors, you'll be prompted to resolve them before importing.

Once you're satisfied with your data and fixed all of the errors, the error dialog will be replaced with an Import button.

NOTE: Not all data import errors can be resolved in the online editor. If more changes or edits are required, you have the option to download an Excel spreadsheet containing your current data. This file will highlight the individual values that are errors so they're easy to spot and fix. Just start up a new import with the updated spreadsheet as the source and you're be able to bring the reformatted data into SmartSuite in a few clicks.

4. Import!

With data cleanup done, just click Import to create or update your records. Voila! Your data appears in your SmartSuite Table!

Note: Imports will not generate notifications or trigger automations.

Importing Linked Record field values

You can import linked record values in two ways - by either exactly matching the Primary field values for the linked records (separating multiples with commas and enclosing the values in double quotes), or by using the Record Id values of those linked records.

Importing into a SmartDoc field

A SmartDoc field supports HTML for its content. If you're importing into a SmartDoc field and have data with line breaks inside your CSV, you'll need to replace all line breaks with <br> to maintain the formatting inside the SmartDoc field.

CSV import best practices

We suggest that you begin your import in perhaps an unusual way - start with a CSV export. If you export data from your Table, you will see the correct formats for fields, choices for Single and Multiple Select fields, and the exact spelling of Status field values.

Just add your new rows of data and make sure that you save the file as CSV (a common mistake is to allow it to save in XSLX format).

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