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What are subtables?

Subtables are tables that you can embed into expanded table row details. If a column in your table contains multiple row references (e.g. a multi-select Lookup Column type or a Text column set with a formula that outputs table rows), you can turn that column into a subtable via your expanded table row detail options.

Subtables let you see more by converting row reference bubbles into a customizable table view. They allow you to view and edit another table's values without leaving your current expanded table row.

In this example, there is a column titled Action Items that has been set with a Filter formula that outputs subtasks as rows. When in select list or bubble format, it isn't possible to update those row outputs without expanding them, and we have to use a button to add new tasks to the list.

By converting the Action Items column into a subtable, the table rows are more easily managed. We can effortlessly modify column values without needing to expand the row reference bubbles, adjust columns in the helper table without navigating away, and modify the helper table's column formulas. That's the power of subtables!

How to create a subtable

To create a subtable, you must locate a column that outputs row references and toggle on the table option under the row layout editor. These row references can be from the same table or another table within the doc. You can create a subtable using a lookup column or a column set by a formula that outputs row references:

Column Formulas

You can set up a subtable to edit a column set with a filter formula. The formula should match this format so that the output is in the format of a table row reference: [Table].Filter(Argument).

Remember that the output of your formula must be a row or list of rows in order for this to work, so you'll want to avoid specifying a column in your filter formula unless that column contains row references.

If you also want the conditional formatting to show up, you can convert the column format into a lookup and set that with a formula as well.

Lookup columns

Lookup columns must have the multi-select option turned on and at least 1-row reference manually selected to convert the row layout into a subtable.

After you've set up your table column and there are visible table row references in place, expand the row or convert your table to detail view. Then click on the three dots in the top-right corner and select Edit Layout. If you're converting a lookup column, you may notice it automatically gets converted into a subtable upon entering the edit row layout menu.

If you're converting a Text column into a table, you'll need to manually toggle the option to "on" for it to work.

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When to use subtables

Use subtables when you want to track subtasks of projects or to track inventory. It allows you to embed lists into table rows that you can then reference or action (e.g. with automations or filters) and add additional details.

Watch a video about subtables


Why am I not seeing something I added in a subtable in my parent table?

If you run into this issue, this may be because you have a filter on your parent table. Also note that if you set up your subtable with a filter formula, we automatically update new rows to match that filter requirement so it is not immediately filtered out of the subtable.

For example, if your filter argument looks like this [Table].Filter([Name] = "Monica"), all rows added to that subtable should automatically have the string "Monica" populated under the Name column so that the row shows up in your subtable.

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