Attaching a completed page to the original table

I’ve generated a page using the page designer block. Is there a way to create a new field in the original table and add a print of this page? I’m thinking along the lines of an attachment.

Thanks!

Yes, you could create an attachment field and then add a PDF version of your Page Designer document there. But there is no automated way to do this. it’s a 100% manual process, because:

  1. The Page Designer Block does not have any built-in way to generate PDF files. Your only option to get any document out of that block is to use the “Print” button in the Page Designer block, so you’ll have to use tools on your own computer to generate the PDF file. This is easy on the Mac, since PDF support is natively built into the Mac operating system (i.e. no need for Adobe Acrobat). Just choose “Save As PDF” from the Print Dialog box on the Mac, and save your PDF to your desktop.

  2. The Page Designer Block has no way of automatically inserting its documents into Attachment fields. So you will need to manually drag your PDF file from your desktop into the Attachment field.

I wish that both of these things were included in the Page Designer block. If you feel the same way, please add a feature request in the Product Suggestions category.

If you’d like to bypass the Page Designer Block altogether (by not using it at all), you can automate this entire process by using external tools & external websites.

I tried using Page Designer for a use case like this (creating invoices for clients), but after just a couple instances of opening Page Designer, saving the invoice as a PDF, then reattaching it to the invoice record, I began looking for a way to automate the process, or more accurately, create a process that gave me the same end result, but without using Page Designer.

In the end, I did what @ScottWorld mentioned: I used “external tools & external websites” to make an invoice and attach it to an Airtable record. In my case, I use Integromat for automation, and had (at the time) stumbled across a module that would convert HTML into a PDF file, so I went about adding fields to my base to create my invoice in HTML. I then made a webhook-driven scenario in Integromat to do the conversion and file attachment, a formula-driven link field in Airtable that called it, and after several more tests, it was working. I could click a link in my invoice record, and a few seconds later, a PDF version would appear in the attachment field.

Is it ideal? I doubt it. There’s probably more I could do to optimize it, but my work has shifted so I’m not using it as much, so I haven’t invested the time to tweak it further. Anyway, if you’re interested to know more about how it’s set up, just let me know.

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@Justin_Barrett, for your custom link that you created for the webhook, did you just take that unique URL that Integromat is listening for, and append onto the end of it with your record’s RECORD_ID?

Something that might end up looking like this?

https://hook.integromat.com/unique_string_from_integromat_here?id=recUMBjCkAPAFaEiv

@Justin_Barrett, I think my question to you above got lost in all the confusion from last night’s posts not getting approved! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the URL schema that you are using. :slight_smile:

Your question didn’t get lost. I got lost. I saw the question come through, but I think I was in the middle of something else and thought I would remember to get back to it. That didn’t happen, and I’m grateful for your reminder message to bring it back to my attention. :slight_smile:

Correct. The downside to this use of Integromat’s webhooks (or any webhook for that matter) is that it doesn’t happen under the hood. In this case, clicking that link is followed closely by me closing a new tab in my browser after Integromat spits out the ever-so-important one-word response that I’m looking for: “Approved.” For me, though, that’s a small price to pay for saving me lots of energy elsewhere. My hope is that a future button option will be to do a true under-the-hood webhook call, making stuff like this even cleaner.

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@Justin_Barrett

Thanks so much for this further explanation! This is awesome! :slight_smile:

Ah yes, it would be nice if the webhooks happened under the hood without you being taken to that “Approved” webpage. That would be really nice, and hopefully the future button functionality will allow that.

Even better would be if the future button functionality of Airtable enables us to natively generate PDF’s & then email those PDF’s to people — all with one click.

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In my setup it’s only two clicks: one to make the PDF, one to send it to the client via email. Both are webhook calls to Integromat. For certain clients, I create a view they could use to see outstanding invoices, and the link to that view (if present) is included in the email. I also track how many times the email is sent, and have logic to change the email wording when the invoice is sent the first time vs any updates that might happen later.

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@Justin_Barrett This is great! For your 2nd webhook call to Integromat, does that also originate in Airtable?

This functionality would simplify the workflow for my organization as well. Having worked at a tech company before, I know that engineering teams have roadmaps that are planned far in advance of delivery. Meaning, any product suggestion I add my voice to will be wasted as I will have solved my problem some other way long before.

However, Airtable has so generously given us the custom block capability. I spent a little time integrating third party libraries for charting and machine learning into my own custom block, so I have a rough understanding of the basics of block building. It would be nice if we didn’t have to recreate the wheel to make these tiny improvements that we need.

Generating a pdf and putting it in the current record is a small effort fix (assuming a few things of course). For all of us comfortable coding out there, it would be great to have a way to interact with Airtable’s proprietary code bases (via inheritance or whatever), prototype improvements in your local sandbox, and then raise your hand for an engineer to review in case they want to roll it out someday. However, you could be using it right away locally.

I like Airtable. I don’t want to see it go away. I want to be able to make it what I need it to be, so that I won’t be tempted to hop to the next thing that simplifies my workflows.

Yes. (Sorry for the delayed reply. I take Sundays off, and today’s been a whirlwind so far.)

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