Spaces in CONCATENATE() function

Want to create a Full Name value from name elements. Wrote this simple formula:

CONCATENATE(
{First Name}, " ",
{Middle Name}, " ",
{Last Name}
)

If there is a value in all three fields, it works fine, returning a result like (say) “William Jefferson Clinton”.

But it also works fine if there isn’t a Middle Name value – and that is contrary to what I expect. If Middle Name is left empty, it will return “Bill_Clinton”: I’m using an underscore there to represent a single space. What I expect is for it to return “Bill__Clinton”, with two spaces in there. Why doesn’t it? What am I missing?

So… Airtable is a dysfunctional platform in several different ways, and it does this VERY annoying thing that everybody universally hates:

Under some circumstances — but not all circumstances — Airtable will decide that it needs to cosmetically remove any extra spaces from your fields. If you type 2 spaces in a row into a text field, Airtable will cosmetically remove it. If you have an extra leading space, Airtable will cosmetically remove it. If you have more than one space in a row in certain formulas (but not all formulas), Airtable will cosmetically remove it.

As of now, the ONLY WAY to see the REAL TEXT THAT’S ACTUALLY THERE is to manually double-click within the individual field, and if it’s a formula field, you have to further expand the field after that. Then & only then will Airtable show you your actual text.

In other words, your extra space is actually there. You just can’t see it until you double-click into your field and then EXPAND the formula field. So it’s 3 clicks to see your actual data.

This dysfunction has caused countless headaches for people, in many different types of situations (sorting, grouping, printing, viewing, everything).

You would think that Airtable would care about displaying data with 100% integrity first & foremost, but nope. Welcome to the crazy & unpredictable world of Airtable! :crazy_face::man_shrugging:t2:

I would highly recommend emailing support@airtable.com to ask them to please change this behavior.

Ah, thanks so much for confirming this. I’m not at all a newbie with Airtable and I probably noticed this in the past and have since forgotten it. Earlier today I thought I was just missing something.

I keep coming back to Airtable and trying to get it to do the wonderful things it ought to make it easy for me to do. And every time, I run into some stupid limitation, often as not with the formula editor or the limitations in the function library.

I’ll write to support. Thanks again!

William

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