Levels view overview
  • 18 Nov 2022
  • 6 Minutes to read
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Levels view overview

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The Levels view type makes it easy to create, edit, and manage hierarchical data within Airtable. In the article below, we'll walk you through the steps to build out a generic view and also point out some of the considerations when creating and interacting with this view type.


Introduction

Plan availabilityLimited Enterprise availability
Permissions
  • Owners/Creators/Editors - Add, delete, or modify Levels views
  • Commenters - Add, delete, or modify personal Levels views 
Platform(s)Web/Browser, Mac app, and Windows app 
Related reading
  • Linked records - Linked records are used to inform the hierarchical relationships of the varying levels that you will decide on for your view.
  • Interface element article placeholder
Airtable terminology
  • Level - A level is essentially a table in a base. Each level of a Levels view will have a relationship via a linked record field to its predecessor level. This relationship allows for a hierarchy of connection across multiple tables in a base. 
  • Sub-item - Sub-items are only available as part of level 3 records that contain a self-linking linked record field. This option is helpful to use when certain tasks should be completed before other tasks can begin.


Overview - Before you start building

The Levels view type allows you to manage complex, multi-table projects with one single view, instead of multiple views and workarounds, reducing time spent and improving efficiency. Ultimately, you'll use linked record relationships to combine data from multiple tables into a single Levels view type. This feature works well for:

  • Product teams that would like to break projects down into features, features down into tasks, and take bulk actions on sets of tasks (like adding them to a particular sprint) all in one place. 
  • Marketing teams that would like to create intuitive performance rollups of deliverables to campaigns to initiatives, allowing them to view the cascading impact. 


Setting up a new Levels view

  1. First, you'll want to navigate to the table that will represent the lowest level (Level 3) in the hierarchy of the view you are creating. There is a maximum of 3 levels that can be set.
  2. The next step is to add a new Levels view from the sidebar on the left. Click the Levels view type option.
  3. This will open up a configuration window that will help guide you through the initial creation of the new view. Click Get started and then set which table to display at each level by clicking +Add level above. You can also create a new table if the table doesn't already exist from the Select table dropdown. If you do choose to create a new table, you'll likely want to customize it before proceeding ahead. When you are finished setting the table hierarchy click Next.
    Note
    As a reminder, level 3 will default to the table you are building the view in. If you'd rather have another table's data represent level 3, then exit the configuration window and create the new Levels view in that table instead.
  4. Next, you'll set which linked record field will link each of the tables together. A few notes on behavior here:
    • If a table that you selected in the previous step contains no linked record fields that are connected to the level below it, then a new linked record field will be created when the view is created.
    • If a table contains at least one linked record field, then we will choose a linked record field by default.
    • For levels that contain multiple linked record fields, if that default linked record field isn't correct, then you'll want to choose the appropriate field for your use case.
    • For the 3rd level, there is an additional option to Enable sub-items. These sub-items are related to other records with a self-linking linked record field. This option is great to include when you want to break down records in level 3 into smaller sub-items.
    Once you are finished creating the linked record field relationships click Next.
  5. In the final setup window, you'll choose which fields to display from each of the tables that you've connected. It's a good idea to only include the most necessary fields for the audience that will be interacting with the view. Once you are finished configuring which fields to show click Done. In most cases, you'll want to further configure the view which is covered in the next section.


Adjusting a previously configured Levels view

Additional view options include:

  1. Set Levels - If the initial setup of the view didn't turn out in the hierarchical order you expected, then you can adjust that order or choose another table to use here. You'll also be able to toggle on/off the option to Enable sub-items below level 3.
  2. Customize rows - Adjust the visible fields for each level from this option.
  3. Filter - Here you can choose to filter out certain records. Since this view includes records from different tables across your base, filters can be applied for each of the levels (tables) connected to your view. It's important to note that when you click on the Filtered option only the filters associated with the level chosen will appear. You'll want to click through each level to see which filters may have previously been applied.
  4. Sort - Similar to the filtering option above, sorting behavior can be configured for each level. The same considerations apply here.
  5. Row height - This option allows you to adjust the height of each level. In views that include long text fields or image attachments, changing the row height will give users a bit more screen real estate for context.
  6. Rename what records are called for each level - To rename what each record in a Levels view is called (i.e. "Task" vs. "Record") use the customized terminology feature.


Interacting with a Levels view

Now that you have a Levels view created, there are a few ways to interact with the view. Keep in mind that the ability to perform the actions listed below will depend upon each user's permissions

  • Create new records- There are a few different ways to add records in the Levels view.
    1. New records can be added to levels 2 and 3 using the actions below the last record in each level (shown below as +Add task and +Add feature on the left side).
    2. To add new records for any level use the blue and white plus button in the bottom right corner of the view.
    3. Finally, pressing Enter at the end of the first column's text field will make a new record (similar to shift+enter in other views, but here, you can just press Enter).
  • Move/Link records - Moving records around in a Levels view will affect the linked record field that connects the levels together. In the GIF below, you'll see that a blue highlight will show up when the record can be moved to that location. Level 2 records can be moved to link over to different level 1 records. Level 3 records can be moved to link over to different level 2 records and, if sub-items are enabled, they can also be moved to link with another level 3 record. Notice below that moving the record will replace the former link with the new location's link.
  • Edit records - If a user has owner, creator, or editor permissions, then they will be able to click into a field and edit it. Users can also expand records, to edit them. Keep in mind that custom field editing permissions may prevent edits from being made.
  • Expand records - When hovering over a record, whenever the finger-pointing icon appears click to expand that record.
  • Delete records - To delete one or many records check the box located next to each record and then right-click to bring up the option to delete the record or delete all selected records if you have checked multiple records.

Additionally, you can right-click a record to bring up a menu of additional options allowing you to duplicate, expand, collapse, copy the record URL, or delete.






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