You may have seen the option to "Limit record selection to a view" in the field customization window of a linked record field. This article will walk you through the ins and outs of this feature.
The first step to understanding this feature more clearly is to understand what linked records are for, and how views can limit the information being seen.
Linked records are a huge part of the fundamental power of Airtable. They exist to link one record to another record in a way that allows redundant information to be easily accessed across your base. Another way to say it would be that linked records represent your data’s relationships within a base. You can learn more about linked records here.
Views allow you to manipulate the information in a table in a way that makes sense for a particular use case. For example, a task tracking table might have 4 views: one that shows all tasks, one that shows completed tasks, another that shows tasks with a deadline within the next week, and finally, one that shows overdue tasks.
You will find this option by navigating to the field customization window of a linked record field. The toggle allows you to "Limit record selection to a view." Let's break down what the toggle option is saying.
This provides a way for the record selection window (pictured below) to limit the records that can be chosen based on another view's configuration.
A common misconception is that the toggle will allow you to limit the linked records shown in your table based on another table's view, but that is not the case. To recap:
- The toggle is limiting "record selection" in the record selection UI.
- The toggle is not filtering out the appearance of linked records based upon another view’s configuration.
TIPYou may be wondering why the behavior was designed this way. Imagine that you were linking records and rolling up values from those records from a number field on another table. If all of the linked records were not displayed, then pinpointing the cause of what would seem to be a calculation error in the rollup field would be very difficult.
In this example, a small start-up company is tracking some bugs in an "Issues" table. The base contains another table where employee information resides. We want to assign an engineering employee to each issue that is filed via a linked record field, but currently, all of the employees show up in the record picker.
This filtered view in the "Employees" table will be used to limit the record selection in the "Issues" table.
As you can see below, the record selection window will now only show employee records that reside in the "Engineering" view on the "Employees" table.
TIPIf you are wanting to limit the display of linked records based on another view's configuration, then we do not natively support that at this time. However, certain workflows are able to accomplish this by implementing a workaround using conditional lookup or rollup fields. Additionally, this has been discussed in the community here.