Create select field options from records in a linked field

Hello. Is there a way to create a single or multiselect field using records from a linked field? In other words, if you have records in a linked field and you want them to be displayed in another field as single select or multiselect options, is this possible and how?

Hi Benjamin

From my experience so far, there are two ways to do this type of action:

  • Copy and paste directly from the linked field into the multiselect (I guess you already tried this)
  • Use an automation

The automation is quite ease to be set up, follow this script:

  • You have both the fields ready in your table, the source (multi link) and the target (multi select)
  • 1st step of the automation
  • Create the automation as “When a record is updated” type
  • In the Table parameter point to your table
  • In the View parameter point to working view (if necessary) or to a test view (recommendable for troubleshooting)
  • For the Fields parameter, select the multilink, so any time it changes, the automation will fire
  • Test this step and ensure that it works
  • Second step of the automation
  • Add an “Update record” step
  • Select your table in the parameter Table
  • For the “Record ID” you have to select the one that triggered the auto, pick it up from the + button: record from step 1 + Airtable record ID
  • For the “Fields” you will choose your target field
  • For the value that will be used to update this target, press the + button: record from step 1 + your source field (the multilink) + Name
  • Test the step
  • Enable the automation

For a first massive upload, once you have enabled the auto, you can just delete the source column and then undo the action. This fact will trigger the automation since the value has changed for the source, then the target will be filled conveniently
For any upcoming record, every time that the multilink is updated, the multiselect will mimic it

I hope that this helps
good luck

Hi Xavier. I followed your script, step-by-step, but when a new record is selected and added to the source (multi link) field, the target (singleselect or multiselect) field tacks it on at the end of an existing select field option, separated by a comma. The automation appears to add this as a new select option in the target field, but it is made up of an existing record combined with the new record, just separated with a comma, instead of delineating it as a separate target (singleselect or multiselect) field option. Any ideas?

Hi Benjamin,
I did a test myself in a simple base, and in my case it worked. I will add pics and comments so you can follow every step and be sure that I understood your needs.

Linked table:
Contains the key (LKX values) and the link to the base table created by Airtable

Base table:
Contains its own key (BKX values) and a linked field to the linked table (it can be populated with multiple values) and a multiselect that is populated by my automation when there’s a change in the linked field key
image

Automation 1st step
Triggers when the linked key value changes in the base table
image

Automation 2nd step
The record in the base table that has been modified (linked key change) is updated by setting the linked field multiselect to the name of the linked field key

The values in the multiselect are created individually by the automation from scratch and are not a concatenation by commas
image

I did also the same test but populating the multiselect in the base table with the contents of a new field that I created in the linked table, just to be sure that the procedure was right. It also worked fine

My guess is that you are using a Single select field instead of a Multiselect field for the target, in that case, you get the behavior you describe, the only way for the automation to create a new option is by concatenating the source values into a single one

I hope that this helps, let me know if you can solve the issue
Best
*Xavier GS

Thanks Xavier. It wasn’t clear before, whether this automation worked for single and multi select or just multiselect. Appreciate the clarification.

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