Assigning a collaborator with @ symbol

If I type an @ symbol and then start entering a collaborator’s name, I can push enter and it does add the complete name of the matching collaborator to the cell. I would expect this would associate the cell with the chosen person, but it actually seems to be different: the cell maintains the @ symbol and does not add a check next to their name in the dropdown.
See the comparison between no @ symbol and including an @ symbol.
Screenshot 2020-06-20 at 1.38.03 PM
It would be more intuitive for the @ symbol to trigger brining up the search bar, but for it to not interfere with selecting the correct person.

Thanks Laura, It sounds like you typed @ into a Collaborator cell and this is the experience you are commenting on. I can see how this behavior of @mentions particularly in a Collaborator cell can lead to confusion.

@mentions in can be inserted into any cell, regardless of its data type, just like they can be added to comment messages in workbooks, rows, and cells. For example, you can go to any cell and type “Hey @Laura_Cutler can check with @Vertex42 on intended behavior of this formula?”

This is similar to the experience of @mentioning users in twitter, gmail, confluence, slack, and other collaborative products.

The nuance here is when you type @ in a cell with the Collaborator data type, you are overriding the cell’s assigned data type with text, which can include @mentions. This is different from the default/standard behavior of Collaborator cells, which is to allow selection of one or more users, which leads to a visually different experience and result than @mentioning someone.

In short, in @mentions are used to reference and notify people within the context of some text typed into a cell or comment. Collaborator cell values are by default used to reference one or more users as the solve value of a cell, which can be used for filtering, sorting, related row lookups, etc.

Hope this helps clarify the difference. This is also a pending topic in our online help.