Slider Arrow Icon
Back to SmartSuite blog
Mastering Field Type Switches in SmartSuite | A Step-by-Step Guide

Mastering Field Type Switches in SmartSuite | A Step-by-Step Guide

September 8, 2023

Hello, data enthusiasts! Welcome to our latest Smart Tips article. If the idea of losing data during a switch has ever stopped you in your tracks, this guide will show you the ropes and put that worry to rest.

Why Field Types Matter

Smartsuite isn't just any data platform; it takes the integrity of your data seriously. That's why each piece of information must sit comfortably within its designated field type. It's akin to having a well-organized digital filing system where everything has its rightful place. But don't fret—flexibility is also a part of Smartsuite's DNA. Even with your data neatly sorted, you can change field types when necessary. True, it's not just about dumping the old and moving to the new. Instead, it's a smooth, lossless transition. Let's dive into how this is achieved.

The Easy Method: Switching to Text First

Imagine you've got a column filled with phone numbers. Now, these numbers are more than just digits—think of them as data with purpose, molded into a phone number format, and reluctant to house anything else. Want to add some letters or symbols? Not happening—unless you know the trick.

"Only switch from text, and then from text, switch to the field type that you're looking for." - Smart Tips wisdom.

Transitioning from Phone Number to Number Field Type

Here's the scenario: you have a phone number field and want to switch it to a number field type. Smartsuite offers a plethora of field types, but a direct switch isn't always on the table. If you simply double-click on the 'phone' field, Smartsuite might not show 'number' as an available option. But here's where our quick trick comes into play.

First, switch to the text field type. Why? Because text is the universal receiver—like the Swiss army knife of field types. It embraces data of all shapes and sizes, making it the perfect middleman. Once switched to text, your phone numbers remain intact, but now you've unlocked the freedom to etch in text, should the need arise.

Next, keep your data as is and double-click once more, this time changing from text to number. Voilà! You've just performed a seamless transition, with nary a digit out of place. This two-step process—phone to text to number—is crucial to preserving your data's integrity.

Broadening Your Options: The Power of Text Fields

Now, let's peek into the other possibilities text fields open up. When your data is camped in a number field type, you're given a few neighboring field types to consider, like currency. But beckon the text field type into your workflow, and suddenly, the world's your oyster.

After another round of double-clicking and setting the field to text, the next switch reveals a smorgasbord of field types. It's like unlocking the secret passage to a treasure trove of data management flexibility—all while ensuring no piece of data is left behind.

This universal trick is an ace up your sleeve, handy for those not-so-obvious transitions. Just remember the Golden Rule: when in doubt, convert to text, then march boldly to your final field type destination.

Smartsuite's Promise: Your Data's Safe Haven

The beauty of Smartsuite lies in its promise to keep your data safe and sound, no matter how you twist and turn the field types. It's a platform that marries precision with adaptability, offering peace of mind as you tailor your data environment to your ever-evolving needs.

Wrapping Up The Tips

I hope this little nugget of Smartsuite wisdom proves as valuable to you as it has to countless data wranglers before. Remember, field types are not just guardians of data formatting—they're also stepping stones to a world of greater data utility.

We're all about sharing the know-how that propels you forward on your data journey. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned, because more Smart Tips are headed your way, as we continue to demystify the world of data one tip at a time.

If there's a particular tip or trick you're itching to see explained next, don't be shy—drop us a hint! Until next time, may your data always land in the right field, and your field types flex to meet your data's needs.

This blog post was crafted with the spirit of making data management in Smartsuite a breeze. Embrace each transition with confidence, and make the most of your Smartsuite experience!