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.)