Building a design brief on Google Docs from Airtable

I plan all of my content in Airtable with detailed notes but my creative teams prefer Google Docs. Is there a way to automatically populate a multi slide brief in Google Docs?

Ryan,

Yes, I’ve done very similar automations. For example, build a rich text status report in a Google Doc, convert to PDF, and email automatically every morning. Doing this with Google Slides is almost an identical approach - the Google Docs SDK for creating slide content is the same for creating documents.

To do this, you need to create a server-side script using Javascript in Google Apps Script. It will use the Airtable API to retrieve content from your designated base, and build that content into a slide document ideally using a template process.

If you need some more guidance, feel free to reach out - bill.french@gmail.com.

This could probably also be done without scripting by using Zapier. It has a Google Slides action named “Create presentation from template” which might do the trick. I’ve not used it before, so I can’t offer specific advice about how to set it up, but my gut says it would work.

@Justin_Barrett,

I’ve used the Zapier (zap) to do this and it is certainly possible to generate slides without writing any code. However, there are two key issues -

  1. There is a 1-to-1 relationship between records in Airtable and slides in the zap integration; it’s basically like a mail merge but with slides instead of messages. This is not always the desired output or logical format for the data, but it certainly is fine for simple integrations.

  2. Pumping Airtable data into Google via templates which create new documents in Drive is typically not the end of the desired reporting automation process. Emailing, sharing (through Google’s security model), bundling into PDF form, and other aspects of reporting still [may] need to be performed. I get the sense that this person wants a “lights out” process that runs even when sitting on a beach.

Indeed, avoiding code is always best and even better - create good business requirements in advance of choosing any specific implementation approach.