Removing Multiple Select Options Without Deleting Data in Cells

3182 7
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Wondering if this is possible? I have about 10 multiple select options in a column. Several of them are no longer relevant, but I still need the historical data in the column. Is there a way to remove items from multiple select while maintaining the data in the cells?

7 Replies 7

did you ever find an answer to this question?

I don’t believe this is possible. Removing an option from a Multiple Select field removes all instances where that option was chosen, thereby losing your history. The data you see in a field is dependent upon the field type and its designed operation. You can’t separate the two.

Can you delete an option in multiple select field type at all? I have some incorrect option and want to remove them completely.

Absolutely! If it’s an option that’s not going to be used, it can be removed by clicking on the X to the right of the option’s name when editing the field properties.

I did this by converting the field to single line text, then back to single or multiple select as needed. Unused options will no longer appear in the options list. I suggest to duplicate the field first, just in case.

Yes, I’d love to see this implemented in Airtable as well. Currently, all “value lists” (i.e. single select lists or multiple select lists) are inextricably tied to the field itself. That also means that if you need the same value list tied to another field, you’ll need to manage the 2 value lists independently of one another.

Ultimately, the ideal long-term solution would be for Airtable to separate “value lists” from the fields themselves by making “value lists” their own independently-managed entity — and then different fields could pull from and/or feed into these value lists.

But I don’t think that we will see this behavior change anytime soon in Airtable. It would likely require an entire re-engineering of the entire platform to make this sort of a change. Airtable’s value list behavior is actually identical to how FileMaker’s value lists operated for the first 19 years of that product’s existence. It wasn’t until 19 years later that FileMaker was finally able to separate “value lists” from “fields” — by completely rewriting their entire app from scratch from the ground up. So it was a huge technical change under-the-hood.

Brilliant! Thanks Christian!