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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

My records have a lot of cells (columns). Now i want to write a search formula to horizontally search and scan all cells of a record to find a specific value. How can I solve this?

About search formula’s:

Use case:

I want to use this search formula for Zapier, in order to automatically find and replace the particular cell based on some other triggers.

4 Replies 4

Hello @Harold!

Just to make sure I understand- it sounds like you are setting up a new automation that will utilize the Zapier’s Multi-Step Zaps and would like to create a custom Search formula?

I think I’ll be able to better assist if I know a little more about your use case. Is there a particular field you’d be looking to replace? Or have you written a formula that isn’t finding the value you are looking to capture?

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hi @Rose_K,

Thanks for reaching out.

I would like to find the first blank cell on a specific row, to put a new entry there.

So for example, if the first three cells on a row are filled but the fourth cell is empty, then the new entry should be automatically placed in that particular cell.

Okay, I think I understand. Would all the first empty cells for a record have the same value? or would it be a different value depending on the record? Also, have you already setup the Zapier integration for your base?

If not- I think you might be able to achieve what you are looking for using nested IF statements.

Doing something like:

    {First Name} = BLANK(), {First Name}, "needs value"

// then in the next field
        {First Name} = BLANK()
        {Last Name} = BLANK()
    ), {Last Name}, "needs value"

If you have set up Zapier please let me know and we can figure out how best to write a search formula together. If I could know a little more about the table you are working on that could help me with the formula writing process. Screenshots are always helpful too if you’d feel comfortable.

It sounds like you want Zapier to find not only which record to update, but also identify which field in the record to update. The search functionality that you linked to will only help find which record to update. It will not identify which field (column) to update.

In order to update different fields, you need to use different paths in Zapier, one path per field that could be updated. Setup a formula field in Airtable to identify which field is the next available field. Then have the Zap take a different path based on the formula field value.

Note that paths in Zapier require a professional plan or higher, and you are limited in the number of paths you can create.

You can also look into using Integromat instead.

Or if you want to use Zapier but do not want to pay for a professional plan, you could combine Zapier with an Airtable automation script. Have Zapier put the value in a “temporary/staging” field. Then have an Airtable automation script copy the value into the proper column.