Help

This Product Ideas board is currently undergoing updates, but please continue to submit your ideas.

Hiding the primary field

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Santiago_Zindel
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I want to be able to hide the primary field when I am sharing specific views. Specifically I would love to do this in the gallery view but ideally in all views.

12 Comments
Rupert_Hoffsch1
10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

image

Santiago_Zindel
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I understand that it’s the unique representation and that it cannot be hidden or moved. The feature suggestion is to allow us to hide it when sharing a view. For instance, If I have a record for a bunch of folks attending an event (where each person’s name is the primary field) and they each provide feedback through a form on airtable, I want to be able to share a view of just the feedback without the names (primary field) to make it anonymous to my team.

kuovonne
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

While it is not possible to move the primary field, it is now possible to “unfreeze” the primary field in grid views so that it does not take up screen real-estate as you scroll horizontally. For instructions on how to unfreeze columns, see the documentation.

Lewis_Levin
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

There is no valid technical reason for being unable to hide the primary field.

It is an intellectual muddle between relational calculus in SQL databases where a record GUID is required for joins and AirTable’s approach to picking rows from linked tables.

As has been pointed out, AirTable itself does not even use the primary field. It has an internally hidden GUID (guaranteed unique ID) for its operations. The only purpose of the primary key is to provide a visual key.

But, perhaps users don’t need such a visual key. In many cases, the primary key is created as a formula that concatenates the value of other fields. In this case the primary key is entirely redundant for the user. On a view basis, it should be possible to hide the primary key if a user wants to hide the primary key.

I’ll point out that Grist is hardcore SQL (because it runs on SQLite) and they don’t even show the primary key, though you can refer to it in formulas.

So, why does AirTable have it? Some early developer in the days after the founding of AirTable thought it was essential or some kind of heinous unnatural act NOT to have it. (“I mean records have to have keys…”) Now, no junior developer or later hire (as a senior developer) is permitted to contradict that early days developer who is part of the lore of the founding of AirTable. In other words, it’s company culture to have it.

Yes, it’s often useful especially when choosing a record to link to–but that’s a user choice. A really excellent implementation would let users hide the primary field in any (and all) views, but allow it to be displayed in the record picker or the full record view. Easy. No harm; no foul.

So, a bad idea has persisted for essentially religious and historic reasons. A bold team would recognize this and make it optional. A really bold team might gently terminate intransigent members who persist in bad reasoning and resist making this very good product even better.

Drea_Burbank
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Yep, makes it nearly impossible to surface a gallery to a webpage. Like team’s primary field is always a personal email, but you don’t want your team’s personal email public on your website.

kuovonne
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Welcome to the Airtable community!

While there are many reasons why it would be nice to hide the primary field, this particular use case has a workaround. Create a synced table with a different primary field of your choosing. Then publish the synced table.

Lewis_Levin
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Clever, but that’s still a primary field. While it’s value could be a single space in every row, it’s still there. Maybe time to stop working around and time to start working on fixes.

Sri1
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

You are absolutely right. We are in 2022 not in 90s.
As an alternate I think views should be allowed to be mapped to “Single select” field type with required columns, that way I would be able to show meaningful text to users than cryptic IDs.

Kerry_Kriger
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Airtable should allow users to hide the primary field. There is no valid reason to prevent this.

jaems
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I can't believe that this is an issue. There is no reason to force us to have this field we don't use.