February 2024 Newsletter - Community spotlight: new widgets, fun experiments, and in-depth explorations. Also: work with us!

Grist is hiring!

Come work with us and help make Grist even better. Note: both applications involve puzzles. :saluting_face:

What’s New

This month we’ve seen a huge increase in community activity, which is incredibly exciting. We can’t say enough about how motivating it is to see users on Discord or the Community Forum create cool and useful things in Grist. But we can’t let you have all the fun – we’ve been very busy behind the scenes. Here are a few things that shipped last month, but keep your eyes open for more in the near future. :eyes:

Misc. improvements

  • :spiral_calendar: Calendar events now open in record cards on double-click

  • :framed_picture: The image viewer custom widget can now display a carousel if multiple URLs are detected

  • 🫨 The Markdown widget saves by default when you lose focus

  • :robot: Grist’s AI Formula Assistant can now handle larger documents

  • :raised_hand: Custom widgets now show a nicer warning when required columns aren’t mapped

Community highlights

FOSDEM lighting talk :zap:

Grist contributor and ANCT member Florent gave a great lightning talk at this year’s FOSDEM conference.

Tree visualizer widget :evergreen_tree:

The inimitable jperon (who will be showing up again) shared a very neat widget to visualize hierarchical data (like an org chart, for example). It even has bidirectional cursor linking! Check it out!


DOCX report printing :page_facing_up:

Using docxtemplater, TomNit has shared an updated widget that lets Grist process templated .docx files, essentially allowing you to drive document generation using data in Grist. :exploding_head:

Check out the full source code on GitHub.

Signature widget :writing_hand:

Thanks once again to jperon (and of course the other open-source JS devs who make these experiments possible), we saw a proof-of-concept signature collection widget that is too much fun.


Dynamic reference drop-downs in Grist :mag_right:

Rogerio_Penna penned a detailed walkthrough on the Community Forum describing his solution to having filtered/dynamic drop-downs. Have you ever wanted a reference column’s options to be filtered by another reference column? It’s not an uncommon use-case, and Rogerio found a way to do it with the action button custom widget (which the community has also been working on).

Simple menu navigation with hyperlinks :rocket:

Peter_P_Breithaupt, partially inspired by Grist’s powerful SELF_HYPERLINK() function, created an in-depth exploration of the benefits of using navigation hyperlinks on large flat tables. Most importantly, how you can keep the same active record when switching between pages!


Working on something cool with Grist? Let us know by posting in the Showcase forum!

Learning Grist

Webinar: Controlling spreadsheet chaos

In March, we’ll see how Grist can contain the spreadsheet sprawl. Similar to our previous Grist/Excel webinar, we’ll see how Grist is designed to avoid many of the very familiar problems associated with spreadsheet workflows, such as merging and normalizing.

Thursday March 21 at 3:00pm US Eastern Time.



In February, we celebrated our love of forms! We learned how to create a beautiful form and collect data that will populate a Grist data table upon submission.



Fantastic month in the term of updates. And we had only 29 days. Imagine if it was a full 31 days month! JPeron would probably have come up with another widget!

Penna penned
I see what you did there. :slight_smile:

A penna is a feather. Nowadays italians use the word PIUMA to talk about bird feathers and PENNA more to talk about “pens”… pen in English comming from Latin “penna”, exactly because for many centuries, people wrote using ink and feathers.

Guess what… PENNED comes from the verb TO PEN that comes from french PENNE that comes from Latin… PENNA!


Solved the Filtered Reference Dropdown issue. New method is automatic, no need to click any button!!