Expanding Linked Records

Learn how to add a Table Id for your linked records

By default, Airtable doesn’t transmit linked data that might be present in relationships between two or more tables when using linked records. If you want to use data from a linked record, which connects data from a separate, linked table, you will need to indicate the ID of the additional table(s) being linked.

What are Linked Records?

In Airtable, linked records enable fields to be shared between two or more tables. One table will have records that link to another, connecting the fields and data of the second table with the first one.

Using Linked Records

Linked Record fields in Airtable are sent from Airtable as record Ids instead of the actual data of the linked records. If you want to use the data from linked records then you'll need to indicate to Documint how to expand those records.

In the example above, this Account column consists of linked records (‘Acme Corporation’, ‘Globex Corporation’, etc.) referring to a separate Airtable table called ‘Accounts’. To get additional data from the Accounts table, such as name and address, the Account Table ID must be provided for Documint to know where the expanded data is located.

You will need to find the table ID for the table that the linked records belong to (in the case above it would be the “Accounts” table). The table Id is contained within the URL of the table you are currently editing on Airtable.

*The table ID will start with tbl and end before the next /

In this example, you would navigate to the Accounts table by clicking the tab on Airtable. You should notice the URL in your browser change. Specifically, the table ID portion changes since a different table is now being edited. Copy this table’s table ID, which for this example is: tblP6MhlwEXMPLSk

Now, navigate back to the main table (in this example, Orders).

Create a new formula field that will contain the linked table ID. For this example, Accounts would be associated with a new ID field in the same table, called Account Table_Id. The naming format must follow this convention: ‘[Linked field Name] Table_Id’.

Paste the copied table ID into the formula field of the new ID field, inside quotes "tblxxxxxxxxxx" (e.g. Account Table_Id) and finish creating the field.

Now, from the main template being for the template (e.g. Orders), Documint is able to retrieve the linked record data (e.g. Account Name, Account Address, etc.) from the connected table (e.g. Account), which it references through that table’s ID.

Managing Multiple Levels of Linked Records

By default, Documint will only expand linked records (with Table_Id fields) down to one level from the main table (ie. Orders have the Account field, which links to the Accounts table). If you want to expand linked records of linked records (and so on) then you'll have to set a larger value to the number of relationships that you want to expand. This is done when setting up the Airtable Generation Link.

For example, to expand linked records another level down from the first linked records, you would type in 2 in the Expand linked records field above. This would also entail creating another ID formula field in the linked table and copy/pasting the table ID from the URL of the table linked to the first-linked table. Feel free to watch the video tutorial for a walkthrough.

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