Allow multiple entries in fields


#1

My use case involves the Link field. I’d like to be able to have a column that includes multiple URLs per item. I could see use cases for other field types including Date (to show recurring dates for events, for example) and Phone Number.


#2

I strongly second this request. If you’re doing anything that requires references, it’s a very common occurrence to need multiple references per record, whether it’s URLs or standard reference format (text). One could make a reference table and then link to multiple records, but it’s kind of annoying and usually unnecessary because much of the time you may not reference something more than once, and you may already be bogged down in many tables.

I have also needed to have multiple values for other reasons for other projects. For example, for one project I would like to have a table of Observations, which could have multiple values for the field Hypothoses, e.g. I note something curious and think of three reasons why that might be the case. The only way one can do this in Airtable right now, to my knowledge, is to have to make an entire table for a single Observation and make the Hypothoses individual records. But for my use, this would be way too cumbersome: I already have nearly a dozen tables in the base, and I am going to have VERY MANY Observations (dozens, eventually hundreds).

I will say that would be significantly less of an issue if there were a cosmetic way to group and collapse tables; if I could group all the tables for individual observations, then I could almost always just have the more important, more frequently edited/linked tables visible, and it wouldn’t be such a big deal that I have a lot of tables I only refer to infrequently.

But there are other reasons to have multiple values for any kind of field. I’ve been using Airtable as a kind of personal wiki for some games I’ve been playing, and it’s just really common that I need to associate two values with something, and it doesn’t make any sense to bother making a table and doing a multiple records link to a table.

Also, brainstorming fiction (or even nonfiction) would be really easy in Airtable, if only I could have multiple rich text values per field. For example, say I have a table of story Events, which has a field called Results. It would be great to have an Event be like, “Character A sells Character B’s family heirloom” then have one Result be “Character B gets mad at Character A” and then another Result could be, “Character C plots to steal Character A’s money” etc. Or maybe I haven’t brainstormed that far yet, and instead of Results I have a field called Possibilities where I just mind-dump all the different ways a scenario could go.

Basically, sometimes it makes sense and it’s helpful to make another table, but sometimes you really just need multiple values capability in a field.


#3

I support this request also, but only if the different values are stored as an array or map for mining later.

Regarding references and hyperlinks why not just use the note/memo data type? Separate all different values by pipe “|” …

Regarding storing the values as an array or map without needing to create another official table in the base… it is really just an issue of convenience and speed. Also, it would be very nice if when the user clicked on the “expand cell” button in a field, a pop-up would show a table. If the field type is a map, then the first row would be used for a field name. If the field type is an array, then just make sure all the arrays of each field match in size.

Uses:

  • Sometimes I just need to brainstorm on each record entry, and want to separate my thoughts into an array of items that I can mine or sort later.

  • Sometimes I just want to have a pro’s and con’s column of an each item i’m evaluating. The values I want to store in the “pros” field are a map containing the following data {“PSF”:8, “SqFt”:40000, “Elevation”:10}

  • Here is another example: user has a field called NeiborhoodPrices, the values of neighboring prices could be quickly entered as an array of values [100K, 125K, 130K, 140K, etc] and then be used for calculations with the rollup formula later.

  • One more example: schedules… days of the week an office is open, and times. The field name would be WkDy_Open_Close, the values could be entered in array form, if the user so desired, [M,8,5; W,8,12; F,8,5]**

  • and, for all examples, the array / map would be displayed as a table (via the popup) upon clicking the “expand cell” button.

The advantage is this allows the building of complex tables very quickly without bothering with linking, etc! It allows for a more natural thought flow. Sure, it might be inefficient on a processor, but if the base grows and grows, then it is no longer just a simple brainstorming sheet, and needs to mature into a better designed database. But, this field is for those many instances when a project is NOT worth building a complex database structure to play inside… This idea will help those who need a quick and dirty approach for quick brainstorms/data collection.


#4

@Stuart_Broz, you might get more support if in your description you mention / bold the fact that this feature could eliminate the need for creating a whole new table for doing simple tasks, calculating an average of an array of values quickly entered for each field.

I think your idea is good, and I never thought about putting it in as a feature request until i stumbled upon your post.


#5

I also support this idea - especially for date fields - I have a number of venues that I track which book me for several event dates each year and I don’t want several columns for dates, nor do I want to have an entire separate table of dates, and I haven’t been able to think of a simple workaround. . .


#6

Just wanted to quickly add my support and use case for this feature. Right now the only way to give a record multiple values of a type aside from attachments is to either use multiple select – which isn’t great for URLs, email addresses, etc – or to create multiple fields, which gets really cumbersome, and mostly just adds mess to the base.

Specific scenarios where I’ve encountered this problem:

  • In a CRM like base where a contact might have multiple email addresses
  • Commonly I’ll want to create a record with multiple related URLs
  • One of my bases is used to catalogue audio files hosted elsewhere. It’s quite common for me to end up with multiple audio files pertaining to a specific record. For example, I compose piano music and have a base to track my compositions. At any moment I’ll have a huge number of compositions that exist only as audio file demos. I may end up with multiple demo audio files pertaining to a single composition, and would like to reference these multiple files for the single record.

#7

I would use this feature if it was implemented. Several of my contacts have multiple phone numbers, but not all do. If I created a different column it would be mostly blank, but if there was the ability to input two different phone numbers in one field, it could contain both of them. I know I could just change it to a text field, but then I lose the formatting criteria and there is more room for error.


#8

Chiming in as well! I have a database of venues that I rent for various events and want to track their availability to view in a calendar view.


#9

Upvote! I want to store multiple dates in an array for a given cell.


#10

I think what I’m looking for is a similar feature. Right now in one base I have a table of People, and then a table of TV Shows. Within the TV Show table, I have sections for “Showrunner,” “Casting Director,” “Production Company,” etc. When I create linked records from the TV Show table to the People table under each of these categories, it creates multiple separate “Shows” columns in the People table for each category, which looks absurdly cumbersome.