About Field Types

When you create a field, you must tell QuickBase what type of field it is.

You choose a field's type based on the kind of data the field should contain. For example, if a field should only contain numbers, make that field a numeric type field. QuickBase offers many types of fields—each designed for a specific purpose. You should use the most specific field type possible when defining your fields. This helps QuickBase set up your application properly. For instance, if you want users to enter a date in a certain field, make its type Date and QuickBase displays a calendar button to help users choose a date and won't let them enter any other kind of data. Or, if another field should contain a long description, define that field as a Text - Multi-line field instead of just a plain Text field When you do, QuickBase creates a larger box in the data entry form for that field. Not only does this provide more room for data, it also lets users know that they should enter more than just a few words.

Note: Several field types behave differently in the mobile site than they do in the full QuickBase site when viewing and editing records. Read more.

Field Type Descriptions

QuickBase offers the following field types.

Basic field information

Field Type

Description

Text

Use this field to hold plain text or data that doesn't fit well into any other type of field. Text fields are the most versatile field type, in which you can enter any kind of character. You can use HTML in a text field and limit its length.

Text - Multi-line

Like a regular text field, this type of field can accept any characters, but just provides more room for them. Use this field type when you want to encourage users to be loquacious. For example, you might use a Text - Multi-line field for a Comments or Notes field. To use a text - Multi-line type field to store conversations or comments from multiple users, turn on the field's append option.

Text - Multiple Choice

Use this field type when you want users to select a text entry instead of typing one. You can create a dropdown list of set options. You can also give users the chance to type in a new entry too, which QuickBase adds to the list of choices. To do so, turn on the Allow users to create new choices checkbox within the field's properties screen. (Read how to change a field's properties.)

Numeric

A field that contains numbers only. QuickBase ignores other types of characters entered in a numeric field. (Read about configuring numeric fields.)

Numeric - Currency

Tracking monetary amounts? This type of field slaps a currency symbol on your numeric amount. For example, $25.00 or ¥100. (Read about configuring numeric fields.)

Numeric - Percent

A numeric field that displays as a percentage. For example: 65%. (Read about configuring numeric fields.)

Numeric - Rating (0-5)

Use this type of field to rate items on a scale of 0 to 5. The rating displays in a QuickBase table report as 0 to 5 stars. You might use this type of field in a movie review application, or to gauge the merits of a colleague's project proposal. (Read about configuring numeric fields.)

Date

This is a field that contains a date (and only a date). You can configure the date to appear in any format you wish, like 05-14-06 or May 14, 2006. When a date field appears on a form, it features a nifty calendar button, which lets users select a date in a couple of clicks. (Read about configuring date fields.)

Date / Time

This field is an extended date field that can also contain the time. Enter the date as you would in a Date field. Then, in the text box, to the right of the date, type the time in the following format: 5:00 or 11:56. QuickBase defaults to AM. If that's not correct, type PM after the time. Use this type of field in combination with Form Rules to timestamp data-driven events like status changes.

Time of Day

A field that contains the time of day in 12- or 24-hour format. For example: 3:40 p.m. or 15:40

Duration

Use this type of field to contain a period of time. You can measure time in many different formats. For example: 30 hours, 1.25 days, or 30:00. (Read how to configure time measurement.)

Checkbox

Use this type of field for Yes/No fields. Users can turn on a checkbox, by placing a checkmark in it, or turn it off, by leaving it blank or removing a checkmark.

Phone Number

When a user enters numbers in this type of field, QuickBase configures them to appear in phone number format. (The program applies formatting from right to left, so if you've entered only seven numbers instead of ten, the program won't surround the first three numbers in parentheses.) As with a numeric field, QuickBase ignores alphabetic characters you enter in this type of field.

Email Address

This type of field displays text as an email link. In other words, when you click this link, QuickBase launches your email program and generates a blank message automatically addressed to the email address in the field. as a link in QuickBase. You can configure the display of this link.

