Anybody else got issue with ’ and ' characters?

I got an issue with these two characters…

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The issue is with:

’ and ’

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When I copy a formula from AirTable into textpad on MacOS and start editing the formula there, the ’ character gets eventually somehow replaced with ’ and when I copy the formula back into AirTable, the formula is broken because some of the ’ got replaced with '. It’s strange. I don’t have any text-expander or text correction software so not sure why it happens. Wondering if anybody else has the problem.

The issue doesn’t happen when editing the formula in Airtable box, it only happens when I copy the formula outside to edit it and then copy it back to Airtable.

The editing box for formulas is way too tiny to be useful when editing long formulas.

Interesting thing is also when I am editing the forum post here, the difference in characters shows when I am editing the title of the post here, but once I save the post, the characters look same in the title.

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Yes, this is a common issue. Airtable formulas need straight quotes 'and " but many text editors convert them to curly quotes ‘ ’ “ ”

When editing formulas, I try to use a plain text editor that does not use curly quotes.

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That’s your problem. Textpad is not ideal for software development and arguably, formulas are code. You should fear putting any code into Textpad if using a Mac because it originated in the Windows world. It’s migration onto the Mac had some issues. Try TextMate or whatever for Mac OS.

Indeed, but TextPad claims to be a plain text editor. It’s just a quirky one.

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Hi @itoldusoandso !

I confirm the same issue

and the same fix:

olπ on MAC OS.

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I’ve been using BBEdit on the Mac for a long time. No need to pay for the full version. The features they let you have for free are more than enough if you want to do more freeform editing of Airtable formulas.

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Is Visual Studio Code any good for writing code/formulas for Airtable? Planing to start using it for learning Java Script in near future, and would be nice to do it all in one program :slight_smile: I know it probably isnt perfect fit but for some basic stuff, coloring functions, matching brackets, etc.

A bit of offtopic, but i dont understand why all thse formula fields in all similar programs (same case in Notion, Coda, etc.) are so bloody small. If you are writing any kinda of longer formula its nightmare :confused:

Visual Studio Code is a great choice.

I’m on Windows and I actually write a lot of formulas in Notepad (the dinky text editor that comes with Windows, not NotePad+). It is lightweight and quick to load. With a multi-line style, matching brackets isn’t that hard. It’s extra/missing commas that tend to throw me off the most.

I think the formula fields are tiny because most users don’t write long formulas. A bigger space for writing formulas would be intimidating to new users. Eventually anyone who writes long formulas will figure out to copy/paste from a different editor. In the meantime anyone writing long formulas is probably invested enough in the product that they don’t need to cater to them in the transition stage.

Thanks to all for tips. I had no idea it all matters.

Off topic - Does the dinky Windows Notepad even auto-save open Notepad windows now in case the battery on the laptop dies? I remember last time I used Windows (10 years ago), it didn’t save openED text editor files so when laptop died of dead battery the open documents would be just gone. The reason was used to Apple textpad is because it autosaves the open documents. So having auto-save is important because I have a really bad habit of leaving dozens of text editor windows open, I rarely save work, in particular if it has to do with something like preparing a formula for AirTable which is just a one time thing.

If autosave is important, perhaps look for an online code editor. A quick search turns up several possible options. I didn’t look into details, but I’m guessing that some of them save on the fly (as Airtable does) so that there’s no need to manually save.

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Commas, always making problems :smiley:

About formula fields, I agree with new user’s experience. But still, if there was button to expand the field like you can in long text field for example, it would help a lot. And I don’t think it’s that hard implementation. And for new users or for shorter formulas you could still have standard small formula window like we have now.

No, Windows Notepad doesn’t auto save. But I find that most formulas aren’t worth saving externally.

If I’m writing a formula that is worth saving, I do it in my code editor save it to my git repository.

Great idea. I suggest you add it to this thread requesting improvements to the editor. You can also send the suggestion to support.

Yes, please. The box is too small. I found a trick to expand the formula box … you just Keep typing a LONG string of characters e.g. ________________ and the box expands. I can finish the formula and then I delete the ____ string to save.

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