Can't pull data from a collection reference

I have an issue when building a “Films” collection page. At one point in this page I want to have: “Directed by [Get text from… a collection]”. But it doesn’t see the referenced collection item.

It’s setup like this:

Films (Collection)
-> Credits (Collection Single Reference)
–> People (Collection Multi Reference)
—> Person’s Name (Collection Item from People collection)

Is it because I’m trying to reference from a reference’s reference? Lol.

Here is my public share link:

Please share your site so that the community can assist you.

The problem is it can only reference things inside that collection list. So it can’t go like… multiple levels deep? If that makes sense? Like it can go Films > Credits > Director > People > Name… It can only look at the name in the “Credits” Multi-reference. You’ll have to make a directors collection and have the “Credits” multi-reference in the films collection reference the director’s names.

I thought I did, it’s where it says “Here is my public share link: LINK” in the original post.

That’s what I thought but I was hoping I did something wrong. Anyway, it’s a limitation I have to live with I guess. Thank you.

Yes. That is where you should paste your read-only link.

There are limitations to refs and multi-refs, but there are factors such as collection structure and which page or template page you’re working on that will affect the options provided by the cms. That’s why if you share your link I might be able to see if there’s a way to structure your data to achieve what you want.

Happy to help if I can.

No problem! Maybe eventually they will change it

Edited the original post for you Matthew.

Thanks for providing the link @ozgunkabak.

I can see the problem you’re having. You hit the 5 Reference limit inside of a collection. To get around this you created a Credits collection to hold the 5 credited references (Director, Writer, Producer, Cast, DoP). While in theory this is a way to get around the limit, it doesn’t work because in the designer you are only presented with items that are 1 reference level deep.

The easiest way to solve this issue is to upgrade to Business hosting which will allow 10 Reference fields. That would fit exactly what you need right now.

Having said that, I think it is possible for you to adjust your references. Here’s you current setup.


  • Film Types
  • Genres
  • Film Language
  • Recognitions
  • Credits

Maybe all of these except for Recognitions could be a simple dropdown or switches. This limits that field to one choice but most of those items are usually only one selection per film is needed. If you did so, that would free up 4 reference fields to use for directly referencing the People collection. That leaves you with 1 credit title unaccounted for. Maybe the Recognitions could be switches? That could make the form long depending on the number of Recognition needing to be listed. But this is how I would structure it if you can’t or won’t upgrade to business hosting.

Upgrading gets my vote. I had to do so on a similar project I’m working on for Board Games. Very very similar to your site, it needs to reference collections of publishers, designers, artists, categories, tags, and more. The business account will give you the flexibility to structure the data properly.

Once you get it worked out, you’ll drop a people collection list into each “credit title” and filter it for that film. Much fewer headaches.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Happy designing!

Thanks for the detailed reply. I didn’t do them like that because all of those things needed to be multi selection. A film can have multiples genres, langauges etc. Same with the credits section. A film can have multiple directors, writers. Maybe they will add a multi-selection dropdown one day :crossed_fingers:

I think I’m going to stop referencing to people collection in the credits collection.

I love Webflow but I think it’s overkill to upgrade to a $45 plan just to have the ability to multi-select in 10 fields instead of 5. Because those extra pages generated with CMS system won’t be used for anything.

Edit: Also wanted to have the people collection so I could extract things like pictures and social media links from them.

I ran into another problem regarding cms depth. With conditional visibility, it doesn’t have any depth…

Let me explain. I’m on the films cms page. I want to pull actors from a credits collection I referenced on the films collection. It pulls the names just fine (I no longer reference names from another collection to respect the cms depth). But when I want to activate conditional visibility to hide the empty fields, I can’t. Because conditional visibility doesn’t see the referenced credits collection.

So you can reference a collection but can’t filter to it. Am I missing something here or does it really make no sense?