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Default Text in Single Line field does not get pre-filled in other linked tables

Topic Labels: Base design
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Table 1(via Column 1) is linked to Table 2 (via Column 1). Table 2 Column 2 is Single Line field with a “DEFAULT text”.

New record is added in Table 2. Column 1 in Table 2 is auto-populated.

The expected behaviour would be the Field 2 in Table 2 will get automatically pre-filled with DEFAULT text. However, that’s now happening. Field 2 is not auto-populated, it stays blank.

Manually adding another record to Table 2 will of course trigger pre-filling text in Column 2 as expected.

It’s just the text is not pre-filled when the record is added through the linked Table 1.

I just want to share this but it’s not a big deal though because it can be resolved by using a formula field instead with “…text…” as the formula.

2 Replies 2

Unfortunately, the “default text” option of a field is extremely limited — it only gets filled in if you are manually creatIng a record in that table while you’re actively working in that table as your frontmost tab.

This is a huge bummer because, as you’ve figured out, if you create a new record through a linked record field, your default text WON’T get entered. Not the behavior that somebody would expect to happen.

In fact, the default text option of a field is so limited that it doesn’t even get filled in if you create a record through Airtable’s API.

So the “default text” option can’t really be depended on, so I would recommend ignoring it and pretending like it’s not there at all — unless you know with 100% certainty that you will ONLY be manually creating records in that table while you are actively working in that table as your frontmost tab.

However, the great news is that you can use Airtable’s brand new automation feature to create default values in your fields upon creatIon of a new record, and the new automation feature ALWAYS WORKS, no matter HOW you create your new records: via the API, via linked records, anything you’d like!

So the automation feature CAN be depended on, and it’s the way to tackle default field values in Airtable.

Hmm, interesting, never thought about that. I’ll give it a try though it looks like an overkill for something so simple but if it works than be it.
Thanks for pointing me towards Automations.

This is off topic. I see in Actions in Automations it allows to pick the Linked field as target field for automation output. If that works that could be perhaps a solution I was looking for to enable Function and Linking for a field at the same time. This is perhaps something to play with but if it works then it could be an important feature. Right now any calculated changes using formulas can not be reflected in a linked field in another table. I wrote more on that here. Function field to be also Lookup field (idea similar to another already planned namely allow Lookup ...