- 25 Aug 2022
- 5 Minutes to read
Org chart extension
- Updated on 25 Aug 2022
- 5 Minutes to read
The org chart extension can visually represent the hierarchical relationships between like items. You can use it to map the relationships between individuals at an organization. In this article, we'll use the Marketing org chart template to demonstrate this feature.
Create a linked record field
To use the org chart extension, you'll need to have a table containing at least one linked record field configured to link to the same table (e.g. a self-linking linked record field). In our example, this field will be used to associate, or link, employees to their managers.
If you don't have an existing linked record field, start by clicking the + button (next to your last existing field) to create a new field. Choose the "linked record" field type, and make sure to choose the same table where you're adding the field to link records to (as opposed to linking to a different table).
The org chart extension only works with records linked in the same table; it is not intended for use with records on different tables.
Decide on the linked record relationship type
Once you've added the linked record, you'll need to decide on its relationship type in the context of the organizational chart. Because an organizational chart is a hierarchy, a common way to describe the relationship between one record and another can either be as a "child" or as a "parent". Using our employee org chart as an example, there are two scenarios you could choose from.
Scenario 1: Parent field
An employee (the "child") can be linked to their manager (the "parent"). In this scenario, the linked record field for any given employee will contain a link to the record with their manager's name. The linked record field is considered a "parent" field (which will be covered more in the org chart settings).
Scenario 2: Child field
The other scenario is to link managers (the "parent") to each of the employees (the "child"). With this approach, each employee would be added as a linked record next to their manager. The linked record field is considered a "child" field in this scenario.
How you configure the linked record field is up to you and what works best for the information in your base. Once you've decided you can link the appropriate records and add the org chart extension.
- Add the org chart extension - Click the "Extension" button at the top-right-hand side of your base. Then, select "Install an extension" and install the org chart extension from the extension marketplace.
- Configure the extension settings - After installing an org chart extension, you'll automatically get brought to the new extension's settings page. From here, you can specify the table and view containing the records that you'd like to map onto your org chart.
- Choose scenario- Next, you'll need to pick a self-linking linked record field to serve as the Relationship field, and specify either Children or Parent as the Relationship type. We'll use the same two scenarios as described above.
- Scenario 1: If the record(s) that are being linked to are hierarchically above the record that is being linked from, pick "Parent" as the relationship type. In our example, this means that the linked record field would contain a link to each individual employee's manager.
- Scenario 2: If the record(s) that are being linked to are hierarchically below the record that is being linked from, pick "Children" as the relationship type. In our example, this means that the linked record field would contain a list of employees linked to individual managers.
- Record coloring - If the view associated with the org chart has conditional record coloring, you can also choose to color-code the org chart cards with the same colors.
- Secondary fields - Lastly, you can choose to add secondary fields, which will add some additional information onto each record card based on the field of your choosing. You can change the order in which the secondary fields appear on the cards by clicking and dragging the drag handles or remove a secondary field by clicking the X button.
View your org chart
You can navigate your org chart by clicking and dragging, and you can zoom in or out by clicking the zoom buttons in the top left corner of the extension.
Clicking on a record card will open up the expanded version of that record. This is where you can update fields such as Name, Title, and Department on the record from within the Org chart extension itself. You can also update these fields on the grid view, and they will automatically update the Org chart extension.
You can expand or contract records by clicking the chevron buttons below the parent records/above the child records. If you hold down the key while clicking, it will expand/collapse all nodes in a subtree.
Exporting and printing your org chart
To download your org chart as a PDF, click the Export PDF button.
Once you've exported the PDF, it'll appear in the default downloads folder designated by your internet browser or in the preferences for the Airtable desktop extension. You can then open this PDF (using your preferred PDF reader application) and print it.
How to fix loop errors
If you accidentally link a record to itself, you'll receive a message that there is a loop error. This error occurs because in the org chart extension, a record must be linked to a different record other than itself (more details about this relationship are covered above). For example, if your org chart is setup as a manager <> employee relationship, an employee cannot be their own manager.
This error can be fixed be removing the linked record(s) that is linked to itself.
How do I remove someone from the Org chart I'm building?
While setting up the Org Chart extension you have the option of choosing the view you'd like the extension to pull data from. If you'd like to exclude someone from your Org Chart you can create a new view that filters out individuals based on a condition you set. Then, in the Org Chart extension's settings page you can choose the newly created filtered view to display in your extension.