Cleaning up your unused columns

As you build your app and iterate quickly, you often create columns in order to try something, only to later discover there’s a better way. Eventually your Sheets and Tables are full of columns not being used at all, and likely never will be.

I’d like to propose a way for columns to be quickly identified as abandoned. Simply a mark or color on the column heading that shows it isn’t being used by any logical columns, relations, or components in the app would be very much appreciated.


You’ve seen this, yeah?

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I didn’t see this!!! I did a search trying to find any other threads for a feature like this, but came up with nothing. This is making me cry with joy.

Would be great if there was a way to quickly see without searching that the column isn’t being used. Even better if you didn’t actually have to click anything on the column to see it as @david suggests. Like some kind of color code or Mark on the column name itself. But I’ll take this as is! This is wonderful!


yeah, it’s a game changer, that’s for sure.

Although not sure that it’s 100% reliable just yet, so I’ve been exercising a little bit of caution with it.

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I think we can move this one to the “Help & How-to” category :wink:

For sure. especially since folks should probably know that this feature is NOT working perfectly as of the date of this reply. An array column set shows as not being used even if the individual columns in the array are being used. And in some cases Template columns aren’t registered being used when they are. Crippled my app last night with a couple deletes. Luckily it was easy to rebuild those columns and set things straight again.

even after yesterday’s update?

Well as of two seconds ago, the Emoji array column is telling me that it isn’t being used anywhere, but if I change the names of those columns in GSheets so they aren’t registered as a single array column, and look at each individually they are all being used. I don’t know about some of those template columns I noticed not registering, but I was cleaning my app up at around this time yesterday.

I’d be careful. I’m still finding broken stuff all over my app today because I got too excited about that feature.

I went through my app and didn’t notice any problem in this regard.
I had reported issues with the ifThen, lookup and rollup columns last week but everything was fixed yesterday and it works fine for me.
can you make a report or a little video to @Mark about the bug, so that he fixes.

@John_Cabrera Could you give me a support link and tell me which column Glide is not reporting as being used, but which is actually used, and tell me where?


in the Schedule sheet (which is a Google Sheet) there is an array column (in the data editor it’s the very last column). It shows that there are no uses anywhere in the app. However, if I rename those columns in Google Sheets so that they are no longer recognized as an array and then check each individual column in the array, they are each being used… so when bundled as an array, I would expect it to tell me that as well.

Ah, I see! I hadn’t thought of that. Will fix. Thank you!


@John_Cabrera just learned you “secret”. Very cool. Might have to share that with the GF.

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She should join us, if she’s a fan of the show :wink: It’s been a really sticky project. Some big cast members joining us over the next week and months.

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She has the box set floating around somewhere. I’ll be sure to let her know. I feel like I need to watch it now. :wink:

Find that box set. One of the big draws for fans is that I’ve never watched it. Not even my episodes. So it’s pretty geeky fun for me and for the rest of the community to hear my realtime reaction to the plot. The show is great great great. Not just a for women. It’s a really funny and deep series. You should get caught up and join us. We’re in S4 and the calendar goes through September… for this show :wink: If things keep progressing as they are, we’ll start something else, and I’ll try to pull some favors to have other awesome guests join us.


Awesome! Will definitely check it out.

Hi John,
You’re right, there are indeed too many unused columns (trees) which make it difficult to see the forest. How about taking your idea a step forward to something like Microsoft’s Excel “inspect spreadsheet” ? i.e. - generate a list of unused columns and allow us to mark the ones we’d like to delete, all in one swift process.


That would be very sweet.