User Interface Suggestion Re: Comments (@mentions)


It is cool that Airtable allows comments in any long text field, however that being the case, I’d like to suggest that any long text field should, at least optionally, be able to show the comments icon if someone has commented. Otherwise it’s possible for comments to be hidden.

IOW what I assume many a project manager would do is scan through the first column and open those with comments to see the discussion. But if the comments are in a different long text field, there is no way to even know to click.

Thanks for considering.


You comment on records, not in any field. When a record has comments an icon appears on the left, next to the record row number.


My post was accurate, please reread it. Also, I did not say someone could comment on any field. I referred to long text fields, and they can be commented on, but do not have icons next to them when someone has done so, with the exception of the primary Name column.


No, they can be filled or not, as any other field. You don’t need icons, you have content itself.

I don’t see how you comment on a field:

Maybe you mean when other user adds more text to a Long Text field? That is not a comment anyway. In that case I recommend you to create an Interactions (or Comments, or whatever) table and link it. I have a similar one in an Events Tracking base.

That icon is about the Record comments:

Or I am missing something? :thinking:


Yes, there seems to be confusion over the word “comment”. @DavidMa - a user adding additional content to a long text field is not what Airtable calls a “comment”. But to accomplish what you want to do, create a “comments” table that is linked to your main table, with each new comment being a new row in comments table.


Thanks guys. I don’t think I explained myself well. I was referring to @mention in a long text field. The person mentioned can then come back, and reply with their own @mention in the long text field. I was referring to this as a “comment” even thought I realize that it is not technically so.

My concern is that since @commenting is allowed in long text fields, now and then conversations will end up there, with other team members not realizing they need to be opening the item to review it, since there may not be any comment icon (the icon that show up to the left a the name field to alert you that there is commenting).

So I was suggesting that if a long text field had @mentions in it, there should be some type of commenting icon there, or next to the main field, so the @mentions are not missed. Having said all that, I can see that might present its own challenges, and perhaps the way they have it now is best.


I’ve just tested it, and you get a notification when someone mentions you (and an email). Anyway, I think that is not the place to have conversations, you should have them in the Comments section of the Records, or maybe in the suggested Interactions/Comments/Conversations table.


If you plan or are thinking about using it for some type of system functionality, which is what it sounds like, I would definitely consider adding a comments/conversations table.


Thanks Kevin, I will experiment with that.


Ehhh, I said if first! :joy:


I liked your post but not Kevin’s if that makes you feel better Elias :-D. Question, if I create an “Events Tracking Base”, will it just show me comments (without crossed off revised comments, partial comments etc.)? This revision history view on the main Name field is driving me nuts, it adds nothing but endless noise to every conversation. It’s nice, I just don’t like having it mixed with comments.


I feel the same way. I always thought it’d be cool if you could toggle/filter which type of “stories” you see in there. If you could somehow display only edits, or only comments, attachments, etc. - that might help clean it up a bit.


I didn’t even realize you could add a Comment to a record field until you pointed this out, as it’s pretty buried in the UI (at the bottom of the Activity panel and only visible when such is expanded).

Why isn’t there a menu item akin to Add/View Comments in the record-level menu? This is actually pretty damn annoying!

Also, speaking of comments, what I would personally like is the ability to add a comment to any given field for any given record (akin to the cell-level comments that appear as red triangles in the corner of cells in Excel). There are times when I want to add additional or qualifying comments/notes at a field-level in records without cluttering up the view.

FYI, I just added a feature request for this: The ability to add a comment to any given field for any given record


I think because this tool is more data-oriented (as is a database manager) than discussion-oriented. Anyway, open menu and lick on the Comment are 2 clics, the same that opening a record and click in the comment box :stuck_out_tongue:

You can do that with additional fields (even Tables), take advantage of the features! :smiley:


Well, that completely defeats the point of having comments localized to particular field :stuck_out_tongue:

I added this as a separate feature request, which is essentially cell-level comments.


If you use them to the same goal, it is also “localized”. I mean, if you have a cell called “Content”, and you want to have a conversation around that data, you could have a “Content Comments” table, so it is “localized to the content” too.


That’s trying to solve the wrong problem. I specifically want a cell-level commenting feature (exactly like Excel provides), not a record-level comment. There are many workarounds for record-level comments. I (and others) want to be able comment directly in-context to a specific field in a record.


When you comment to a cell, you are adding data to an entity. Say you have a Due Date, and you want to comment on changes of that. What you are doing can be converted to “database style”: you are in fact using a new kind of elements (which can be stored in a new Table), which I would call Due Date Changes (for instance). Instead of having a date Field called Due Date, you could have a Linked Record field to a new Table called Due Dates, and I’d create a Rollup field to get the most recent date.

I’m pretty sure that any situation example that you give me could be converted to a new Table :thinking: I think those are not workarounds butusingg the service features. Could you give me context for your use-case or an invented example?


I’m wanting functionality here that doesn’t currently exist in Airtable, as the current cell-level commenting is only available on text fields, is actually adding text/data into the fields themselves, and is really a “mention” function.

What I definitely do not want is to create more fields or tables; I merely want what could be considered a comment mode/layer that could be applied to any given cell in any given field in any given table. Excel, Google Sheets, and many other spreadsheet-based applications provide this functionality. The purpose is to be able to collaborate or add additional notes or comments in context without affecting the data in the cells themselves. This essentially requesting the same functionality that is currently available for adding field descriptions to field headers, but also allowing this at an individual cell level.

There are limitless use cases for this functionality:

  • Carrying out a collaborative conversation
  • Providing an editor’s note for a publicly shared table
  • Adding a comment about an outlier result in a data table
  • Adding notes about a set of images.
  • Adding a disclaimer

Here’s the feature request.
The ability to add a comment to any given field for any given record


I know what you want, I don’t understand why. I don’t need an explanation of what a “cell comment” is :smile_cat:

But those examples are to broad, I need concrete base structure and reasons to not use current features (o my proposed aux. table).

Anyway, I’m giving up on this :smile: :frowning_face: