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Formula field formatting options and errors output

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18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Currently if a formula field will return only a date or a number, Airtable will have formatting options for that formula field. However, if the formula will return a string or might return a string, or might return anything other than a date/number, there are no formatting options.

Sometimes I write a formula so that it will usually output a date or number, but will return a string if an error condition is met. For example, a formula might calculate the number of days between two dates (a number) but output a string if the end date is before the begin date.

This product suggestion has multiple parts to deal with these situations:

  1. Allow formulas to output errors which are distinct from the calculated value. For example, if a formula calculates a negative number, but negative numbers are not allowed from a business logic point of view, have the formula report an error that would be recognized as an error, not just another value. This would be similar to the #ERROR message, but could include a human readable string saying what the error is from a business logic point of view.

Once formulas can report errors as errors, many formulas that sometimes return strings could then be considered to always return a number or a date or an error or blank, and thus could have formatting options.

  1. Increase the formatting options for formula fields to include formatting options for all the formula types. For example, a formula could be formatted as a centered check box (not just a left aligned emoji), as a rating with stars, as a select (with the colors of a select).