The essentials of Airtable formulas
  • 12 Sep 2023
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The essentials of Airtable formulas

  • Dunkel
  • pdf

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Article Summary

In Airtable there are many different fields that you can add to a table; one of them is the formula field type. Formulas let you reference other fields in a table and create different functions based on the content of those fields. This article will cover how to write and format the formula field type.

Creating a formula field type

To write a formula, you first need to configure a new field as a formula field type.


How to write a formula

Once you create a formula field, you can start writing the formula directly in the field's text box.

Formatting the result of a formula

Every formula results in some result - either a number, a date, or text - and how you can apply formatting to that result varies.

Number format

When the output of a formula is a number, you can format it by double clicking the field name, selecting customize field type, and then selecting formatting. Then, you can apply the following options to the output of your formula:

  • Decimal
  • Integer
  • Currency
  • Percent
  • Duration


Date format

When the output of a formula is a date, you can apply the following options to the output of your formula:

  • Date format (local, friendly, US, European, ISO)
  • Include a time field
  • Use the same time zone (GMT) for all collaborators



When the output of a formula is text, that means that it potentially contains a mix of dates, numbers, and/or other plain text. Since there isn't a single way to format this information, you'll see a note in the formatting tab to notify you.


This article is part of a guided course called Formula Foundations. You can view the entire course here.

Formula terminology 

Formulas in Airtable utilize terms (e.g. "String") and symbols (e.g. "&") common to programming languages, however they are simplified to make formulas easier to write and understand. The table below lists the terms you'll encounter and some common examples of each one.

Curly bracket
Reference a {Field Name}
{Order Status}
Symbols used in a formula to output various changes in the formula
References a defined formula function that performs specific calculations using specific values in a particular order.
AVERAGE({Order 1},{Order 2})
A group of text characters that are used as data in a spreadsheet program. Strings input into formulas must be surrounded by either single or double quotes.
"This order contains the following items..."
A collection of values, typically separated by a comma.
Order 1, Order 2, Order 3
A whole number value that can be positive, negative, or zero
Date format
A readable date that is formatted in a number of different ways.
January 1, 2020

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