Custom Field Types for Tables (Reusing Predefined Options In Single/Multi-Select Fields)


#1

It would be fantastic to be able to select a “custom” or “configured” option for field types in tables.
Specifically, I have some tables with many fields. Some of the fields use the “single select” type. I have 10 options for my single select type that I use repeatedly thru my table. So, in many locations in my table, I am checking for different things(different field name), but, the single select options are identical for both fields. For example, I may have single select predefined options such as “yes”, “no”, or “manager would not approve” and I use those for many of my fields. Currently, we create new bases every few weeks as things change in our workflow. This new base is created by duplicating an old base, deleteing the field data, and then changing some, but not always all of the field names. This is done, so that I don’t have to retype all 10 options for the “single select” answers in my fields. I can duplicate fields as well, but, this leads to more work as not all of my fields are the same type, and then I have to move them to where I need them located in my table and such. Ideally, my work flow would go like this:
Create a new Base (either by duplicating or importing a CSV file)
When selecting a field type, and typing in my predefined options, I would be able to give those predefined options a name (save my predefined options as an object for later use)(object would be given a name, so I could easily reference it later in other field type setups)
When I move to another field, I can select field type to be the same “single select” type with the previously defined and saved custom predefined options, so that I don’t have to type all ten predefined options again, or mess with duplicating a field, changing the name, and then moving it sometimes 50 or more fields away from the original field.
Summary-It is fantastic that we can duplicate a field and have those predefined options duplicate, but, it would be more fantastic in some cases to create a predefined options object, and then be able to select that object in other fields.


#2

If you have a column type as Single Line of Text and a row for each Single Select value in which you place that single select value, changing that column type to Single Select will populate the Single Select values for you.


#3

Thank you. That is a great suggestion, I just tried it, and it does work great. However, I am trying to determine how that can work with the situation where I would have many, many fields in a table, all needing to have the same predefined answer options. I don’t see me pasting cells in each field I create, just so that the predefined options will self populate. It would be easier to duplicate a pre-exisiting field of the same type and move it. I appreciate your feedback, that was something I didn’t know I could do in Airtable, and I am sure I will use that cool feature in the future, but, I would still like to know if there is another way of creating a “predefined option” list that I can reuse over and over within a table. Thank you again.


#4

I don’t know if this answers your question but the way I do this, using a set of enumerated values in multiple places, is to store those enums in a separate table and then link to that table in multiple places.
EXAMPLE:

  • contact list (table) of people
  • each person can be a MEMBER of a few groups, “friend”, “work”, “community”
  • for that field, “MEMBER”, I link to a value in a “Members” table who’s first column has the enum values
  • company list (table) of companies
  • each company can be a MEMBER of a few groups, “friend”, “work”, “community”
  • for that field, “MEMBER”, I link to a value in a “Members” table who’s first column has the enum values

Does that help?
The only catch I see, is that linked fields do not, yet, work with the new Kanban view.