Filtering Airtable Data – ‘And/Or’ Filters

Working in any database is tricky if you can’t access the data you need. To be effective, you need to know how to navigate through your data to access only the relevant records.

For this, we have FILTERS!

Filters are pretty self-explanatory – by applying them we are able to remove from view those records that don’t pertain to our immediate need. The data isn’t permanently erased – it’s just hidden so we can focus on the task at hand.

The initial Airtable filter is very straightforward and needs little explanation. Simply select “Filter” from the toolbar, select the field that you wish to filter on, and select the type of data you want to see – the rest will be removed from view.

But, you can apply a second filter as well! Here you follow the same steps as before, with one additional requirement – you need to select whether the two filters are both required, or if either of them is required.

  1. AND requires that both filters must be true to return a record
  2. OR requires that either of the filters must be true

This is still pretty straightforward. However, it’s on the third (and any subsequent) filter that things get a bit more tricky. This is because Airtable requires that you use all ANDs, or all ORs, in your filters.

That is, you can’t use “A and B or C”

The reason for this is that there are two ways to interpret that statement – and Airtable doesn’t know which one you mean. Thinking back to the order of operations, you could mean either of the following:

(A and B) or C

A and (B or C)

So, does that mean using ANDs with ORs in filters is impossible? Of course not! As with most things in Airtable, there’s a workaround.

In this video I walk you through the steps to use AND with OR filters using a formula field. With this trick, you’ll be filtering exactly the data you need in your views.

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