Barcode Inventory check in/check out


Please have pity on an absolute newbie. I have been tasked with creating an inventory control system for a community theatre’s extensive prop inventory. What I would like to do is create barcodes for each item, and then devise a simple way to check them in and out. I am confused by the airtable app barcode function - it appears to allow me to scan barcodes only when creating records. Can I use it to scan the actual item in the warehouse and pull up the existing record?

In a perfect world, our users would be able to go to the warehouse, pull out half a dozen items, scan them and have the inventory location move from it’s designated shelf to a “checked out to:______________” status.

Can I get there from here, or do I need to seek another solution?


Randy Storms
Newport Performing Arts Center
Newport, Oregon USA


I’ve never tried this but…

If you set the name field of your props table to include the barcode (or be a barcode) then you create a booking in/out table with a Link to the Props table you should be able to scan the barcode in the linked field in Bookings and it should find the Prop record for you.

You would then end up with a booking in record and a booking out record and could do some work with formulae / lookup and rollup fields to work out where each prop is (i.e. in store or booked out to some one).

I hope this gets you started!


I’ve asked AirTable for something similar as I spot a possibility to use AirTable in production management.
It would be sooo awesome if it was possible to avoid having to open a record to scan a barcode.

Actually the way that you would be using it for props tracking would work really well for us too (saving a lot of time).
Good thinking! :slight_smile:


@Johan & @Randy_Storms,

It is possible. If you have a barcode Field you can scan a barcode into that field when creating a record.

Later, you can search for records by barcode by tapping the search icon and then tapping the barcode icon in the search bar. On an iOS device, the scan search will search the barcode field directly. I’ve discovered, however, that on Android, it will only search the primary field (name field), so you have to pull the barcode into the name field with a formula (I’ve already made a request for improvement in that here)

Here’s what it looks like on iOS:

I am currently using this feature to track concrete test cylinders that my technicians make out in the field. They add the barcode labels to the cylinders in the field - then when the cylinders are brought into the testing laboratory, we can scan their barcode to pull up their records and fill in testing information.

QR Code Shenanigans
Inventory Barcode solution

Thanks @Jeremy_Oglesby for the tip :smile: !
I was asking “myself” not so long ago, if something like this was possible with Airtable or if I needed, a third party app’, like Zapier (or other) to do something like this… Now I think I’ll finally be able to see if I can make this work for one base :wink: :smile: