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Understanding Airtable Formula Syntax

Dec 02, 2019

A lot of people have asked me how I learned to write Airtable formulas. I wish there was a silver bullet solution, but the truth is that formulas are one of the more complicated parts of any software. However, that's no reason for despair. In this vlog I put together three tips for understanding the syntax of Airtable formulas... let's jump in!

The first tip is that a formula in Airtable can't reference a specific cell. Instead, all Airtable formulas must reference an entire field. This might be tricky at first, especially if you're accustomed to a spreadsheet like Excel or Google Sheets. However, this is the nature of a database - formulas apply to entire columns (sets of data points) at a time.

Tip #2 is all about those squiggly brackets { } - these are a must have in a case where you're referencing a field with a space in the title. Airtable won't understand what your formula is saying if you try to reference a field without using these (only in the case where your field has one or more spaces in its name).

Finally, my last tip is about referencing text inside of a formula. You can do this by using either single or double quotation marks. In either case, you must open and close your quotation marks and you must be consistent (that is, you can't open a single quote and try to close with a double quote). This is a really tricky tip, but it's nice to keep this in your Airtable arsenal because you may need to add quotation marks to your text output and having an option between these two methods will ensure you get the result you expect.

I hope this helps streamline your Airtable formulas. If you're looking for some advanced tips on formulas, check out some previous vlogs below:

Now get out there and write some epic formulas!


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