Choosing a non-primary field as display name w/o using a formula


#1

A problem we often come across is we can’t change the display name of the record in calendar view or linked field – it always takes the primary field. A workaround is to use ‘formula’ as the primary field to customize the display name. However this causes further issues:

  1. You might want a different display name for different purposes. Eg. When a project record links to several tasks fields, you want to show the task name only. But when displaying all task fields in a calendar view, you want to show the task name AND the related project name.

Project: write a blog post about X; links to 3 tasks “find cover image”, “research” and "write"
But when displaying the calendar in Tasks table, I’d like to see “Find cover image[assignee][status]” or some other form of display.

These short tasks names fit nicely within the Project record view
image

But these Task record names in Calendar view are not very useful
image

Ideally we could choose a different field (eg last one) for displaying in calendar/linked records

  1. If you’re creating a new linked record from within a parent record, if the primary field is a formula, you won’t be able to edit the text unless you expand the record. E.g.

Project: write about X; links to tasks: click on “+” to add a new task. ==> can’t edit the primary field because it’s a formula.

Therefore if we could keep the primary field a text field, BUT specify a different display name field when creating a linked field, we could easily create a new child record as well as seeing desired record display name within the parent record.

This applies to calendar view too. When adding a new record from calendar view, if the primary field is a formula it’s difficult to add the text you want, especially for non-technical users.

When creating a new task from within calendar view, you can’t edit the primary field
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#2

I would think the field-displayed-in-calendar-view should be a selectable property of the view itself?


#3

I think that there’s a conceptual contradiction between Primary Field’s function in Calendar View and what it should be:

[Primary field] is meant to be a short, unique representation of each record

There’s a lot of cases when you want your titles in Calendar View be clear and not unique, because they play different role (of course Primary field can be not unique, but then why do you need it at all?).

Also, if you follow Airtable’s recomendation cited above and once set, for example, Auto-Number field as a Primary field (because it fits this role really good), it will make almost to sense in Calendar View, but unfortunately you will not be able to change Primary field to something more suitable without losing either functionality of Auto-Number field or numeration. :disappointed:

Choosing field to be displayed in Calendar View as a title should be a good option for Pro plan I guess.


#4

I upvote the request for a feature to explicitly select the field that is displayed in calendar view.

ditto for timeline block view

thanks to the folks who explained this so clearly in the earlier posts.