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How to manually sort linked records (Preferably via grid view)

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Konrad_Schafers
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

HI there,
I have a classic Order, Order Line items setup (i.e. One Order and multiple related line items).

In our case the order of the linked line items is really important so I was wondering how I can sort linked records in the Interface designer. I tried using the Grid view of the linked record field, but that does not for some reason allow me to change the order.

This prevents us unfortunately from using the Interface designer as my users have to be able to sort these items. Adding new linked records is also a pain as I can only achieve it with an extra field and an automation that picks up the selected record and adds it as a new line item. But that work-around would be ok. However the missing ability to sort linked records is crucial.

Cheers,
Konrad

8 Replies 8
ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Yeah, sorting linked records in linked record fields is a much-needed feature throughout the entire product line (not just interfaces).

Linked records should automatically sort by a user-defined criteria.

Please submit this as a request to support@airtable.com, although I’ve never seen them implement any user requests.

In the meantime, the only way you can do it would be to create an automation that shuffles around the linked records into your desired order. Your automation would be triggered by a checkbox field or a single-select field. For your automation to work properly, you would either need to:

(1) Write your own custom JavaScript programming code,

or

(2) Run an automation using Make's Airtable automations & integrations. Make is a low-code automation tool that doesn't require any knowledge of JavaScript programming code at all, but this is a pretty tricky one to do because it requires a lot of knowledge of Airtable's arrays and how to manipulate arrays using Make.(Make has a whole bunch of Array functions, including a sort function.)

I'm not entirely sure off the top of my head on how to handle this situation in Make, but I do discuss a little bit about how to work with arrays here: https://youtu.be/sKPyG0HZCYY?list=PLqssva4liHRwHhQIpTXekG8WObEoyC2F1

Also, to instantly trigger a Make automation from Airtable — which is what you will want to do in this situation — check out this thread on instantly triggering a Make automation from Airtable using a webhook.

I'll try to figure out how to do this in Make, and post back when I have a solution.

I use a number field and sort my linked records in Interface Designer according to the number field. I have some automations that set the number for new records and users can also manually renumber the records.

Note that technique does not sort the linked record field itself, which is the order used by rollups and lookups. In order to get rollups and looks in the desired order, I have an automation script that can sort a linked record according to a value in the child table.

Konrad_Schafers
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hey thanks for the great suggestions. I was also thinking along similar lines.
It just seems like such an arbitrary limitation. Would really like to understand why this feature is difficult to implement.
I will probably go with the checkbox field to “move up/down” a record via a background automation.

I also just noticed that if I place a field element right next to the table, I can do the sorting there which will automatically be reflected in the grid view next to it. Not ideal, especially if the list of linked items is long, but maybe this will work.

We do not work for Airtable. Airtable employees rarely visit us here in the forums. We’re just Airtable users, just like you. In this particular case, we actually happen to be freelance Airtable consultants (my website is scottworld.com), but we have zero control over Airtable’s decision making process.

My personal guess is that this feature is NOT very difficult to implement, especially since a simplified version of this was included in the product at one point in the past. But for some reason, Airtable doesn’t seem to prioritize customer requests when choosing their product roadmap. Customers have been requesting this feature for as long as I can remember.

Hey Scott, thanks for the feedback. My comment wasn’t directed at you. It was more of a rethorical statement ^^.

It’s a shame airtable doesn’t listen to its users more. Amazing that the airtable community is still so strong despite that fact.

Ah, gotcha! :slightly_smiling_face:

Totally agree with you 1,000%. There are clearly very serious internal problems at Airtable. The amazing community has picked up as much of the slack as humanly possible.

Hi,

I use a numeric field and sort my linked records in the Interface Designer based on the numeric field. I have some automations that set the number of new records and users can also manually renumber records.

This works well for creating records one after the other. However, I want to be able to insert one or more records between two records. Example: I want to add an item between items 2 and 3.

I get stuck!

 

Hi @magicbot couldn't you just use te numeric field with decimals and enter 2.5?