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What is a Formula Field?
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.
A Formula Field can be added just like any other field (if you're not familiar with how to do that you can read more here). Remember that you need to have the Solution Manager role to make changes! Once you've added the field, open its properties. You will see something like this:
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.
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.
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 App. Additionally, Rollup, Lookup and Count fields can only be used when there is at least one Linked Record field in the App.
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.
Formulas are powerful tools that help you streamline your SmartSuite apps and automate repeated tasks. Learn more about them and what they can do to make your work easier in these related articles: