Multiple select field
  • 23 Aug 2022
  • 3 Minutes to read
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Multiple select field

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A multiple select field is similar to a single select field; it allows you to select predetermined options from a list. Unlike a single select field, you can select as many options as you'd like per cell.


Overview

TIP

Hold down Ctrl on Mac and Ctrl on Windows with the selection picker window open to quickly add multiple values to a record at once.

Adding token options

When you edit a cell in a single select field, you will be presented with an autocomplete menu. You can select the desired option from the dropdown menu, or type to narrow down the list of options.

Multiple select fields

Each select option is displayed as a small token that can be removed by clicking the x.

Removing tokens

You can reorder your multiple select options from within an expanded cell by clicking and dragging.

Reordering tokens

You can add, remove, and edit select options in the field customization menu.

Customizing multiple select fields

You can change the order of the options as they appear in the field customization menu by clicking and dragging on the reorder icons, which appear when you mouse over the left-hand side of each select option.

Manually reordering token options

As with single select, if you find yourself wanting to keep track of more things related to each select option, consider converting the multiple select field into a linked record field.
Then, you can have a full record's worth of information for each option.

On the Airtable free plan, you can choose from 7 different colors for your select tokens. On the Airtable Pro plan, you can choose from 40 different colors! Interested in upgrading to Pro to get more colors? Check out our pricing page!

Color options for multiple select fields


FAQs

How many options can I create for a single multiple select field?

You can have up to 10k options in a single multiple select field. However, a single record can only have up to 1000 options selected.


Is it possible to dynamically create new options in a multiple select field?

Yes, you can using a combination of formulas and automations. The general workflow here would be to:

  1. Setup the formula that would return the value that you'd like to insert into your multiple select (this value would depend on your individual workflow).
  2. Create a new automation with the trigger, "When a record is updated",  and have that trigger watch the formula field you just created.
  3. Add the Update Record action then, within that action, update your multiple select field with the value from the formula field you previously created.

Now, if your formula field updates with a value that didn't previously exist as a multiple select option—a new option will be created and set on your multiple select field.


When grouping records via a multiple select field with multiple options selected for a single record— can I group on the individual options instead of the combination of those options?

We do not currently support creating customized multiple select options for grouping records. In the meantime, we suggest adding additional views to the table and filtering them to only show records with certain multiple select options. In the example below, you can see how grouping on a multi-select field gives poor results. In this case, adding views that filter exactly what you're looking for works better than grouping.

Grouping by a multiple select field


What is the best way to group records via a multiple select field?

Right now, if you have more than one value selected for a multiple select field, you will end up with something like you see below if you group by that field:

Grouping by a multiple select field

To work around this, we suggest adding additional views to the table, one for each multiple select option, and filtering these views to show only records with each select option. For example, if I only want to see furniture options that are appropriate for a living room or an office, I will create views for those specific subsets of furniture type, and filter to get the desired results.

Filter by multiple select field

For a different approach, you can also use either the chart extension or the pivot table extension to visualize your groups and see which records are in them, as they both allow you to split up records containing multiple values. Here's an example of what that could look like:

Using extensions with multiple select fields




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