Formulas vs other computed fields
  • 05 Jul 2022
  • 1 Minute to read
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Formulas vs other computed fields

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Article Summary

Computed fields (columns) are special field types where the values in the field are computed by Airtable automatically, rather than directly edited by users. These can be fields that allow you to compute a value based on values in other fields (like formula, lookup, count, and rollup) or fields that will return the same values independently of other fields in the table or user actions (like autonumber or created time).

Like all field types, you can set these fields up using the field customization menu. To learn about the basic, non-computed field types, see the article Guide to the basic field types.

Note that these computed field types are slightly different from formulas in a spreadsheet. In a spreadsheet, you can put a formula in any cell, and have it reference any other cell in the sheet. In Airtable, you configure computed fields that apply the same formula to every record in the table. As such, these formulas reference other fields rather than other cells so that they apply to every record.

Rollup, lookup, and count fields can only be used when you have a linked record field in your table.

To see some real-life examples of how a nonprofit uses formula, lookup, count, and rollup fields to run their organization, head on over to our blog.

Learn more about these other computed fields:

Fields to connect to other tables

Rollup field
Linked record field
Lookup fields
Count fields

More computed fields

Created time field
Last modified time field
Autonumber field
Last modified time field
Last modified by field

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