Use Shared Multiple-Choice Fields

There may be times when you want to display a list of choices for a particular field in several different tables or even across separate applications. For example, you may have a list of status choices ("started", "on hold" and "complete"), all of which apply both to Projects and Tasks. Or maybe you'd like to take the list of cities that customers entered in one field and make it a dropdown list of choices in another field.

A shared multiple-choice field allows you to take values from a Text or Numeric field and make them available as a multiple-choice list in anther field. You can even do so across applications, if you want. This feature not only eliminates the need to manually type in values for each record, but also makes it easier to maintain the multiple-choice list because you make updates in only one location, not in separate tables and applications.

What a Shared Multiple-Choice Field Is and Isn't

A shared multiple-choice field is not a list of values entered into a Text - Multiple Choice field, though the names are confusingly similar.


Remember, it is preferable to use a relationship to populate a dropdown list. Don't use a shared multiple-choice field to populate (for example) a list of customers drawn from the Customers table. Instead, create a relationship between the tables. When you do so, the relationship's reference field becomes the dropdown list of choices. (Read more about relationships.)

Do use a shared multiple-choice field when you have several different tables or applications that need to access a list of known values unavailable elsewhere, such as Statuses, Project Phases, State Names, or Categories.

Create the source multiple-choice list

To create the source multiple-choice list:

  1. Open or create the application where you want to store your multiple-choice options.

  2. Create a new table and add a field, or find the existing table and field you're interested in using. This field must have either a Text (but NOT a Text - Multiple Choice) or Numeric field type.
    Note: You cannot use a List - User field as a shared multiple-choice field.

  3. Within this table, create a new record for each choice that you want to appear in the list.

    To check your work, click the table name and select List All. You should see a list of all the choices you have created. In the Choices table below, values for three shared multiple-choice fields are shown: Payment Method, Payment Status, and Category. The values shown for each field can appear in multiple tables and applications -- follow the directions below to see for yourself.

Share the source field with other applications

If you are displaying a multiple-choice list across applications, you need to share your new field with each application that you want to access it. You do this from within the source application.

To share a field:

  1. Open the field's properties page.

  2. Near the bottom of the field properties page, locate the Shared multiple-choice option and turn on the checkbox titled "This field may be a source for shared multiple-choice lists for other apps".
    Note: If this field is already shared with multiple-choice lists in existing applications, those applications appear listed here instead of the checkbox.

  3. Click the Add App link that appears. QuickBase displays a list of applications to which you have access.

  4. Click the radio button to the left of the application with which you want to share the multiple-choice list and click OK. The application you chose appears within Applications that may access this field.

  5. If you want to share the field with additional applications, repeat steps 3 and 4 for each one.

Configure the field that should display the multiple-choice list

To configure the field that should display the multiple-choice list:

  1. Open the application in which you want the multiple-choice list to appear.

  2. Create or open a field to display the list.

  3. Open the field's properties page by clicking on its name.

  4. Within the Text field options section of the properties page, locate the Input type option and select Multiple-choice from another field.

  5. Click the Select shared field button that appears to display a list of applications you can access.

  6. Click the radio button to the left of the application which contains the multiple-choice list you created in the previous section and click OK.

    A list of fields within that application opens.

  7. Select the field that contains the entries you want to convert into a multiple-choice list and click OK.  QuickBase displays your choice.

  8. Select how you want to sort the items in the multiple-choice list, and then click Save.

  9. Click Save to finish.


This page refers to an older version of QuickBase. Online help is now located at


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