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Ability to Make "Add New" the Default for a Linked Record Field

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7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Right now when I click to fill in a linked record field, the default UI is to let me ‘Find an existing record’ with a button at the bottom to ‘Add new record.’

There are certain linked record fields where I always want to add a new record. I wish there was a setting for the field that would change the interface so that adding a new record is the default action so I don’t have to do the extra step of clicking the add new record button every time.

An example is a table where I enter timesheet data. When I make a payment, I want to enter a new payment record and link it to the appropriate timesheet. It’s most convenient to enter the new payment directly from the timesheet table rather than going to the payments table, creating the payment, going back to the timesheet and linking to the existing payment that I just made.

Since I never want to link to an existing record, it would be nice if I could set my Payments field to add new records as the default.


18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

I totally agree that this would be a very nice feature.

In the meantime, a quick shortcut for adding a new linked record is to take these steps: TAB into the linked record field, hit RETURN to bring up the linked record input box, then hit TAB twice to highlight the “Add New Record” button, then hit RETURN. That will bring up the box to start typing in a new linked record.

Alternatively, here is a little-known trick which might accomplish what you’re looking for even quicker:

  1. In your Linked Record table (the “Payments” table), create a new view which is filtered to always show you ZERO RECORDS. So create some invalid filter. Lock the view so it won’t be accidentally changed.

  2. Back in your main table (the “Timesheets” table), customize your linked record field and choose “Limit Selection to a View”. Choose the new view that you created in #1 above.

  3. Now, whenever you enter that field, you will be shown no linked records at all, so as soon as you hit RETURN, it will open up a linked record window for you to start typing in your new linked record immediately.

Note that this trick will ONLY let you add new records into the linked field (instead of choosing an existing linked record), unless you manually type/paste the primary field value of an existing record before hitting RETURN. If you do that, Airtable is smart enough to link to the existing record.

7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

That’s a nifty trick, thanks for sharing! :slightly_smiling_face: