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"Link to another record" fields: Visual indicator that there are more linked records

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18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

One of the very best things about Lookup Fields is that if you have more information in the Lookup Field than what visually appears on your screen, Airtable give you a little ellipsis symbol (…) to let you know that there is more information that you’re not visually seeing.

This is AWESOME! This is so incredibly helpful, and it is EXACTLY how a powerful database system should operate! Thank you for giving us this feature! 🙂

HOWEVER — for some reason — this same functionality DOES NOT exist in the “Link To Another Record” fields.

In a “Link To Another Record” field, if you have more linked records than what can visually be seen within the field, Airtable gives you absolutely no indication whatsoever that there are more linked records to view.

You are required to manually click into each & every linked record field to check if there are more linked records.

Yes, we know that you can expand the row height to a maximum of 5 lines, but if you have more linked records than 5 lines, you’re back to the same problem again.

Please see the attached screenshot below, and you can immediately see the difference in behavior between a “linked record” field and a “lookup” field.

Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 6.44.42 PM

Each of those top 2 invoices have 4 line items on their invoices, but you would never know it by just looking at the “linked record” field.

  • With the “linked record” field, you have no idea that there are more line items on this invoice.

  • But with the “lookup” field, you immediately know — with just a quick glance — that there are more line items on some invoices, but not other invoices.

It’s a night-and-day difference between “linked record” fields and “lookup” fields, because you can IMMEDIATELY know what you need to know just by glancing at the lookup field.

And most of the time, we will just be adding “linked record” fields to our system instead of “lookup” fields.

Yes, we know that we can add another field (a “count field”) which is the COUNT of the number of line items, but doesn’t that just clutter up the table even more?

Wouldn’t it be better to just be able to see this information at a glance? Without any extra fields?

For now, it seems like the only workarounds to this problem would be to:

(1) create a COUNT FIELD to show the number of line items, or
(2) create 2 fields side-by-side like the screenshot above shows — one field for the users to do their data entry in, and one field for the users to get a quick visual indicator of what’s going on.

But neither of these workarounds are really elegant, because both of them clutter up the table with additional fields.

So… can Airtable please add the ellipsis character (…) to “linked record” fields as well?

Thank you! 🙂