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Field order different between grid view and manage field

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Patrick_Matos
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hello everyone,

I’m having some trouble with the field order.
As much as I move the field order in my grid view, when I click on manage fields, they appear in another order…
I wouldn’t mind but the problem is when I send automatic emails with list views of fields it does not display the fields in the order that I need to.

Can anyone help me?

Thanks in advance

Patrick

11 Replies 11

Is that Grid View your default view (first on the list)?

ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Unfortunately, as far as I know, I don’t believe there is any way to control the order of the fields when sending those records in an automated email. I would recommend that you please email support@airtable.com and request that they improve this behavior.

I bet that somebody could workaround this problem by writing their own JavaScript code, but I don’t know JavaScript, so the way that I personally solve this issue is that I send my automated emails with Make’s advanced automations and integrations.

With Make, you can search for your Airtable records and then aggregate those records together to create a grid with the fields in whatever order you want. And then you can send the email after aggregating the records together.

Make offers 2 aggregators that would help in this situation: the table aggregator and the text aggregator.

Here’s an example of what this scenario might look like if you used the text aggregator, but it might be better in this situation to use the table aggregator:

Screen Shot 2022-09-12 at 7.36.18 PM

Oh wait, I think I just partially figured out how Airtable decides the field order for the email grid:

  • Looking at your very first view in the left margin, if some of your fields are hidden, Airtable will arrange all of those hidden fields at the very end of your email grid based on the order that those hidden fields appear in the “Hidden fields” button in your toolbar. But it doesn’t seem like you can move those fields into the middle of your grid anywhere. Hidden fields seem to always show up at the end of the grid.

  • If your fields are visible on your very first view in the left margin, it seems like the email grid will follow the placement order on that view.

I’m gonna play with this some more to see if I can figure out any more insights.

@Patrick_Matos Okay, I think I just made a nice discovery here that should completely solve your problem, although it’s not as intuitive as I would like.

But this seems like the solution to both of our problems, which keeps us entirely in Airtable without needing to use any 3rd-party services.

It seems like if you perform a “Find Records” action based on a view (instead of a condition), and then you perform a “send email” action afterwards, you will get the field order based on the view in the “Find Records” action.

So, in essence, you can keep creating different views, make all your fields visible that you want to see in the email, arrange those fields on the view, and then find records based on that view, and then send the email.

This isn’t completely ideal, but it is a fantastic & easy workaround.

Hello @ScottWorld
Oh my !! Thanks for this solution and really thanks for doing all this research, it works perfectly!!
Thanks again for your help!!

Patrick

You’re welcome! Glad to help! :cowboy_hat_face: It’s not the most elegant solution in the world, but I’m glad there actually IS a solution at all! I’m also surprised that I never knew about this zany workaround until yesterday. Lol.

Hi @ScottWorld, but is "Find Records" the same as "Conditions?"   I have always used Conditions and like your solution (as it's so unelegant to the have the emails send out grids in the wrong order), but wondering if Find Records will act differently to Condition?  

I've run into a limitation to @ScottWorld's workaround of using a view instead of conditions to select the records displayed in the grid:

I am using a repeating group to look up records for each sales rep so I can email each rep a custom reminder. This works with conditions because I can have one of the conditions be {Account Owner} = [Airtable record id of current list item] Unfortunately, I can't dynamically control the results if I use a view instead of a grid in my Find Records action step.

Maybe the solution from an interface design point of view is that I should be able to change the column width/ordering when I view the results of my Find Records step and that arrangement should inform the grid in my Send an Email step.

I typically name my first view in the Views drop-down "Detail View" and only use it for formatting. (I call it Detail View because it controls the visibility and order of records when you pop open a single record detail view in the regular Airtable interface.)

What I'm finding for email grids is that changing that first view does affect the order of the columns but I can't get it to affect the column width. I'm getting some uncomfortably-narrow columns and so far I haven't figured out how to change that. If you look at the below screenshot, my Link to Zoho CRM field is super narrow — why?!?

Celeste_Bancos_0-1705848825599.png

 

ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Airtable automatically chooses the widths of those columns, and I don’t know how it makes its decisions.

I don’t know how to change those widths, but maybe there’s a way.

I would send an email to support@airtable.com to ask them about this.

In the meantime, in your situation, you may really need to use Make’s text aggregator or table aggregator to design the email that you’re looking for.