When Grouping By a Formula Field - Cannot Add New Record!

#1

I have my data grouped by year / month (which are formula fields generated from the date field).

In this grouped view, it is not possible to add a new record. It is crazy! The data will always be in this view and grouped like this since it is accounts for different months.

As far as i see, i have to ungroup everything to then add a record and then regroup everything to see the data in a way that makes sense, its super clunky and totally illogical.

Is there a workaround for this? i just started using the software, but if this is a real limitation, its much faster to go back to use excel as its totally broken like this.

Support please give an answer. thanks

2 Likes
#2

Yes, this is an annoyance with using a group by a formula column. The easiest I have found is to expand a record, duplicate it and then edit out the duplicated record. Which of course is not very convenient.

#3

You can also right-click on a record and choose the duplicate option from the popup.

#4

Thanks for this info, it may serve as a workaround. however… how dumb is this, it allows you to duplicate a record, but not click on a plus button to make a new record, this is basic stuff and as far as im concerned quite a bug that should be fixed.

It will be a such a waste of time to delete data from duplicated records every single time i add a record, very back to front…

#5

It’s not actually a bug. When grouping based on a field that contains manually-entered data, Airtable can safely assume that adding a new record to that group should fill that grouped field with the same data. However, when grouping is based on a calculated field, like a formula, that’s not a safe assumption because the field value is based on another field. Depending on the formula, it could be based on multiple other fields.

Going back to your example, though, let’s use the single Month field as a test case. Say you had entered a date of March 1, 2019 into your date field, so the Month field becomes 3 based on the formula. You want to add a record to that group, so in theory the Month field for that new record should also be 3. However, it’s a formula based on your date field, and the date field in a new record would be empty. That means the Month field would end up blank if your formula tests for a date before extracting the month, or #ERROR if it doesn’t. In either case, that record would be automatically moved to its own group, which means finding that group before you can enter the correct data so that it becomes grouped with all of the March records again.

Because the Month field value can’t be 3 if there’s no date, what do you want Airtable to do in this scenario? Do you want it to reverse the formula logic and enter a dummy date into the date field? If so, all that Airtable would know—if it could even reverse-engineer the formula, which is a tall order for any application—is that the month for the date field would be March. What would the year and day be? Also consider that some users may be grouping formula fields with far more complex formulas than a simple month-from-date extraction. In the end, there’s virtually no way for Airtable to determine what to do when adding a record to a group where the group is driven by a calculated field.

Duplication of an existing grouped record is the only solution that works because it copies all existing data fields, the formula (and other calculated) fields create identical results, and the grouping stays intact.

2 Likes
#6

This is absolutely correct and there is no way to add a record to a group grouped by a formula. However, the issue is that there is no way to add any record at all. It would’ve been nice to have an option to add a new record and fill all the data even if it means placing the record in it’s own group just so one wouldn’t have to change views to be adding new records.

1 Like
#7

I understand what you are saying, but a very simple fix for this, would be to have a new record button at the top of the screen or the bottom for example, which adds a blank new record (ungrouped) and after it is filled in with the data, then would fall into whatever group based on the criteria.
OR the new blank record could even popup so that you are forced to fill in the fields before that record is added.

The system is pretty flawed by not having this simple interface, it is rather silly having to duplicate records and then delete stuff to use them, or having to change views or ungroup items just to add a record.

Definately improvement needed to resolve this issue from the development team, it is an issue several others have complained about in the past also.

1 Like
#8

Airtable should just put the same “+” button used in Gallery views on views grouped by a formula. This will allow users to add a new record in the expanded/pop-up interface. As users type in info Airtable will automatically add it to the appropriate group.

Or it should allow us to enter new entries within any calculated group and not move the record to the appropriate until we’ve clicked away. This is how reorganizing works with manual fields. Airtable already lets you temporarily change data such that the record is grouped incorrectly, and then fixes the discrepancy when the user clicks away. I think this behavior could just be extended.

1 Like