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Colour support for links to other table primary fields

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Kerryjr
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast
Status: New Ideas
What is the proposed idea/solution?

I'd like to display the link field to another table with colours on the text like I can on single / multi-select. 

How does is solve the user problems?

This is useful where the linked table is reference data that doesn't change much.

At the moment the workaround is laborious. It requires creating a second column in the reference table as a single select, copying the text of the primary column, colouring the second column, then changing the linking tables to show the second column and not the primary, which then means I can't edit the link as it is hidden, so then I create editing views to handle that or displaying both. It's a pain.

How was this validated?

Great ideas don't need validation.

Who is the target audience?

Me. I'm selfish that way. But I guess it will work for everyone using Airtable using reference data tables.

3 Comments
Sistema_Aotearo
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Sounds like a great idea!

How are you imagining that we'd select to colour for each record?

A lot of tables have thousands of records that are linkable. I'd probably think it like the colour option where you can colour by condition or by single select options.

Kerryjr
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I think most the UI elements are already there and can be re-used for this purpose.

ave it work similar to the colouring on the select fields, as records are added the system chooses the colour and the user modifies it. That works well for small datasets like reference datasets.

For larger datasets that doesn't scale. So there would need to be some form of programmatic pattern matching. Given there is a pretty good formula capability already then perhaps that could be employed, as the colour could then be based on the primary key value or derived from the row data. The formula output format would need to be a new type associated with the colours supported by airtable, like pre-defined colour name or RGB value. Bad formula colour output would not colour the value and instead display some visual indicator that there is a problem.

That would cover most use cases I think. The more common colouring strategies like colour based on a column value/range might be added as a choice for ease of use. I'd basically look at MS excel for inspiration on that.

When defining the primary field type, the familiar  "colour this field" radio button would be available. The user either chooses the colouring strategy to use - manual or formula based. Then the UI displays either the select style UI or a formula style UI box for managing the colours.

For power users regex / scripting might also be an option, but I'd say that would have low use

Kerryjr
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Another one is to just inherit the colour from another column. So a single select field like category which has a colour would then be used on the primary key, and and tables displaying that linked field.