Multiple URL entries in one field


#1

I’m so desperate to have multiple URL entries in a single field. It’s so difficult to include URL references on a record when it requires more than one URL, and I have been frustrated with this for over a year to the extent that I just give up on using Airtable for many projects.

Junction tables, which I have tried, are really not a good solution to this because:

  1. I don’t use most references more than once, so there’s no reason for me to have a separate record for some random URL.
  2. Having to create a record for every URL makes data entry that much more cumbersome (the reason I stop using Airtable), and
  3. The ability to click the URL in a URL field is too important. When the URL has to be its own record it just starts feeling clunky and frustrating.

Furthermore, it’s implausible for me to just have multiple URL fields because while I often just use one or two references, sometimes I may need ten. Having to habitually scroll past a bunch of empty fields ends up making data entry sloppy in the longterm, because one gets used to mentally filtering out empty fields and then forgets to enter stuff when it matters.

Aside from references, I can imagine this would be frustrating for contacts-type databases where a person or business may have multiple URLs associated with them. I have also found it frustrating when trying to compile research on a topic: things that ought to function as a tidy single record suddenly need to be their own table, or multiple tables, and it just gets silly and impractical.

I would just really appreciate it if the URL field could just have multiple entries. It would make a huge difference and I would use Airtable a lot more, with a lot less frustration.


#2

Have you tried using multiple URLs in a Long Text field?


#3

Yes, and it’s clunky and frustrating, they can’t be clicked/opened easily, etc. I really need each link to be its own entity and not part of a block of text.


#4

Natalie:

Something that might work.

We are a theater. We have productions(plays) and often have multiple online reviews of our shows.

I thought I could solve the multiple URL problem by having a URL table with autonumber primary column. Column 2 is multiple links to the production table entries and column 3 is the single URL .
A show with multiple reviews has a row per review/URL.

Then, I added a Lookup column to the production table pointing to the URL table.

When a new review comes in, I just add it to the URL table and voila, it shows up when people access the production.

Yes, a little clunky and still limited when the lookup URLs column won’t expand so you have to expand the whole row to see all the URLs if there are several.

Maybe there are even better solutions.

Good luck.


#5

I also need to list multiple live URLs in the same field. I was going to try to list each one separately in a field, then create a formula which would display all of them in one field. Is there a formula for this?


#6

Once you have the individual URL fields, you can concatenate them with the newline character, '\n', as a separator, like so:

URL1&'\n'&URL2&'\n'&URL3&'\n'&URL4&'\n'

; in conjunction with Airtable’s new adjustable row heights, this will let you stack up to four active URLs in a single field. Note it remains a two-click action: {Click 1} selects the field instance; {Click 2} opens the targeted URL.

You can also use newline as the designated separator in a rollup field with the ARRAYJOIN() aggregate function:

ARRAYJOIN(values,'\n')

#7

Thanks for this info! I have dozens of urls to keep track of for each client on one record. Social media profiles etc. that can number up to 20+. Would this method still work? If so, can you help outline it a bit more step by step as I am new to Air Table and haven’t used the formula or rollup field type before.

If I understand correctly, I’d be limited to listing just 4 live URLS?

I was thinking of creating an evernote file then upload as an attachment for each client, but whenever the evernote file is updated, it will require me to re-upload the file.

What would you do for a solution to this issue? Thoughts on a better way? Much appreciated!


#8

Sorry for the delay; wanted to double-check before replying.

If the URLs are relatively static — that is, they don’t change often, which appears to be the case with yours — I’d probably just define a Long Text field called {ClientURLs} (or whatever). You could then enter essentially unlimited URLs in the field, each as its own line.

This isn’t a solution that would work for everyone — and it might not work for you. However, from your description I assume you are a social media facilitator/proxy/ghost for your clients, where your value-add comes from your content rather than, say, the sheer volume of transactions. (If you are a Twitter bot, this solution may not apply.) Accordingly, having to click twice to activate a URL, for instance, should not be enough of a downside to outweigh the benefits of managing your workflow from a single base.

With row height set to maximum, you should be able to display 6 (not 4) URLs in a field. Any of those URLs can be selected with a two-click process: The first click ‘activates’ the field, making the URLs clickable links; the second click opens the URL in a new tab.

Not you are not limited to 6 URLs — it’s just that a maximum of 6 will show in the row. URLs 7 through infinity(ish) can be accessed by opening the Long Text field. (This adds a couple of additional clicks to your process, so you should toss something together to make certain you can live with it before committing to the base.) To open a URL not in the first 6, you would

  1. Click in the field to activate it.
  2. Instead of clicking on one of the URLs, click on the double-headed arrow icon (’’) in the upper right of the cell. This will expand the field.
  3. Click on the URL you wish to open. Hah! Fooled you! Instead of opening (even though it is highlighted as if it is an active link), a URL pop-up appears.
  4. Select the URL pop-up, and the URL opens in a different tab.

If I’ve misread your needs, let me know, and I’ll try to respond more appropriately.


#9

Thank you so much for the detailed reply. I have been using the long text field and it is is working very well for what I need!

Much appreciated!


#10

I think this topic should be included in Feature Request. I also needed that and it could be simple for the developers to make this.