Form Field vs Linked Table Display/Usage Problem


#1

I have a form problem that I can’t seem to resolve, and I am hoping someone here may have a solution.

In my form (associated with a table) I have a field where the responder is to enter his/her zip code. I would then use that entered zip code value as a lookup parameter into a linked table in order to pull in additional data into the main table.

Sounds simple enough. But the problem is that rather than allowing the responder to enter his/her zip code into this data field on the form (as intended), the form now shows a “+Link to a record…” message/button where the user is being forced to then locate their zip code from the linked table (which contains thousands of zip codes!) instead of being allowed to enter their zip code in the form as I had intended. I can see where this could be useful for some situations but is not for my particular situation here.

So, in trying to resolve this issue I let the zip code field be its own standalone field in the main table (i.e., not a formula, linked table, etc.) so that it looks as intended on the displayed form, i.e., where the responder needs to enter their zip code. I then created a new, computed field in the main table that I set to being equal to the zip code field within this table, thereby eliminating that +Link message from being shown on the form. But then I was unable to make that computed field in the main table to also be a linked table field to the linked table for lookup purposes. (Ugh!)

So, seems that a field in a table cannot be both a computed (i.e., a formula) field AND be a linked field to another table at the same time in Airtable (might also be a problem with Excel, I don’t know). Is that correct? Or, am I missing a simple solution here?

I am hoping that someone within this forum has encountered a similar situation and knows how I can resolve this problem.

Thanks in advance. - Steve


#2

Hi Steve

You’re right in that in that a formula can’t be a linked field. There is no solution to this in Airtable itself but if you have Zapier then there is a way.

Create a Zap triggered by a new record in the table and simply update the Link field with the value the user typed into a text field for the zipcode in the form. You can then hide the input field from most views other users use.

Remember that this wont happen immediately as Zaps run every 5 or 16 minutes depending on your account type.


#3

Thanks for the quick reply, Julian! I appreciate that. I’ll check out Zapier for sure. Cheers! - Steve