ModifyRows for adding (not replacing) a value to a column of type "allow multiple selections"

I have figured out how to use ModifyRows() for a button, to set the cell value of a certain column.

The column type is a lookup with “allow multiple selections = on”.

But when I use the button with ModifyRows() , it replaces the previous cell value, rather than adding a new value to the cell, among the previous (multiple) value(s) in the cell.

I’ve tried to concatenate the new value to the previous ones using ModifyRows(thisRow, blueColumn, ListCombine(blueColumn, newValue)), but it gets in to some recursive loop that stops.

Any tips on this one?

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Hi @Johan_Nyman, can you take a look at Ways to use a button to append/add to a multi-select column to see if Listcombine helps you.


Hey! Most likely it’s not a recursive loop but you’re referencing the whole column. Try:

thisRow.ModifyRows(blueColumn, ListCombine(thisRow.blueColumn, newValue))

(note thisRow inside ListCombine)


The combined help of both of you solved that problem step. Thanks a lot @mallika and @Paul_Danyliuk!

This is what I got to work well:

ModifyRows(thisRow, articleReferenceTable.blueColumn, ListCombine( thisRow.blueColumn, newValue ).Filter(CurrentValue!="").Unique() )

Now the only remaining problem is, that the newValue should be replaced by a popup for creating a new record, with Activate(AddRow()). The result of that new record should be placed as a referenced element among the multi-values in thisRow.blueColumn.

But here the modal window refuses to open to let me create a new record.

This is what I tried for the button:

ModifyRows(thisRow, articleReferenceTable.blueColumn, ListCombine( thisRow.blueColumn, Activate(AddRow([Detail view of articleReferenceTable])) ).Filter(CurrentValue!="").Unique() )

This is an articleReferenceTable. The blueColumn in the table references to elements/rows of the same table. The idea is that an article may reference to one or several other articles, which are also rows in the same table. and the blueColumn is used to store all other articles that the article in thisRow references.

The logic is, that in the current row record of the detail view, one searches among existing articles to link the article to. If the article we wish to link to doesn’t previously exist, then the button should open a modal to enter the new record, and when it is saved, it is placed among the other elements in the blueColumn cell of thisRow in the current record, from which the button was pushed.

I managed to get the Activate(AddRow()) to work correctly per se, and get it to replace the previous value(s) of the blueColumn. But now as I want it not to replace, but to append the returned, newly created row, then an “Action error” element appears.

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Activate() doesn’t return a row, that’s why you cannot pass it to the outer formula unlike AddRow() that unconventionally returns one.

You need to do this in two steps. First add the element to the list, then activate:

  thisRow.ModifyRows(aRT.blueColumn, ListCombine(thisRow.blueColumn, AddRow(...))),

(assuming that the added row will be added to the end of the list)

In my practice I found that working with single value cells is much more convenient than with multi-selects, especially when you need to add/remove elements from those lists. So if there’s a reasonable way to reorganize the way how you store article relations (e.g. with a separate join table where each separate row would link one article to another), that might be a better solution overall. You can always look up related articles with a formula, but managing the links will be much easier.

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Thanks a lot! I have used single value cells in separate join tables quite a lot, but now recently tried multi-value as a shortcut. Maybe time to go back to separate join tables. I’ll try your two-step approach first, and then evaluate and decide. Thanks again for a quick reply!

Multi-values are great when all you need to do programmatically with them is either write the whole list in (e.g. a result of Filter()), and read from it, but not mutate the list. Adding (via ListCombine()) is okay and a justifiable approach when making a separate join table is more effort. But removing from the list is usually more work than tracking the relations separately.

Just for the fun of it, here’s list modification taken to extreme: To-do list, but it's just one table and one row 🤯 Definitely not an example to follow.


This was all very good info!

  • manipulating (adding to) a multi value selection list
  • using Activate() and separating actions with RunActions(,)
  • choosing to work with separate join tables for easier manipulation, instead of multi-values.

I have hence solved my problems. For now :slight_smile: Thanks again to both of you.

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Hi Paul

I tried running similar code. It adds the ‘Action’ in the child list - instead of the new record created by addrow. What am i missing?

Please share the doc with me with edit rights so that I can take a look instead of guessing.