Provide structure to data inside Contact Information column

I’ve got a table that lists our customers and who the primary contacts are at each. I’ve gone back and forth between (A) including the person’s name, email address, and phone number all in one cell and (B) that info in separate columns. I can see pros/cons with each approach and am interested in your thoughts/best practices.

In approach A, I have the field type as long text, and it doesn’t look very elegant in the table view, as all the information gets jammed together (e.g. John Smith john.smith@domain 260-123-4567) Regardless of your thoughts about the first paragraph, is there a way to format the information so it looks nicer in the grid view.

As far as I know, there’s no way to automatically format data in the long text field. However, if you have the information on separate lines, you can adjust the row height so more of the data is visible at once.

Going back to your original premise, there’s no reason why you can’t have the data in both formats (separately and as a single cell). I’m not sure how you’re currently entering the data, but if you ever use a form, the data will naturally come in different cells. Using that as a starting point, you can create the single-cell view by using a formula, e.g. something like

TRIM(
	IF({Last Name},  " " & {Last Name} & ",") &
	IF({Middle Name},  " " & LEFT({Middle Name}, 1) & ".") &
	IF({First Name}, " " &  {First Name} ) &
	IF({Address},  "\n" & {Address} ) &
	IF({Telephone Number},  "\n" & {Telephone Number} ) &
	IF({E-mail},  "\n" & {E-mail} ) 
)

It’s not super elegant, but hopefully it’s legible to you and easily maintained. Keep in mind that since the formula uses line breaks ("\n"), when you copy data out of the cell, it will usually have surrounding quotation marks when yout paste it.

EDIT: The original formula I gave had some errors. Thank you @kuovonne for the heads-up!

I agree that it is better to store the data in individual fields and then use a formula field to combine the information.

However, Andy’s formula does not look right to me. All of the IF statements would evaluate as true since they all would have at least a single character in them. The use of + also looks off.

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Haha, yep. Did this quickly pre-coffee… mixed up the syntax with JS and pasted the pre-spacing into the wrong part of the functions. It should be correct and usable now… I hope.

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