Is there a way to switch from "Design Mode" to "User Mode"?

When i’m logged in, I’m constantly in “full edit” / “design mode”, i.e as the creator/owner of the base I am anytime able to edit everything which creates the risk of accidentally changing a view or editing a table the wrong way.

Is there a way to switch from “Design Mode” to “User Mode” or “Input Mode”. Basically after I have created the base with its tables and forms, I want to switch to a view where I just USE IT.
Enter and view data etc… Being in “Design Mode” all the time is annoying.

Or am I missing something?



Well, there is the « undo » possibility (Ctrl + Z) if by accident you modified something you didn’t want to modify.
But as far as I know, what you see is what you get…

I know a lot of users here use the API to populate their bases with forms once the base is built. Maybe you could to a look to the API documentation to see if it speaks to you :wink: .
From what I’ve seen here, it seems to be a pretty static way to populates a base but I could be completely wrong as I don’t use the Airtable API or any kind of forms by the way…

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The whole idea to do my database of airtable was I thought that I can create the database and then create some kind of “console” view for myself and other users (that’s what I thought blocks are for). But that’s not the case… Looks like airtable just does the first bit (create the database) and turns out its user interface is really meant for people who want to do work directly on the database. So it leaves you having to create the “console” somewhere else (or am I missing something?). If anyone has ideas of how I can best create a user console where they can view information (in a predetermined format) and feed information (via forms), I’d really appreciate it.

Without the above I’m having to give users access to the database itself. Which brings me to the second annoyance. The lack of detailed permissions. To have nothing between Editor and Commenter is super limiting! Why why why? I just need to have the possibility to allow people to insert data but NOT to mess about with the layout / views / forms. Commenter doesn’t allow data entry and Editor gives too many permissions which leaves it open to being messed up by other users.

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I do understand your frustration but I’m sorry I can’t help you more …

Fortunately, there are lot of API / forms users, here, who might be able to help you :wink: .

Patience :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m also interested in this. Forms are a way around this but it requires more work to get the form working the way you need it to. Plus, to edit a record using a form you need a paid Zapier subscription.

An option to enable some users to add/update records but not change the structure of the base/tables would be welcome. Am I missing the option somewhere in the interface?


I think this is one of the big things that Airtable could benefit from. At the very least asking you if you want to save a view before updating it. Quite often you want to go into a view an then filter it or group it for one particular reason without leaving it that way forever. I find that I trust views less and less over time as there’s more and more chances that they’ve been altered by me or somone else accidentally during day-to-day work.


Yes yes +1! I love Airtable but I am hitting limitations more and more due to this issue. More granular permissions, please!

Ideally I’d be able to create views with some fields hidden (completely), lock down some fields as view only (if at all possible), and give someone access to only to their view.

Without this I am giving people too much access.

Someone mentioned Zapier. Is this a possible solution? Can you mention what feature I should look at to explore this option?


Hey zqush,

For my department, I update all of our bases, and let others in the department either view the records or enter new records through the form.
If I understand you correctly, if you want to be able to navigate the base “safely” once you have entered all of your data, you can:

  1. Share your base (or view(s)) as read-only, copying the URL.
  2. Pin/bookmark the URL in your browser or embed on a website.
  3. Use that base for day to day usage
  4. Login to make any updates

There are limitations, as you will not be able to add or view comments, but you can see the basic information, such as links and notes.

You can also share a form as a private link, that can also be pinned/bookmarked/embedded to enter data.

Of course, this is a workaround, as “locking” certain parts of the interface could be helpful.

Maybe it’s an option to create an extra ‘normal’ user for yourself with the restrictions you want?

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please make this a feature request

Yes yes +1!

I want to build a database and give selective access for users to update notes and such. I don’t want to give them full access to all of the information or the ability to poke around all the views and get confused and make changes in the wrong places. Right now it seems like it’s all of nothing, but I’m not sure.

The View Only and Form modes don’t work for me, as I want people to do both at the same time: view the relevant data on a particular record they are assigned to, and update notes and specific infarmation about that particular record.

Isn’t there a way to create a view and only share that view and all of its non-hidden fields for editing?

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Just starting with Airtable. Have FileMaker desktop experience. I am sole user of this database. When opening Form view I am in Design/Layout mode and have to click on Open Form to enter data. How do I go directly to User mode?

Hi @Charlie_Michelson

I would suggest that you create a new post, since this post is for Product Suggestions. This way other users can answer your question better.

You may need to provide a bit more information.

“When opening Form view I am in Design/Layout mode and have to click on Open Form to enter data. How do I go directly to User mode?”

Does this have to do with Forms on the Pro Plan?

Or are you referring to something else?

Here is a link to working with forms in Airtable, if this is what you are referring to. The second link allows you to edit forms, by using an extension. Is this what you are looking for? It seems that it might not be easy to edit a form in a simple way, in Airtable, except the way that you are doing it now in Airtable. Now, I could be wrong.

Hope this helps, though.

Mary Kay