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Multiselect in linked record field without going back and clicking ADD again

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

It is a wasting of time to select linked record in a field one by one.

For example if I want to pick attendance from a table of students I have to click ADD in the form and I can only select ONE linked record and then click again (!) ADD and select the second student, etc.

Please let select more record (with checkboxes near the record, or with selection color, etc.) AND THEN click on a button (“DONE”).

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

And PLEASE let this multiselection filtered by another field (for example a Class).


Table1 “students”: field “name”, field “class”

Table2 “attendance”: field “date”, field “attendants” that is a link to table1 (“students”) that I can select several students each time and filtered by class.


  1. new record in table2 “attendance”
  2. insert date
  3. click on add…
  4. filter by class A or class B, etc.
  5. select 10 students in a time (not one by one and then click again add, etc.)
  6. click “done”

now I have to do this:

  1. new record in table2 “attendance”
  2. insert date
  3. click on add…
  4. REMEMBER what class the student is in
  5. click on the first student.
  6. click again add…
  7. click on the second student…
  8. click on the 10th student…
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

There are a couple of open requests from last year that you may want to reply to/vote on:

Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone from the dev team has replied to the threads I’ve found for this feature.

As for a quicker solution to your problem, given the two tables you’ve mentioned, perhaps you can instead structure your attendance table like this:

  • Course/Student; Primary, Formula field with {Course}&"/"&{Student}
  • Course, Single Select field (or Linked field)
  • Student, Linked field to Table1
  • Class 1, (or Date) Checkbox field
  • Class 2, Checkbox field
  • Total, Formula field with `COUNTA({Class 1},{Class 2},…)

The weakness of this approach is that it doesn’t allow you to record dates of the classes (if more than one course is being recorded on this table), and it doesn’t allow you to neatly track courses with different durations. The strength is that it provides a closer analogue to a traditional attendance list.

The other alternative is to maintain a “Student List” entry in Table 2 for each course, with all the students in a course; duplicate that entry for each new date, and delete the absent students.

Btw, you can also use the following formula for the primary field of Table 1 to make it easier to track which students are in which class:

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hello Fabrizio, your subject is under consideration at the Airtable team… at least that is what I understood from them. Peter B. from Airtable knows all about it. If I am correct I stumbled upon the same issue (more or the less) like you and like many others as you can tell from the email message I recently sent the Airtable team, and which I posted here down below:

" (…) As I stated, it is all about these two posts in this thread I found on your forum, an issue which I bumped into as well:

Simon_Holmes says:

In the thread it seems one of your colleques is aware of this possible issue and refers to a better solution in the near future.

Grayfo replies with a quote:

  • Unfortunately we don’t currently support the exact behavior you have described. In a linked field you can manually select a record you’d like to link, but after you do so the dialog closes and you must reopen it to select another record. We are considering changing this behavior, though! In the meantime our fill handle may be of use if you are linking multiple records to one record at one time. -

Off course the filling handle is no substitute to this issue because it just copies records without any true hidden conditional or relational functionality: in my opinion this would be too much of a ‘spreadsheet’ solution for a true Airtable user anyway. Plussing up previous given records by hand pop up window after pop up window and record after record is a painstaking process which I like to be seen being automated - or being automated in a better way - in the near future!
Indeed the lookup field is a true automation feature but it will only start after plussing up its related records by hand too.

Turns out, I am not the only one bumping into this issue once dig in deeper to all the search quotations on your forum related to the automation subject. Luckily.

And even Zapier jumped into the lack of the Airtable automation hole, although by linking bases instead of linking tables:

In other words: keep Airtable in the position of being a true advanced RELATIONAL DATABASE with spreadsheet looks, instead of the other way around. (…).

Automation, automation, automation!


I hope that by publishing this message it will help us all to let the Airtable team know that we’re in for ehm… automation!! :slightly_smiling_face:

7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

This is also a MAJOR pain point for me, as this wastes a ton of time when trying to link new records to existing ones.

In addition, multi-select is also bizarrely missing from multi-select fields in the Web/Desktop app, but is in fact available via the mobile app (which is VERY helpful).

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I can’t find it neither in the mobile (android) app. Why? Can you show me how you do it?

7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Multi-select on iOS.jpg

I personally can’t speak for the Android app, but here’s how selecting from multiple select fields works on the iOS app. It would be awesome if this same interaction could be used for multiple select fields on the Web and Desktop apps, and for linked fields on all platforms (Mobile, Web, and Desktop). This would greatly speed up data entry tasks.

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

In addition to that the search - when finding a linked record - must not be limited to the primary field of the linked table. THAT would make my life MUCH easier!

Thanks for your attention.