User

A field that stores the identity of a QuickBase user. For example, if you're using an application to manage projects, you'd probably want to a way to assign tasks to the actual people who use your application. Use this type of field to:

  • Create reports that show a user only records that pertain to them. For example, when a user opens your application a list of their open issues could display.

  • Define record change notification recipients or define the conditions under which a notification is sent. To learn how, see Creating a Record Change Notification.

  • Control access to an application. To learn how, see Creating a Custom Rule.

Read more about configuring user fields.

List-User

This field type stores the identity of one or more QuickBase users. List-user fields allow application users to choose up to 10 users. Therefore, you can create apps that allow a single task to be assigned to more than one user. For example, in an app used to manage document review and approval, you might want to assign a single document to several different reviewers. A list-user field will allow you to do just that.

Read more about list-user fields.

File Attachment

A field that lets users attach a file, like a Word document or an image, to a record. The file is copied to QuickBase and is displayed as a link. You can even save multiple versions of the same document. (Learn more.)

URL

A field that displays a URL (Web address) as a link in QuickBase. Users can enter a URL address as they complete a record, or the application manager can design a URL field that QuickBase composes automatically, based on information from other fields in a record. Read more about URL and URL Formula type fields.

Report Link
(formerly View Link)

Use this field when you want to link records in one table to records in another table. But you'll rarely need to do this manually, since when you create a relationship, QuickBase automatically generates report link fields for you. Report link fields can do cool stuff, like display a list of related detail records within a master record (read more). You can also use them to loosely relate tables. Most of the time when you link tables, you'll want to create a relationship, but if you want to connect tables in less precise way, see Create a Report Link Field.

vCard

This field type lets you roll up contact information into a portable format. vCard is a standard for exchanging address information. It's a digital business card. When you add a vCard field to your Contacts table, you can match vCard fields up with your own contact information fields. Then in the click of a button, import contact info into your Microsoft Outlook contacts or other program. Or save the file and email it in its entirety to your business partner. Read more.

iCalendar

Get your tasks and appointments on the move! iCalendar is a standard for exchanging calendar information. When you add this field type to a table, you can match iCalendar fields up with your own scheduling information fields. Then in the click of a button, import the info into Microsoft Outlook or other calendar program. Or save the file and email it in its entirety to a colleague. Read more.

Predecessor

Use this field to set up dependencies in a project management application. This field stores the list of tasks that must finish before a particular task can begin.

To learn more, see About Predecessors.

Work Date

A special type of date field created to accommodate durations that include partial days.

Note: This field type doesn't appear in your list of available field types until a Predecessor field has been created. Why? The purpose of a Work Date field is to support predecessors.

Work Date fields can handle fractional day computations. (Regular date fields do not.) This is an important feature when you're working with predecessors. For example, if a predecessor task will take 2.5 days to complete, a Work Date field is smart enough to know that the task ends in the middle of the day. So, if that task has a successor task, the successor would start on that same day. Regular date fields can only measure time in whole days. So, if you were to use a regular date field with predecessors, successor tasks would often start a day late.

Formula - Text

Formula - Numeric

Formula - Date

Formula - Time of Day

Formula - Duration

Formula - Checkbox

Formula - Phone Number

Formula - Email Address

Formula - URL

Formula - List User

Formula - Work Date

Formula - Date/ Time

Computes a value based on a formula that you enter. For information about how to use formulas, see Using Formulas in QuickBase. For detailed information about functions, refer to the QuickBase Formula Functions application.

Reference

(Multi-table applications only)

When you create a relationship between tables, you'll designate one field as a reference field. "Reference" is not a field type, but an attribute of a field. When you create a relationship between two tables, you choose a field with which to link them. That field is the reference field. Any type of field can serve as a reference field.

Relationships include other special field types as well. To learn more, read about Relationships.

Lookup

(Multi-table applications only)

Lookup fields are part of a relationship. Lookups bring in additional information into the details table about records in the master table.
Read more about relationships.
Learn how to create a lookup field.

