Field type: URL vs Single line text?

If you are saving a URL, what is the advantage of using field type URL vs single line text? Is there any difference?
I can’t see a difference, but there probably is one!
PS I love you all!

The main differences are the icon that shows up next to the field name, and urls are clickable.

If you use scripting and check the field type, they have different field types.

That’s about it.

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The main differences are the icon that shows up next to the field name, and urls are clickable.

OK, the clickable part I see now. That’s a decent difference. What do you mean by the icon bit? I’m not seeing any icon in my simple test.

At the top of the grid view with the column names.

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Oh I see. I thought you meant that Airtable might pull in the favicon/site icon for a URL if the field type was URL (and an addressable URL was in the field). That would be a cool feature Airtable…are you willing to implement it??

You are better off making product suggestions through Airtable support or by creating a specific product suggestion in that area of the community forum.

I do not work for Airtable and cannot implement any features.

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I know, I was (rhetorically) directing that to Airtable.

A follow up Q after clicking a bit….have you noticed the URL field to be buggy?

I have some tables that have URL field and the field is clickable (and opens the link in another tab) and other tables where the URL field seems to act as a single line text field, i.e. when I click the cell the “Expand record” hover pops up – I imagine that hover should not pop up for URL fields since you’re not trying to open the record but instead open the relevant we page.

Have you noticed that?

URL fields are stored as text, exactly the same way that single line text fields are stored. It is possible to store multiple urls or even text that isn’t a valid url in a url field. Thus, the behavior you are seeing is the expected behavior.

A table with 2 cols: single line text and URL

image
The single line text col (URL 1) has the “expand record” popup when a cell is clicked whereas the URL field (URL 2) opens the URL when clicked.

Edit the URL 1 field and make the field type “URL”
image

The URL 1 field continues to behave like a single line text field (“expand record” popup displays when clicked), despite the field type having been changed to URL.

That seems like a bug, no?

I suggest you report this issue directly to Airtable support.

Searched the site but cannot find any way to report bugs. The (suggested) in app help menu just leads around in circles. Airtable support, if you’re reading this…I summon you read my bug report (above). So mote it be.

Airtable has changed their help menu over the years. Lately they have a chat pop up when you go to contact support. If that is too hard to find, just email support@airtable.com.

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