Formulas Able To Access Other Tables Directly

I’ve seen questions if formulas can access other tables, and it’s a no. Workaround is that you use lookup fields and calculate with those fields from within the same table. But this very quickly clutters the table with fields from other tables, only to get them into a formula. Our tables quickly grew and got really messy.

I’d like to skip one step and directly access other tables in formulas:

{DesignTable.TimeEstimation}+{ProgrammingTable.TimeEstimation}

This would de-clutter a lot of tables for us. Since I haven’t found a feature request for this, I’d like to request it here.

Thanks!
Chris

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This is an interesting idea, Chris. However, I must follow up on one of your comments:

Remember that fields don’t have to remain visible all the time. Hide the helper fields you’re not directly using. For example, the main table in my planning base has only seven fields that I actively use, and 41 others that remain hidden, working behind the scenes to get stuff done. If I need to see any of that stuff, I can expand a single record, or switch to a view that’s dedicated as a “setup” view where I manage all of those helper fields.

Hey Justin

Thanks for your reply. Yes, we also use/used many fields that we hid and it works, but as we started out with Airtable not long ago, we were constantly changing and adapting our workflow and thus, our table layout. And we still do.

This “behaviour” led to the messy layouts as I described above because we were integrating fields left and right to make formulas work, then changing structure, which led to abandoned fields and broken formulas. If a source field is deleted, its being converted to text and sits there indefinitely. At some point it’s a lot of work to go through all the 40 hidden fields and see if they’re still valid or just abandoned or deleted “data junk”.

Maybe an auto-cleanup would work, when I delete a linked field, that Airtable asks me if I want to delete the fields in linked tables as well. But this is another feature request.

Our situation with abandoned data fields could be avoided if it was possible to reference fields directly without having to fold in 40 fields from other tables. As they are just replicated data and (at least in our table layouts) don’t serve any purpose other than to work around a limitation.

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