Summary

(Multi-table applications only)

Summary fields are also part of a relationship. Create a Summary field on a master table to summarize information about the related records in the details table. For example, a summary field could total the total revenue for each of your salespeople.

Read more about relationships.
Learn how to create a summary field.

Detailed field information

The table below contains the data space consumed by and the base type for each field type. You can find even more details for each field in a table by running a QuickBase API call, API_GetSchema, on that table. Read more about using API_GetSchema in the QuickBase API Guide. QuickBase recommends that you use application tokens when working with API calls.

Field Type

Data Space Consumed

Base Type

Text

4 bytes + 1 byte per character

text

Text - Multi-line

4 bytes + 1 byte per character

 

text

Text - Multiple Choice

4 bytes + 1 byte per character

 

text

Numeric

8 bytes

float

Numeric - Currency

8 bytes

 

float

 

Numeric - Percent

8 bytes

 

float

 

Numeric - Rating (0-5)

8 bytes

 

float

 

Date

8 bytes

 

int64

 

Date / Time

8 bytes

 

int64

 

Time of Day

8 bytes

 

int64

 

Duration

8 bytes

 

int64

 

Checkbox

4 bytes

bool

Phone Number

4 bytes + 1 byte per character

 

text

Email Address

4 bytes + 1 byte per character

 

text

User

4 bytes

text

List-User

8 bytes

text

File Attachment

4 bytes

text

 

URL

4 bytes + 1 byte per character

 

text

 

Report Link
(formerly View Link)

0 bytes

text

 

vCard

0 bytes

text

 

iCalendar

0 bytes

text

 

Predecessor

4 bytes + 1 byte per character

 

text

Work Date

8 bytes

 

int64

Formula - Text

Formula - Numeric

Formula - Date

Formula - Time of Day

Formula - Duration

Formula - Checkbox

Formula - Phone Number

Formula - Email Address

Formula - URL

Formula - List User

Formula - Work Date

Formula - Date/ Time

0 bytes

Same as the field type associated with the formula.

For example, the base type of Formula - Text is text.

Reference

(Multi-table applications only)

Space equal to the field being referenced

Same as the field specified for the reference.

Lookup

(Multi-table applications only)

0 bytes

Same as the field specified for the lookup.

Summary

(Multi-table applications only)

0 bytes

float

 

Handling complex ID numbers and zip codes

Zip codes contain numbers. So, you might think that you should use a numeric field to contain these values. Wrong. In this case, you're better off using a Text type field. Why? Often zip codes start with a zero. If the field is a numeric field, QuickBase automatically removes the preceding zero. This holds true for any long numeric chain that identifies things like account numbers or inventory codes. If a chain of numbers is very long, QuickBase attempts to round the number off. Use a text field to avoid this problem.

Do NOT use QuickBase to collect and store credit card numbers

No one can access your QuickBase data without your authorization. Don't let Intuit's excellent security tempt you into storing credit card numbers. QuickBase is not designed to process credit card numbers. Never store credit card numbers in QuickBase. If you are a merchant handling credit cards, you must follow PCI compliance guidelines, which specify security practices for card number handling. If you enter and store credit card numbers in QuickBase, you are violating PCI compliance guidelines and could be fined. Use QuickBase for data entry, storage and sharing, not credit card processing. More about PCI Compliance from Wikipedia.

Field Properties

Every field type has properties that are unique to it, which you can change at any time. For example, you can specify the format in which you want a date field to display or you can change a text field from a type-in field to a multiple-choice field. To learn how, see Changing the Properties of a Field.

QuickBase provides on-screen help for the various properties specific to each field type. To see this information, click on a field name to open its Properties page, and then click field help icon next to the property that you want to learn about.

Related Topics

 

This page refers to an older version of QuickBase. Online help is now located at http://www.quickbase.com/user-assistance/default.html.

 

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