Is there a way I can "link" tables in Numbers so that when rows are added to the "master" table that the identical rows and containing data are added in a linked table? I know I can "link" cells using Sheet1::Table 1::A1 but this doesn't work for new rows added to Sheet1::Table 1.

My application is that I have a "master" customer database sheet and I want to make an auto-updating filtered table from this "master" table in new tabs. To the best of my knowledge, this requires a new linked table that has a filter applied.

  • Just to be clear, what version of Numbers are you using? Are you looking for the 2nd table to automatically add new rows or just to reference the master's rows in existing empty rows?
    – bjbk
    Sep 4, 2015 at 14:12
  • Numbers 3.5.3. And I'm looking for the 2nd table to automatically add new rows.
    – CephBirk
    Sep 4, 2015 at 14:30
  • Are you open to scripting with AppleScript? Unless you have a large table with many rows, adding new rows requires AppleScript. Numbers is different from Excel in that tables can be defined finite columns and rows. This can be good and bad depending on solution needs.
    – bjbk
    Sep 4, 2015 at 20:52
  • I have not looked into AppleScript much, but am intrigued...
    – CephBirk
    Sep 5, 2015 at 1:53
  • I'll post a partial answer then. Partial because Numbers is not really a database application (nor is Excel) and is, therefore hard to use as such.
    – bjbk
    Sep 5, 2015 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


Numbers as a spreadsheet operates very well for its intended design, calculating, storing and displaying (in a pretty way) tabulated data. However many people try to use spreadsheets as databases. When emulating a relational database, of sorts, using a spreadsheet is clunky at best.

Making links to individual cells in different tables on different sheets is easy, but filtering entire rows remotely on a separate table is quite another task.

Databases use a unique ID in so as to reference data between tables. You can use this to do so with formulas in Excel and Numbers but to automate this process may require scripting. (In the case of Excel, VBA. Numbers can be scripted with Applescript.) iWork Automation has several tutorials and examples on how to script Numbers.

What I have used to good success in referencing data from a master sheet or table is the following formula:

Index ( Match ())

There is a plethora of information on the Internet as to how to use this formula, and there are many ways to implement it. Getting the Nth row based on criteria without a filter is tricky, however.

This answer for Excel VBA on Stackoverflow may be a start that can be used as a base (with proper syntax formatting of course) for an AppleScript service that may work.

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