Introduction

We use Airtable in our business almost everywhere!

But it lacks automation for routine things.

For example, sometimes you need to pass a value to Zapier from a linked record in your base to perform an automation with your Zap.

You can’t do this natively with Airtable.

However, Zapier easily solves this problem.

Initial setup

Let’s illustrate the setup process, using as an example a small automation from our business.

We have a table to track all improvements we make to our processes, documentation, etc.

We collect all of these improvements using Zapier.

We then send a weekly “report” to our Slack group so that everybody in the team is informed about the progress we made for the week.

1 – Login to your Zapier and create a new Zap, select Airtable as a Trigger App:

2 – Select ‘New record’ as an Airtable trigger event:

3 – Select an Airtable account:

NOTE: To connect your Airtable account to Zapier you will need to generate an API key.

You can do this in your Airtable account settings (this only needs to be done once):

4 – Select the Base and the Table you will be pulling data from:

5 – After a few seconds of waiting you’ll get 3 sample records pulled from the table you selected:

If you look at the value of the ‘Creator (s)’ parameter (marked with a red rectangle in the screenshot above), you will see a random string of letters and numbers.

This is an ID that corresponds to a particular “Creator” in your Airtable base.

In fact, it is the ID for the linked record from our ‘People’ table (which we discussed in our previous article: How to merge multiple tables into one in Airtable).

Doesn’t make any sense for human beings you say?

Don’t worry, we have a solution!

Adding Lookup field

6 – Go to your Airtable and add a new column, Field type – Lookup:

In the first dropdown select the ‘Creator(s)’ field.

(In our example, it is the linked one in our example, in the second one – the field that contains a value you are interested in, ‘Name’ in our case. After you done that you will see something like that:

Now you see that you have a normal text in your Lookup field. Hide this column, it is only needed for Zapier, so you might even not rename it. Let’s go back to our Zap now!

7 –  In your Zap creation wizard hit ‘Show more samples’ button and then it will transform to ‘Get more samples’ button, hit it again and open new samples you will get:

While ‘Creator(s)’ field shows as an ID there is now a ‘Field 6’ that shows human-like value we can use further (marked with green rectangle on screenshot above).

Hit ‘Continue’ and you are done with Trigger part, now we need to add an Action step.

The Action

In the very beginning I noticed that this is a weekly routine, so we need to collect all the updates done for a week and then send it in the specified time. There is a feature in Zapier exactly for this purpose – Digest.

8 – Add a Digest as an Action step and select option ‘Append Entry and Schedule Digest’

9 – FIll up the template and setup the schedule:

While there are instructions above each field I would like to note that when you are filling in ‘Entry’ field take into consideration that you need to fill it using syntax your messenger you will be sending it to. In our case we will be sending this to Slack, so to make certain parts of the text bold we must add ‘*’ before and after the section that should be shown as bold. Also there will be more than 1 record so we need some spacer to separate the records, ‘—–‘ will do the job.

10 – Hit ‘Continue’ and on the next page hit ‘Re-test this step’ several times in order to fill up your digest with records, you will see the output like this:

Hit ‘Finish’ and you are ready to send your Digest to messenger of your choice. For our example we will be using Slack.

11 – Add one more step to your Zap by hitting ‘Add a Step’ on the left column and select an application of your choice:

12 – Select your Slack account, on the next page choose a channel you would like to send the Digest to and add your Digest to ‘Message text’ field (to do so hit the plus icon in the top right corner of ‘Message text’ field, the dropdown will open, click on ‘Append Entry and Schedule Digest’, select ‘Current digest’ option):

You are now good to go! Fill up the rest field if you need them (they are optional), you may select a bot name, an icon, etc.

13 – Test your Digest on the next page!

Here is how it will look like in Slack:

 

Results

We managed to pull out a human like text from linked Airtable field using Zapier, collect records for a week, format them and send to Slack.

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Now let’s hear from you!

Are you using any automations in your business?

Tell us which ones in the comments section below!

What do you think of this tutorial?

Article Title: How to get a text value from linked field for Zapier in Airtable

Short Description: Trying to get text value from the linked field in Airtable for Zapier? Click here to check out our step by step guide!

Author: Viktor Nadein

Publisher - Orgnization: MemberFix

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