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Negative Numbers (Percentage) Not Pasting Correctly

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I’m trying to copy/paste data from a Google Sheet into airtable (import as a csv may work but for my use case I’d rather just quickly copy/paste, rather than going through the download/upload process).

My problem: When I set the field as percentage or number type, the pasted values change from negative to positive.

What I’ve tried: I’ve ensured that the “allow negative numbers” is toggled on (and have even tried it toggled off) but no luck. When I set the field as single line text, the number formats correctly but then I can’t use it as a “number” in subsequent formulas since it’s formatted as text.

Anyone have a similar problem or able to help?

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions

Well… after trying a bunch of different things (including typing the data manually - which worked!) I realized that the symbol on the raw data was what was causing the issue!! It wasn’t a true “-” instead it was “–” which of course was not recognized by Airtable!

A quick find/replace and problem was solved!!

See Solution in Thread

4 Replies 4

I am able to copy & paste negative numbers from Google Sheets into Airtable number fields, so I’m not sure what’s different about your setup. Perhaps something on the Google Sheets end of things?

Although if this is just a one-time-only copy-and-paste, then you could start the field as a single line text field, and then after the paste, you could convert the field to a number field.

I did try the latter and it still converted to a positive number, it’s the most bizarre thing! Here’s a screen recording: Loom | Free Screen & Video Recording Software

Very bizarre! The same thing doesn’t happen on my end.

If you just type negative numbers into the text field (no copy and paste), and then you convert it to a number field, does it work then?

If so, then there’s probably something that Airtable doesn’t like about the text you’re copying, and it might be invisible characters due to copying multiple columns at once. I would try copying one column at a time and see if it works. On my end, I was only copying one column at a time, so that’s the difference between what you & me were doing.

If one column works for you but multiple columns do not, I would report this as a bug to support@airtable.com, because I bet that they probably didn’t mean for it to act this way.

Also, you can always try an export/import instead of a copy/paste, but since you already have other data in your table, be sure to use Airtable’s CSV Import App so that you can merge the imported data into their matching rows.

Well… after trying a bunch of different things (including typing the data manually - which worked!) I realized that the symbol on the raw data was what was causing the issue!! It wasn’t a true “-” instead it was “–” which of course was not recognized by Airtable!

A quick find/replace and problem was solved!!