Make it easy to copy from compose columns

I want to give my teammates an area with a text summary of information from multiple columns, that they cannot edit, but that they can use to copy and paste information.

My problem is that users aren’t allowed to copy and paste from these calculated canvas columns because “Values in this column are calculated by a formula and can’t be manually changed”. That’s fine! I don’t want to change them! I just want to copy and paste.

Here’s a gif of the problem behavior:

I can manage to select text if I select it backwards, but that’s far from ideal.

I think this is a fairly common use-case for canvas compose columns that isn’t currently supported. In my ignorance, I also think it might have an easy fix.

Hi Alberto,

Are you talking about canvas column type, or compose column type?

AS you talk about a formula, I assume that you are talking about a compose column. You cannot copy portions of the cell, but you can copy the whole of the cell.

I do not think that it will be easy to change this behavior - The result of the formula is a single “thing”, much like an image cannot be copied out of.

Do they always copy the same section? Then you can always make just that section available in another column.

You can make a button column. The button can copy the contents of any other column to the clipboard. It is a standard button option, in CFL it is CopyToClipboard([Loan Details])

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The problem is that there are many datapoints and I want to create a page where people can see them all formatted in a logical way. I don’t want to create 20+ buttons

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@Alberto_Delgado , can you please describe in a little more detail what you are trying to achieve?

The community will be better able to help.

It could be as simple as setting up canvas formulas


Hi Piet,

Thanks for following up. I hadn’t seen your first response.

I am working on a system for a mortgage broker’s team to manage tasks related to the loans they are processing. I would like them to have a page where they can see at a glance all of the details for each loan, and copy information (these details are brought in by a Zapier integration with their mortgage management platform). I don’t want them to access the fields themselves because most of them (but not all) shouldn’t be manually edited, as this may produce costly mistakes down the line.

So, my though was to put all the information into a nicely formatted “spec sheet” using a compose column. The only problem, as I mentioned earlier, is that it is hard to copy bits of text from the compose column. They often need to copy and paste information such as the borrower’s address or phone number.

Is there a good alternative to give the team a read-only view of the data, and make it easy for them to copy these details? I though of using formula columns that are simply equal to each field, but this would double the 70 columns I already have in my “Loan details” table, and that feels messy.

Hello @Alberto_Delgado ,

I think you are misunderstanding the concepts of copying. You can move your mouse to a field, activate the field by left clicking on the field (regardless of the field being calculated), type CTRL-C and go to wherever you want to paste the information and type CTRL-V. If it is a regular entry field you need to select the text before typing CTRL-C (or type CTRL-A).

I have a couple of special fields where name and address information is put together with a formula (including some linebreak*() 's) to be copied for label printing. But you can collect all kinds of data that is frequently copied as a data set and copy it as described above.

If you want to give your users access to each field by itself, make a special page with a view of your table, lock the page to read only (modals will still open) and your users can copy each bit of information by itself, or hold the left mouse key and copy a couple of fields (including headers) and paste them as one little data block.

I realize you need the team plan for best practice. If you are not on the team plan, you should get it if you are working with data that may not be corrupted - the team plan offers a lot of options to prevent a lot of mistakes.

In hindsight: you were trying to click and swipe to select your source, but you only have to activate it.


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