Single Select Field

Create custom values lists where only one choice can be selected

Peter Novosel avatar
Written by Peter Novosel
Updated over a week ago

The Single Select field allows you to create custom values lists. It is key to managing data and driving your organization's workflow, allowing work to be grouped, filtered, tracked, and charted.

Solution Managers can quickly add custom values and colors to visualize values and organize your data.

Adding a Single Select Field

From the Grid View

Click the + menu icon after the last column header or open the Column Menu by clicking on a column header's dropdown icon and then select "Add Field to the Right."

Select "Single Select," and a window will open to configure the field.

From an open Record View

The fastest way to add a field from an open Record View to is simply click the + sign next to a current field to add a new field below.

See a Single Select field being added in Edit Record View below:

Working with Single Select Fields

Single Select offers a wide range of formatting options to help visualize data. Dropdown is the default for displaying Single Select Values, but Radio Buttons can be selected as an alternate display - handy for short lists and viewing all values at once.

Note: the display format - Dropdown vs. Radio Buttons - is only applicable to the Edit Record window. Both settings look the same in Grid View, appearing as a dropdown in Inline Edit mode.

Dropdown vs. Radio Buttons:

Customizing the field

Dropdown gives you the most flexibility for visualizing your data. Choose the type of "pill" or text display.

You can select for the following display options:

  • Use the Colored Pill for records with few values list fields (Single Select or Multiple Select), or when you want selections to stand out.

  • Use Grey Pill with Color Dot by default

  • Use Icon with Text for values representing progressive stages (e.g. New, In Process, On Hold) in a process.

  • Use Text Only for Tables with a large number of Single Select fields

Check out quick articles on Setting Default Field Values and Adding Help Text to fields. Note: Default values are used often in Single Select fields.

Adding & Styling Choices

Easily add values to a Single Select field, use our standard color picker to customize colors, and choose from an array of icons.

Ordering Choices

Drag & Drop to reorder choices or sort Alphabetically (ascending or descending).

Note: The order of values in Single Select fields matters more than you may realize at first. SmartSuite uses the order in default groupings of records in Views & Saved Views. See the Kanban example below.

Required/create new choice options

Solution Managers can make Single Select fields Required for users when creating new records.

They can also choose to Allow users to create new choices, which is an option that should be used sparingly to maintain quality data integrity. An example of where you may allow this is in Customer Support, where reps may be allowed to add incident categories or type values.

Create new values on paste

If you have the proper permission level, whether you're a solution manager or your solution manager has checked the "Allow users to create new choices" option listed above, you'll be able to create new choices when pasting into our Grid View.

If you paste any new value into the Single Select field that doesn't already exist, we will create a new option for the value pasted.

💡 SmartTip: If you're needing to add a long list of values, create a Multiple Select field to paste the entire list in at once and then you're free to convert it to a Single Select after! With the Multiple Select field, these values can be separated by any common delimiters such as a comma(,), semicolon(;), or pipe(|).

Adding Descriptions to Single Select Fields

Solution Managers can add descriptions to choices in the Advanced Settings page of the Single Select field.

Descriptions are great for custom processes where specific criteria should be adhered to. Our Program Management solution in the SmartSuite Solution Library contains a Status Reports table that uses classic "stoplight reporting".

If you want to add helpful context to the Field, you can include the Help Text during the Field configuration step. While you can explain the Field’s selection options (scroll down a bit for more on that), you may want to give general guidance, such as a description of the process related to the Field or text that explains how the info will be used.

Managing lists

If you need to include additional info with each select option, you can add descriptions to the choices. Simply take the following quick steps:

  1. Click on the expand icon.

  2. Check off Include Choice Descriptions.

  3. Enter descriptions for choices as needed.

  4. Click Save Choices.

Using Predefined Lists

SmartSuite offers a library of global values lists that can be imported into the Advanced Settings of the Single Select field.

Add Numeric Values to Choices for Calculations

Solution Managers can add numeric values to Choices in the advanced settings of the Single Select field.

Numeric values are used in combination with the Formula field to calculate scores. For example, consider the Priority Score field in the Features table within the Software Product Management solution available in the Solution Library.

Product managers can qualitatively assess:

  • Reach the feature will have across the customer base

  • Value of the feature to the customer base.

  • Confidence level in the estimates to develop the feature.

  • Effort level to develop the featue.

Each Choice in these Single Select fields have an associated value that are referenced by the Formula field Priority Score to calculate a score between 0-3.

The formula field below provides an at-a-glance view of how the NUMERICVALUE function is used to pull the values above into a calculation.

Learn more about how to use calculations with values in Select list fields within the Advanced Formulas section of the Formula Examples article.

Using Single Select Values to Power Automations

Perhaps one of the most powerful uses of Single Select fields is in triggering workflows using SmartSuite Automations.

The automation below will trigger when the Single Select field named Impact changes from Low to Massive.

Reporting with Single Select

Single Select choices are used to group, filter, sort, and chart data across all SmartSuite views, saved views, and dashboards.

When you want to report on "it" - when you find yourself thinking, "I'd like to see how many open issues we have by priority - it's time to create some Select list fields (Single or Multiple).

Default Single Select values

Is there a certain select field in your workflow that exists in every new record? Would you like to eliminate the time-consuming work of adding the same select field to each new item one at a time?

Use the default field option for Single (and Multiple) selects to quickly and easily set up a default single select that will be applied to all new records in your Table.

Examples of Use

Categorize to Organize

Whether you're an owner of a thriving digital marketing agency, a property manager, or an innovative jewelry maker - use Single Select values to categorize every aspect of your business.

Customize Workflow Stages

Use Single Select values to map out stages of your processes, keeping organized and differentiating through custom delivery.

Single selects are also useful when it comes to managing priorities and impact levels.

Industry-Specific Tables

SmartSuite's flexibility makes it easy to tailor industry and custom processes.

Real Estate: Single Select for Request Type

Marketing: Single Single for Project Type

Product Management: Single Select for Score Impact Level

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