Reference data from other parts of your process

You can insert references to fields in places like instructions, the body of an email, and when configuring actions. These field references dynamically insert values each time an instance is run, allowing you to automatically customize the information, settings, and flow of every instance. Here’s an example of how it works:

How to reference a field

Field references are supported across Catalytic. If you’re configuring a Workflow, task, or any other field and see , the field supports field references.

The picker displays all available fields. If a field reference is valid, it is identified in blue, like .

There are two ways to reference fields:

  • Click the to open up the field reference picker.
  • Type {{ to display the field reference picker inline.

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The picker does not display fields from parent Workflows, but they can still be referenced. If the field is not in the picker, type the field reference manually using the {{field-reference-name}} format. If correctly formatted, it will get the same blue outline, and maintain the {{ curly braces: .

More ways to use fields

How to manually type a field reference

Manually typing the reference is necessary if the field you need is not available in the picker. You can manually reference a field by the field reference name, {{field-reference-name}}. For example, .

You can find the field reference name for fields from the field configuration page or you can write it manually.

To write it manually, use all lowercase letters and use dashes, -, to replace spaces and special characters. Underscores are accepted and do not need to be replaced with dashes. Here are some examples of the field name, and the correct field reference format:

Field Name {{field-name}}
Country {{country}}
First Name {{first-name}}
emailSendDate {{emailsenddate}}
Is Approved? {{is-approved-}}
Street_Address {{street_address}}

Also, if you have an issue with a field reference, make sure both {{ and }} are on each end, if even one { or } is missing, the reference will not work.

💡Tip: If the field name is changed, the name of the field reference name will NOT change. For example, if a field is created with the display name First Name and it’s changed to Customer First Name later, the field reference name will stay as {{first-name}}, even though the field name was changed. See more under basic field configuration

How to find the field name you want to reference

When an action completes, it stores data in output fields. For example, in the Companies: Look up company info by domain action, the output fields are fields like, Employees, Locale, Logo, and Website. These output fields are essential for automation, and become the conditions or ingredients in other tasks and processes.

For a list of all output fields, you can use the field sidebar. You can use the sidebar to copy and paste fields into your actions. To use the sidebar:

  1. From the Builder screen, expand the field sidebar by clicking near the top of the page if it is not already open.
  2. Click on an action name in the sidebar to expand it
  3. Click a field to copy that field to your clipboard

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  4. Select where you want to paste it with your cursor, then paste it using CTRL+V or CMD+V on a mac.
How to use a field reference stored in a field

It’s possible to store a field reference in a field or table, then reference that field reference. This makes the field reference itself dynamic, and makes it possible to chain field references.

To do this, add lookup this to the starting reference. So for the field {{field-one}}, change it to {{lookup this field-one}}.

For example, if you have two fields with values:

  1. {{field-one}} = field-two
  2. {{field-two}} = Final Result

Manually type the reference {{lookup this field-one}} in instructions or anywhere field references are supported, and the result is Final Result.

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But in the following example, the result would be blank:

  1. {{field-one}} = apples
  2. {{field-two}} = Final Result

In the example above, if field-one had the value Apples and you reference this field with {{lookup this field-one}}, the result will be blank, and it will not return Apples. If the lookup this notation is used, the target field must contain a field reference.

⚠️ Heads-up: This is not generally supported for Word, PowerPoint, or Excel actions that insert a field within a file, like Word: Create a Word Document.

How to reference a Workflow or Table by its name, field, or ID

When you configure an action and a field references a Workflow or table, there are drop-down menus to make picking the correct one easier.

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There are three ways to reference Workflows or tables. You can change the method using the left hand drop-down:

  • Workflow/Table: Browse and select from a list of all the Workflows/tables available on your team. The list only includes objects you have permission to view.

  • Field: Reference a Workflow/table from a field. Browse and select from any fields that’s part of the process.

  • ID: Enter a Workflow or Table ID in manually.

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    Here's an example of how to find the Workflow or Table ID

How to use the field sidebar

If you know the field you’re looking for, the field picker is the easiest way to add it. If you want to browse all your fields, or look at the fields from a specific action, you can use the field sidebar.

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The field sidebar lists all actions from your Workflow, and the output fields from each. You can also quickly access Globally available fields. To use the sidebar:

  1. From the Builder screen, expand the field sidebar by clicking near the top of the page if it is not already open.
  2. Click on an action name in the sidebar to expand it
  3. Click a field to copy that field to your clipboard

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  4. Select where you want to paste it with your cursor, then paste it using CTRL+V or CMD+V on a mac.

Here’s an example of that process:

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The field sidebar is open by default, but can be closed or reopened while working. To close or reopen the sidebar, click between the build view and sidebar.

If you expand an action and it says “No Output Fields”, the action either has no output fields you can reference, or the action is not fully configured. Check the action first to make sure a required field isn’t missing.