Configure Multi-select Text Fields

A multi-select text field type allows user to choose multiple text values within a single field. Multi-select text fields can contain whatever text values you like, for example, locations for a project, areas of a product to demo, or events someone might attend at a conference.

If you've been using multiple checkboxes or other fields to record values that should really appear in one field, you can use multi-select Text fields to simplify your app. Likewise, if your requirements for tracking data have led you to create tables in a many-to-many relationship, you may be able to simplify your app with multi-select Text fields.

Multi-select Text field when editing a record.

Multi-select Text field when viewing a record.

To create a multi-select text field:
  1. Open a table from the Table bar, click Settings, then click next to Fields. The Add New Fields dialog displays.

  2. In the Field Label box, enter a name for the field.

  3. From the Type list, select Multi-select Text. (Read about field types.)

  4. At the bottom of the dialog, click Add.

  5. Enter the list of choices for your new field.

    Each choice must be on a separate line. You can enter up to 100 items in the Choices list. Each item can have up to 60 characters.

    Note: If this field will take its list of choices from a shared value field, just click Next. You will be able to specify a shared value field on the new field's Properties page.

  6. Choose how values in the field will be sorted (alphabetically, or in the order they appear in the list).

  7. If you'd like your users to add new choices to the list in the field, select the Allow users to create new choices checkbox.

  8. You may be prompted to add the field to forms; respond to the prompt if so. This prompt depends on how you design your forms (specifically, the choice you make on the Form's Properties tab).

  9. Click Exit Settings to get back to the table.

  10. In the Fields list, click the name of the new field to open its Properties page. The new field is indicated by an emphasized border.

Every field type has properties that are unique to it, which you can change at any time. To learn more, see Changing the Properties of a Field.

To convert a series of checkbox fields to one multi-select text field:

Many people used a series of checkbox fields to record values before the multi-select text field was added to Quick Base. This technique will allow you to consolidate all those fields into one multi-select text field.

  1. Create a Formula - Text field.

  2. Enter the formula shown below, substituting your checkbox field names for Field 1, Field 2, and so on.

    If([Field 1]=true," Field 1", ""),
    If([Field 2]=true, " Field 2", ""),
    If([Field 3]=true, " Field 3", ""),
    If([Field 4]=true, " Field 4", ""),
    If([Field 5]=true, " Field 5", "")
  3. Save your changes.

  4. Copy the field.

  5. Convert the copied field to multi-select text.

  6. Create a table report containing all the checkbox fields, the formula - text field, and the new multi-select text field. Use the report to verify that your data was correctly transformed.

Substitute the new multi-select text field for the checkbox fields on forms and reports. When you are sure that the checkbox fields and the formula - text field that you created are no longer needed, you can delete those fields.

When can you use multi-select text fields?

For the most part, you can use multi-select text fields in the same way you use other fields. You can filter reports, email notifications, and email reminders using these fields. You can sort and group reports by multi-select text fields.

You can also use multi-select text fields as lookup fields when you create a relationship or cross-application relationship between tables.

When can't you use multi-select text fields?

In some areas, Quick Base does not currently allow the use of multi-select text fields. This field type may not be used:

  • in conditional dropdowns

  • for summary fields

  • to supply values for shared value fields

  • as key fields

Related topics: