Need a Category Sheet Repair Tool

I would like to request the development of a repair tool for the Category sheet. I’m a fairly new user and have found lots of ways to create problems. Some due to forgetting to use the Change Name tool, or inserting new categories in the the middle vs at the bottom, etc. Then I’ve had to spend significant time unraveling the problems, mostly by trial and error and often luck since its underlying mechanism seems a mystery. Maybe I’m just overly careless, but I have a feeling others may have the same issues.

The Rename & Merge Category workflows are essentially just integrated find-and-replace shortcuts to simplify operations and avoid mistakes.

I can imagine a few ways that problems could get created when inserting rows in a few places but generally there should not be problems created that hinge on where you enter data in the Categories sheet.

Can you share a little bit more about how your Categories are breaking, @brucecapecod?

Hi Randy
Since you say there shouldn’t be a problem inserting other than the bottom, I tried to remember more details. Here’s my best…

I think my problems started when I changed some of the Cat names without using the change tool. I did some entries of new Categories after and some deletions and started having problems. I also did some alphabetizing of the Cat sheet. Being an old Excel user and new to Sheets, it took me a bit to figure out I had to manually move the title bar back up to the top. You might make that point in user instructions as it wasn’t immediately obvious until I tried to use and everything was broken. There may have been the name changes that actually started the problems. I’m encouraged to hear it shoudn’t matter adding new Cat lines. I may have also done some deletions. Thinking now, is it necessary to first delete AutoCat lines that use a deleted CAT first?

Sorry to be a little scattered, I did a lot of building/rebuilding recently. Hope that helps?


Most of the things you mention doing should not be a problem…
with one exception:
performing a sort that moves the header row

I can see how that might scramble critical cell references in other sheets.

Changing content within the body of the Categories sheet— deleting rows, deleting category names, adding category names, changing category names— will not be a problem structurally with the exception that those names may be used in data-validated cells elsewhere in the spreadsheet (e.g. the Transactions sheet).


As a relatively new user, my CAT sheet has evolved greatly as I learned what I did/didn’t like/need, etc. As a result I usually didn’t insert alphabetically, but at the end. Guessing others may do the same. Over time it was helpful to be alphabetized. It might be helpful if there was a button to do that for the CAT sheet to help re-organize.

I appreciate your comments. Very helpful!