Checklist from Lookup

I have a table that with a lookup column that is configured as a bulleted list. Is there anyway to convert the bulleted list to a checklist?

As usual, having a sample would be extremely helpful to see if we correctly understand your use case.

Assuming I did, the answer is positive, with some buts:

  1. You have to rely on non-official formulas that may be discontinued or changed without notice
  2. A trigger is needed (either manual or an automation) to physically fill in the checklist value (in this case, the Convert button).

Have a look at this example:

I tried to provide all the steps in a self-explaining way, but please do let me know if these are enough clear.
And moreover, if I correctly got your point.

Please note:
Most of the job has been already pointed out and greatly explained by @Paul_Danyliuk in this post (among the others):

Therefore, main credits must go to him.


Wow :+1: ! That’s nice, to say the least :grin: !

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Dear @Federico_Stefanato,

As far as I understand it’s only a visual checkbox and you can not use it to actually check off.

Not sure if my idea is right and I didn’t have the time (yet) to check out, if the these values are copied to a new table, with each of them a new row, we can add a column with a check box to “false”, so the use can update to “true” if that becomes the case.

:bulb: As you several times mentioned, it’s always important to receive more info on the expected outcome with a supporting doc :bangbang:


hmm… not really :thinking:

Have you tried to click on “Convert” button?

As per this one, the same @Paul_Danyliuk (always him :smiley:), provided a great solution. Not exactly the same, but very similar:

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Thank you all. I will copy and paste your solutions to my Doc and attempt to reproduce the results. My objective is to convert subtasks from a lookup column into a checklist.

just to better understand: is it a one-off operation?

Meaning that you have to import/convert existing bullet subtasks into checklists once and then you always use the checklist.

Otherwise I don’t get the normal life cycle of it.
Is it possible for you to share your doc?

@Federico_Stefanato wait, no need for any JSON manipulation.

I prefer to do it with a template value. See here how I create a checkbox line for each item. Of course I still have to copy it into a non-formula cell so that the checkbox is editable:


I have reoccurring tasks depending on a status of steps. Step 1 has subtasks X,Y,Z, Step 2 has subtasks A, B,C, etc. When I start to move through the steps, I want to be able to check through the subtasks as they are completed.

On a second note, this whole requirement looks strange.

If you want to have a checklist, why not simply store a checklist to copy? Why set up checklist items in a separate table at all?

Or, if extra logic is required, then you don’t need a checklist checklist — you need to implement this differently. E.g., recently I had a requirement to build a task tracker where projects would move through the same stages, each stage should “generate” the same tasks, and some tasks would have checklists. I had a separate “Checklist item templates” table that described the checklists that had to be copied each time a task was created, then had a table of “Checklist items” to store actual items per task (copies of a template).

Thank you Paul. You’ve provided other options to consider.

Hi @Paul_Danyliuk,

You’re right.
I added the additional possibility (starting from the bullet list)

Yeah, my instinct is that you should move a step back and try to get the list in non-bulletlist form, but in its original form. Only if for some reason that’s impossible should you resort to object manipulation etc.

Cool solutions! I will look at both options. They are much easier than fooling around we JSON. Thank you.

Your right @Federico_Stefanato