Create and use virtual "show" columns for text, URL's, video etc

This is a simple series of steps to create virtual “show” -type columns. There’s some posts on this from awhile back, e.g. this one here:

But I didn’t see any explicit instructions on how to use this very handy column type!

a column of type “Show” allows you to insert static, constant help text into your views.

Here’s a reference app:

It’s a bit quirky to create these virtual columns, You have to trick appsheet into letting you choose the type “Show”. Here are the steps:

Create a virtual column with “” as it’s formula:

Now change it from “unknown” to “Show” - in the screen below, our column “Show Text” is still set to “unknown”:

Now that you have changed it from “unknown” to “Show” click the pencil icon:

Change the category to “text” (in this example) and put some text into the content field.

Steps for Optional URL Type: you can create nifty looking hyperlinks by choosing the show category type of “URL” and then using the Hyperlink() function, e.g:

And finally, on your view, SHOW types will not automatically show up like other fields will, so you have to explicitly and manually list them in column lists:

Now you can see them on your views! Here’s a detail view:

And here’s a deck view:

Happy virtual showing!!


Perfect. For some reasons I haven’t been able to have show columns work in virtual columns, always have blank random columns in my spreadsheet. Ill need to try this out sometime again.

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This is exactly the steps I take to do this… I’ve never even thought about it before. I just do it…

Awesome article

I think the Pro for Virtual Columns is also that you can edit the App without having conflicts with your users. I mean: If you add / delete a column in your spreadsheet, you will get in trouble with your users when they still have an older version of the App. I would assume that by using VCs you will be save :slight_smile:


Is there a limit to the amount of text? I’m using a Detail view and my text is getting cutoff. Only showing about 4 lines. Is there a better way to show a bit more text? Also, not able to scroll down to see all the text.

Detail View (2 columns: Image and Show)
Deck View
Deck View

The Show column in the Detail view is set to Text.

I don’t think so? See attached animation. Looks like you can have plenty of text… I used the same app as above to test…


Ha! You know what it was? I didn’t put the text in double quotes! When I added the quotes around the entire paragraph of text it displayed it all!

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Anyone figured out a way to format this text specifically? Like bold a word or two, underline, etc?

Not possible (yet), but I’ve made a similar feature request:

There is also an iframe view-type in development. Hopefully it will allow using the same GDoc templates and enable viewing a row in the iframe.


Circling back on this to see if there have been any developments. Am using a SHOW Type, URL VC and just wanting to center the text so it matches the other columns.

Another question popped to mind… anyway to use an icon or image as a hyperlink? I haven’t searched for a solution yet, so I’ll go and do that now.

Something like this?

You can use an Action “External: go to a website” and attach it to an image column.

But this would appear under the image.

You cannot attach this Action to a Show column. I mean: You can, but it won’t show up.

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