Re: Can I do these things on forms? auto generate date, auto generate case #, and allow users to enter 'other' in drop down, short answer with suggestions from column,

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hey everyone! I am a super new user so I apologize if these questions have been asked before (did search but… you never know! ^_^)

I am making a form for furniture removal requests and I am wondering if I can do the following things

  1. automatically fill in date column with the date the form is submitted

  2. auto-generate a case/tracking # in the case column-- ideally id like it be a concatenation of the year and month, and a count of items (so the first item would be something like 0820_0001 or 0820_1 … whatever’s easier)… i’d be happy if it was just a raw count though.

  3. I’d like to have a category drop down menu (which I’ve successfully created), but I’d like to add a last category called ‘other’ that would let the user fill in their own category

  4. Similarly. I’d like the user to be able to enter the item type (office chair, file cabinet), but ideally I would love it if the form could offer other values from that column as suggestions, as to not end up with a bunch of overlapping categories, but still allow user freedom

… so like if someone types ‘chair’ and the column already has ‘task chair’, ‘office chair’, ‘chair’ ‘stacking chair’ those would all be offered as a drop down selection but the user could still type in ‘waiting room chair’ if they wanted to. Then, next time ‘waiting room chair’ would be offered in addition to the other values if the next user types ‘chair’

  1. finally I’d really like users to be able to enter their info (name, dept, phone number) just once, but then ‘add items’, which would replicate the item specific info (item category, condition, etc). So the form would start off with their info (name number etc) and then the info for one item (location, condition, type of item, condition). at the end of the form the user can click ‘add item’ which generates the item specific info fields again (location condition type etc)… From the table view this would replicate the user’s info (name /number) for every row generated by each unique item. Does that make sense? Is this possible?

Thank you so much in advance!

3 Replies 3
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I’m pretty sure none of these options are available! I checked in with the webform block and they don’t do any of these features either. Oh well!

Not in the form itself, but you can add a Created Time field that will capture the date the form data was submitted.

For basic IDs, you can use a combination of an autonumber field with a formula field to generate an auto-incrementing number/ID as each record is added via the form. If you want this to be tied to the year and month, though, and auto-count the number of items submitted for a given month, you’ll need to employ some deeper setup. You could probably use the new automation system (if your base is in a Pro or Enterprise plan workspace) to trigger a script that would create the number for new submissions.

This could be done via a combination of two fields. You would first have your drop-down (which is a single-select field), followed by a single line text field. In the form configuration, you can add a condition that will only show the single line text field if the user selects a specific option (like “Other”) from the single select field. This doesn’t literally add an option to the single-select field, but still gives the user to add their own category, and only show that entry field as needed.

This isn’t possible via Airtable’s current form features. The closest you could get would be to use another single-select. The user can type something, and Airtable will try to find literal matches for what they’re typing among the single-select choices. For example…

That’s doable, but…

That’s not. Form users can’t dynamically add items to a single-select field’s options. One possible option (depending on your available resources) would be to do another “other” setup like I described above, and have someone periodically review those alternate options and maybe add some to the single-select setup.

That’s not possible. The best you can do natively with Airtable is use multiple forms: one for personal info, another for item submission, with each form submitting to a different table (as they should). When the user submits their contact info, you could set up an automation to email them a link to use for item submission, and they would need to use that link each time they want to submit an item. That URL would pre-populate a field with either a unique ID for their user record, or a direct link to their user record. The downside is that this field, even though it’s pre-populated, could still be manually edited. If it’s a link to the user table, they could see all other users who are on that table.

For some of these more elaborate features, you might be better off looking at a third-party form tool like JotForm or TypeForm. Their basic form tools are more robust than what Airtable provides, though they each have idiosyncrasies in terms of how they each interface with Airtable.

If you’d like specific help with any of these items, I suggest starting a new thread for each specific item.

Thanks so much for the reply Justin!! I should have updated-- did figure out how to make the date and the auto number based ID as well as the ‘other’ category triggering a. conditional short text question, and its really nice to know I’m doing the smart thing with those things… thank you!! I really appreciate it