Lifehacking Quickbase: Productivity Hacks and Shortcuts

Given that we live in a TLDR world, I thought it’d be nice to write an easy to skim list of how-to’s. These are tips that can make the Quick Base experience a bit more manageable, either as a user or a developer.

Quick Base User Interface (UI) Hacks

Cut Down the UI Clutter

We see users getting lost in the litany of tables in applications all of the time. A well-designed application will likely have many tables, which can make for a cluttered experience.

  • Here’s a rule of thumb; if a given role isn’t going to need to run reports from a specific table, then go ahead and remove the table from the UI or ask your application administrator to.
  • The report tray is also a risk area for clutter. Be mindful of which roles are allowed to save Shared reports; and for the reports that are shared, be sure to periodically clean out reports that aren’t needed any longer.

Can’t Find That Table?

Sometimes having lots of tables is necessary. In that case, take advantage of the table search.

Quickbase - Find Table

The table search is part of the table dropdown list, which is on the far right of the UI. Click the down arrow to display it. Your search input will filter the table list on the fly.

Condense the Form

If you’re working on a really long form, it’s likely there are sections that you don’t need to reference. Quick Base has a smart option to allow you to collapse individual sections.

BEFORE

Quickbase - Expanded Form

AFTER

Quickbase - Collapsed Form

Just click on the Section heading, or the arrow to collapse or expand the section. The collapsing effect is persistent, which means if you go to another record, the section will still be collapsed.

Keyboard Shortcuts:

  • To set today’s date in a Date Field – click into the field, and type the letter ‘T’.
  • To save a record – Ctrl-S

What Was That Record I Was Just Working On?

Use the Favorites menu and click on “Recently visited in this app:”

Quickbase - Recently visited in this app

If you use specific records frequently, go ahead and bookmark that record’s page; all record links in Quick Base do not change.

Tips for Admins and Developers

Display All of Your Multiple Choice Selections

It’s easily missed, but multiple choice fields can be displayed as a radio button.

Quick Base - Display multiple choice selections.

Note: this option is only shown for Multiple-choice fields.

Avoid Using the Alternate Label Text

Most of the time, it’s better to rename the field name than use the Alternate Text. When using the Alternate Text, the change will only apply to that field on the form, and when dealing with reports and permissions, the field name won’t match, which may cause issues.

Need to Create a URL to a Record?

You might need to create a URL to a specific record in an external system. Luckily, the Quick Base URL standard is hackable, although it’s not immediately noticeable. Take this URL as an example:

https://mcftech.quickbase.com/db/bi65b5ume?a=dr&r=p

The parameter r=p is specifying a record ID. You can replace this with rid=[Insert Record ID#]. Also, in the case that your key field is something different than the Record ID#, you can use the ‘key’ parameter for the same effect.

Hide Form Buttons

A common use case is the need to show buttons on a form only for certain statuses or stages of the form. Of course, you can achieve this with setting up a form rule, but you can get the same result by hacking the formula of the button. Encase the URL formula with an “if statement.”

e.g.

if( conditional statement, URLRoot() & "db/" & [_DBID_RESTAURANT_ADDRESSES] & "?a=API_GenAddRecordForm&_fid_13=" & URLEncode ([Record ID#])& "&z=" & Rurl() )

The result is if the condition is not met, the button will be hidden from the form.

Make Your Formulas Easier to Read

If you’re using Checkboxes in your conditional statements you don’t need to write out [CheckboxField] = TRUE; Instead you can just write the name of the field.

So if([CheckboxField], ACTION… ) rather than

[CheckboxField] = TRUE

Use whitespace and comments in the formula.

e.g.

if([Checkbox1], "pizza",
        [Checkbox2], "pasta",
        [Checkbox3], "salad",
        [Checkbox4], "sub",
        "go hungry") //else condition

Notice that we set each additional condition and result on their own line to make the pairs more readable. The ‘//’ denotes the comment. Comments are especially helpful to document the code when the logic needs additional explanation.

Looking for additional tips or perhaps other ways to maximize the efficiency of your application? Contact MCFTech today. We offer services to help you get the most out of your applications, such as application audits, training, application documentation, and much more.

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