Whoa! The behavior of duplicating records has changed?

Whoa! It seems like Airtable just changed this behavior today. I don’t believe that it was working like this yesterday, was it?

When you duplicate a record, Airtable adds the word “copy” to the end of the text in your primary field.

This seems like a really poor decision. Not only is it no longer actually “duplicating” your record (because it has actually changed the data in your record), but if your records are grouped by the primary field, this will actually move your record into an entirely different group! This is not what you are expecting to happen when you need to duplicate a whole bunch of records within the same group. And whenever you duplicate that newly-duplicated record, the next duplicated record will get moved into YET ANOTHER group!

This could also throw off sorting as well, if your records are sorted!

The only way to prevent this from happening is to make your primary field a formula field, which is not always what you want.

What would have been WAY MORE USEFUL is if Airtable allowed us to duplicate MANY records at the same time, so we can easily create a bunch of records within the same group.

I thought that I’d seen this behavior in the past, though I couldn’t tell you how long ago. I don’t do a lot of record duplication, so I could be wrong.

Weird… maybe I just never noticed this before? Or maybe I’m frequently duplicating records when there’s a formula field as the primary field? It’s possible that it’s always been this way.

I think you are right, I also think at some point in the past it was 100% true copy. Looks like a silent change in last few months?

That’s how I feel, but I could be completely 100% wrong here! I was just duplicating dozens of records with a client on Friday which created “perfect duplicates”, but I can’t remember if the primary field was a formula field or not. If the primary field was a formula field, then I would have had what I would consider to be “normal duplicating behavior”.

Sorry if I rang the alarm bell over something that was already part of the product for a long time! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Yet another reason to always have a formula field as the primary field!


Record duplication is a pet peeve of mine. I wish they’d refine Automation triggers to detect record duplication to allow more granular control.

I think this “copy” suffix has been a thing for some time - I can’t recall as I stopped using Record Duplication due to the complications involved when dealing with duplicate records in an automated base.