- 02 Dec 2022
- 3 Minutes to read
Field type overview
- Updated on 02 Dec 2022
- 3 Minutes to read
After a field has been created, you can customize the field (column) type and access additional options from the field's dropdown menu. Learn about the various options for customizing fields in this article.
|Plan availability||Available on all plan types|
|Platform(s)||Web/Browser, Mac app, and Windows app (Add mobile apps if relevant)|
Field configuration menu
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.
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.
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:
- Rename the field
- Change the field type 1
- Configure additional options available for that field 1
- Add/modify/delete the field's description
- Click Cancel at anytime to clear any edits you may have made. When you are finished editing the field, click Save.
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.
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.
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.
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 all the way to the right of the last field.
- Field editing permissions
- Sorting by a field
- Filtering by a field
- Grouping by a field
- Hiding fields and field visibility
- Field dependencies (Enterprise only)
Important notes when changing a field's type
If you change a field with existing cell values into a new field type, Airtable does its best to convert those existing cell values to the new type. For example, you can convert a single line text field into a single select field, or even a user field. However, note that some conversions may not be possible with certain types. For example, converting a text field to an attachment field will clear all the text values, since plain text values do not represent an attachment.
If you see that you have lost some cell values during a conversion, you can undo your change with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl Z to return the field to its previous state (and restore the data that was lost due to the conversion).
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.