Text and table formatting


#1

It would be great if it was possible to FORMAT TEXT (fonts, colors, bold, italics), CELLS (left, right, center alignment, background colors), and BORDERS (bold or dashed lines, colors) within tables. The ability to add extra header lines and/or to FREEZE more cells vertically and horizontally would help, too.

I really like the idea of Airtable, but can’t effectively use it over Excel until it has more functionality.


#2

Even Markdown in in a multi-line Note would suffice for now.


#3

I’ve only been using Airtable for a couple of days, and one of the things I really miss is the ability to add color to rows, columns and individual cells. We’re testing a migration from Excel to Airtable, and we rely on color quite a bit, especially to flag pending tasks that require immediate attention. It’s a surprise to find that a utility that relies so much on visual organization would lack something so a) simple, and b) important.

In our case, customer orders tend to be processed in batches sent to a vendor. We color-code batches’ submission date with alternating colors – every-other batch is either red or blue (only the “submission date” column is color-coded). That allows us to immediately ID a batch and quickly find the individual order we need to look at.

Likewise, we should be able to color text.


#4

I am also desperate for this functionality. Airtable could be incredible for organizing writing projects, potentially better than my favorites (Scrivener, which I felt made me dig and dig for functionality that’s really easy in Airtable, and Ulysses which is a bit too hierarchal for many things I want to do). But it doesn’t handle text formatting or large chunks of text very well right now.

I understand if Airtable isn’t interested in catering very much to that sort of usage. The thing is… it would be SO GOOD at it, for one, and one of the things that has gripped me about Airtable is its potential to be almost any program I could need it to be. But okay okay, even aside from that, there’s a lot of reasons people would want to organize large formatted chunks of texts. For example, one might keep a database of excerpts from academic papers, and link relevant things in their project to those excerpts. Or say someone OCR’d a bunch of documents (contracts, receipts, whatever). They can upload the picture version, sure, but it’s not searchable, so they want the entire text… and it’s difficult to follow without bold, or italics are important for style norms in your field and it makes you look sloppy or unprofessional when you copy from some record and don’t realize the formatting was lost, etc.

I, too, would be happy with Markdown functionality at minimum. But really I think the basics, like bold, italics, underline, hyperlinks, headers, fonts, font sizes, colors, borders, etc – basically the most widely-used CSS stuff – would open a lot of doors for what Airtable can do. (I think there’s already a thread for responsive formatting so, yes, there’s obviously that too.)


OCR like evernote WITH text search for attacments
#5

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! The more specific feedback we get on how and why certain features would be useful to you, the easier it is for us to incorporate all of that feedback into a better product. :slight_smile:

Rich text formatting is definitely on our future roadmap. Are there any WYSIWYG editors that you think are particularly well done?


#6

I’d be good with Markdown. Froala also looks pretty good. Whatever Squarespace uses is good.


#7

I’d like the ability to custom URL’s added in fields eg. replace a long URL name with just “click here”

On the topic of table formatting - current Airtables look old fashioned - this picture for instance is a much cleaner look for a table, which you can’t do with Airtable:


#8

Bullets in text fields please

  • Markdown fine
  • Visual HTML editor would be great
  • Doesn’t this look great?
  • Your devoted fan

#9

++ on markdown support:

Having bullets would be a big help in formatting notes we are taking in Airtable.


#10

Having bullets would be extremely valuable in the note section.
Thanks!


#11

Is there any timeline to get rich text / markdown into AirTable?
This is really the one feature that prevents us from even considering using this tool, which, otherwise, looks very flexible and full of potential.
I find it almost ironic that I am filling this form in a field that is a rich text field…


#12

+1000 on this. We use Airtable to manage large amounts of content for our Wordpress clients, and giving them the ability to add simple formatting (much like your comment box here) would be a game changer for us and them. It’s the one last feature we’re dying for AirTable to implement.


#13

+99999 on thiw ! I need to be able to store articles ready to post to wordpress. So a rich text editor is a must! Airtable can be used as an article management system. For example I currently work with many authors that write articles for me. Then I store all my articles and post them to different websites for my clients. It would be so easy for me to create one form in which my writers can paste their articles when completed. Then I could just as easily copy paste and publish those articles to my client websites. All of this would’ve been possible if Airtable had a text field which supports rich text. It would be the perfect article management system!


#14

Any update on the Rich Text Formatting? As others have mentioned, this is a big drawback for fully converting from other spreadsheets. The beauty and ease of use of Airtable is hampered by the inability to “bold” or “color” headers and categories in my layouts for clearer viewing of my information.


#15

If rich text formatting takes a while to implement, maybe you could instruct us how to use zapier to make ‘structuring block text’ (without the need for rich text bolding, underlining, etc.) happen with form integration content in the meantime.

When I used asana as my primary project management service (like a month ago), I was able to have multiple field form content get compiled into one ‘multiline description text field’ using a zap.
Example: http://example.24hrtees.net/kBGX

If there is a ‘formatter’ option inside of zapier that would basically be a place holder as an initial action step, where we could format how we want our text organized, and then we could use that step to put content into your current text fields, I think that’s all Il need for the time being…but as it currently is, I can’t find an integration solution inside of zapier that allows me to either ‘expand your text field for multi-line support’ (similar to my example above) or to just be the organizer of text on its own.

Thoughts?


#16

This is a must-have for us :slight_smile:

  • Some kind of a “formatted text” type for a field would allow us to use Airtable like a mini-wiki. (Markdown is fine, but a Slack/Medium-like editor would be more user-friendly I guess)
  • Formatting rows and cells would be awesome, for example we’d need to set the opacity of a row to 50% if its cell “done” is checked, to better handle projects checklists.

Fingers crossed!


#17

Markdown support would be amazing to have in text fields.

I dont see the need for color formatting of text, cells, etc. I can’t think of multiple ways to accomplish what color coding would accomplish using an additional field. To me, airtable is about making your information useful while looking nice but not nice enough to be used for presentation. It’s not for presentation or visual displays of information. If you need that then you should export your data to make some kind of color coded table or display.


#18

Hmm Airtable defines itself as something between a spreadsheet and a database. Dynamic cell formatting is what I miss the most from the first one. Of course I could create a small app, retrieve infos from Airtable via the API, format lines… But I think it would be better to have it inside the same tool.


#19

I think the bread and butter of airtable is organization as a utility. So if airtable were to add formatting it should be for utility, not for pure aesthetic purposes. I dont think they should add formatting to their current views, because those views are designed for utility.

What might be nice, is a view designed specifically for aesthetics, a separate tool for making tables, charts, and graphs from your airtable data. I can imagine a “presentation” view where you open the view and you’re shown a list of possible tables, charts, or graphs. You select one, then walk through selecting your data from another table in that base. You would have the same great filtering tools as you do in other views. Then you could even generate an iframe to embed elsewhere, which will live update with your data. That would be helpful, and seems like a more realistic feature.


#20

I see your point, but I’m not convinced. I’m actually talking about utility formatting, such as semi-transparent lines or cards if “done” field is checked, or green/red background according to a 1/0 value for example. I don’t want to format every field with Comic sans MS :slight_smile: I think the same behavior as formula field with a few properties to be altered would suffice.

I know there’s a beta feature in progress for charts views in Airtable (but couldn’t get to test it yet), but these are two distinct features IMO. The iframe feature actually already exists if you embed the public view shared URL, so I guess it should be the same with this chart view.