Field type overview
  • 17 Apr 2024
  • 4 Minutes to read
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Field type overview

  • Dark
  • PDF

Article summary

Plan availability

All plan types


  • Owners/Creators - All configuration options available

  • Editors - Sort, filter, group, hide, and copy field URL

  • Commenters/Read-only - Copy field URL


Web/Browser, Mac app, and Windows app (Add mobile apps if relevant)

Related reading

  • Supported field types - A table of helpful information and links related to each field type that Airtable offers.

  • Adding a field - Learn the basics of adding a new field to a table.

Airtable terminology 

  • Field - A field contains details or metadata for each record in a table. Fields come in a variety of types, storing data in the form of text, single- or multi-selects, images, checkboxes, numbers, user tags, and more.

  • Field type - A field type specifies the kind or format of data stored in a given field — for example, long text, date, multiple select, or attachment. Users can customize most field types within their base.

Field configuration menu

A field type specifies the kind or format of data stored in a given field — for example, long text, date, multiple select, or attachment. Users can customize most field types within their base.


When customizing the field type for the primary field, only some field types are available. For more information on customizing the primary field please see this article.

Accessing the field configuration menu

To access the field configuration menu, click on the dropdown arrow next to the name of the field you want to edit. 

You can also access some of the field configuration options by expanding a record, then clicking the dropdown arrow icon in the header of the field you wish to customize.

Editing a field

With the field configuration menu open, click the Edit field option. Alternatively, you can double-click on the field header to open the editing menu. This will open a new menu of options where you can:

  1. Rename the field

  2. Change the field type 1

  3. Configure additional options available for that field 1

  4. Certain field types also offer the ability to set default values when a record is created. More on this functionality is available here.

  5. Add/modify/delete the field's description

  6. Click Cancel at anytime to clear any edits you may have made. When you are finished editing the field, click Save.

Jump down below to learn more about changing field types.

Edit field description

If the title of your field could use a longer explanation, you have the option of adding a more detailed field description to each of your fields. Now, whenever you or other collaborators in the base mouse over the information icon in the field header, your description will appear.

Duplicating a field

To duplicate a field click the Duplicate field option from the configuration menu. Clicking this option will create a new field with duplicate settings. The name of the field will be appended with the word "copy" at the end. So, for example, a field named "Notes" will become "Notes copy." You can click the configuration dropdown in this new field to adjust its settings.

Deleting a field

To delete a field click the Delete field option from the configuration menu. As a reminder, if you accidentally delete a field, then you can restore it from the base trash.

Inserting a new field

You can also insert a new field to the left or right of the current field configuration menu you have opened. This is especially helpful in tables/views that contain many fields because the plus sign used to add a new field will be to the right of the last field.

Additional field actions

The following options are covered in other documentation:

Setting default values in fields

Adding default values to a field

In fields where default values are supported:

  1. Navigate to the base and table containing the field where you would like to add a default value.

  2. Click the dropdown next to the name of the field.

  3. Select the Edit field option.

  4. In most fields, you will see a “Default” section that you can fill in or update.


Default values will only appear when new records are created. If you configure a field to have default values or alter it to have new default values, that change will not be reflected in any records that existed before the default setting was changed.

Field types that support setting default values

  • Checkbox

  • Currency

  • Date

  • Multi select

  • Number

  • Percent

  • Single line

  • Single select

  • User


Default values cannot be configured in primary field types.

Changing field type dependencies 

After changing a field with an existing value into a new field type, Airtable works to convert those current cell values to the new type. For example, you can convert a single line text field into a single select field or user field. However, note that some conversions may not be possible with certain types—like converting a text field to an attachment field clears the text values as plain text values do not represent an attachment.

After selecting a new field type, you have the option of customizing the field even further. Different field types have different customization options. For example:

  • An attachment field has no additional customization options.

  • A number field lets you set whether the numbers in that field should be formatted as integers or decimals (and if so, the degree of precision for decimals), whether or not to allow negative numbers, and whether or not you want the field to have a default numerical value.

  • A formula field lets you define a formula to determine the values in that field.

For more information on each field type and its specific customization options, check out our field types overview article.

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