Introduction to Formulas
Peter Novosel avatar
Written by Peter Novosel
Updated over a week ago

Feature Overview Video

Formula fields make it simple to automatically calculate a value based on other fields in the record. Imagine that you want to display a total shipment weight by multiplying weight by quantity - you can do that simply with a Formula Field.

You could also see if a date falls in a particular range, display a value if certain "rules" you specify are met, or use advanced functions to compute a risk score based on a formula you specify.


Adding a Formula Field

A Formula Field can be added just like any other field. Remember that you need to have the Solution Manager role to make changes!

There are two ways to create new fields - in Grid View and in an open Record view.

From the Grid View

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

Select the Formula field add, and a window will open to configure the field. You can quickly search Formula.

From the 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.

Save clicks and design your record view quicker. You can also add new fields in record view through the "Add new field to this Table" button at the bottom of the record.

See a Formula field being added in Edit Record View below:

Add fields in open Record View by clicking the "..." menu icon that appears in the right-hand corner of any existing field when hovering over it, and selecting "Add New Field."

Select or type Formula, and a window will open to configure the field. The new field is added directly below the existing field.

Once you've added the field, open its properties. You will see something like this:

To get into the Advanced Editor options, simply toggle the Advanced Editor at the bottom left of the window and the display will open:

Give your formula a field name that indicates what type of value it will be producing. Then, find the text box that starts with write formula here - this is where you enter the formula itself. If you've create formulas in a spreadsheet before, this process is quite similar, only you're referencing information in other fields instead of spreadsheet cells.

As you type, you will see helpful suggestions for fields and functions in the lower-left of the dialog. If you click one of those items you will see help for the field or function displayed to the right, and can click the Use button to insert that element into your formula.

Ultimately your formula will output text, a number, or a date that can be used in saved views, charts, and more.

Adding In-Line Comments

Using the # symbol, you can add comments in our Formula Builder. Anything after a # and before a line break will be ignored by our builder and can be kept as referential plain text! Whether you want to add notes describing what the formula is doing, or keep a list of all fields that the formula depends on, this opens up a large number of options for making formulas easier to work with.


Formula Field Reference Guide

We've put together a list of all Formatting, Functions, & Operators as an area to easily reference everything you need to know about how to use a Formula Field, or you can also take a look at our dedicated help article as well.

You can also find Text, Date, and Numeric examples in our Formula Operators & Functions solution template for those that like to learn by doing. It has basic formulas already set up so you can see how the information changes as you modify the example data, or even use the examples to create your own more complex formulas.


Formulas vs Other Computed Fields

Computed fields are special field types where the values in that field are computed by SmartSuite automatically and are not directly edited by users.

These can be fields that allow you to compute a value based on values in other fields - like Formula, Lookup, Count, and Rollup fields - or fields that return system-created or generated information, like Auto Number or First Created fields.

SmartSuite's computed fields apply the same formula or computed action to every record in the Table. Additionally, Rollup, Lookup and Count fields can only be used when there is at least one Linked Record field in the Table.

Formulas = Flexibility

Formulas are special in this list of computed fields because Solution Managers have the ability to use a range of functions and operators to customize the output of the formula. Where a Count Field could be used to add up numbers from Linked Records (for example, adding up the total amounts for linked invoice records), a Formula allows you to do that and more - perhaps conditionally adding a tax amount if the record is marked as taxable.


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