Imported Concatenated Mess - Suggestions?

Brand new airtable user here. I’m currently trying to wrangle a podcasting website that has two hundred episodes on it (well, technically, our 200th weekly episode comes out tomorrow). I was able to take a CSV dump out of the Wordpress website I’m using and import it into airtable. One of the things I’m trying to fix is our tagging scheme. However, the CSV dump concatenated the various tags into a single field that is delimited by “|” (pipe) characters. I’d like to first get all the episode tagging into the system, and then start reworking things (I plan to outsource the work of re-tagging stuff in the site, so I plan to use airtable for planning all that out).

So my question is, how would you approach it if you want to easily be able to filter posts by tags (or group by same)? I was thinking of making another table that is simply a list of all tags, and another table that works as the join table between my existing set of posts and tags. Does this seem sane or would you approach it another way?

Also, I’m not intimidated by doing some coding that manipulates the CSV or even generates a different CSV from it, as I’ve been programming forever. Just curious how the community would shape their data if they were me, based on the capabilities of the tool.


Welcome to the community, William! :smiley: Converting the pipe-separated tags into something else is actually pretty easy. First, make a new field that uses SUBSTITUTE to replace the pipes with commas:


The formula for the {Comma-separated} field is:

SUBSTITUTE(Source, "|", ",")

This {Comma-separated} field can then be converted into either a multi-select field, or one that links to a [Tags] table, depending on your preference. I actually did one of each in my test:

Airtable will recognize the commas as separating independent items, and convert them appropriately, adding entries for a multi-select type, or new records in the [Tags] table for the link type. Repeated tags will match existing ones, so you won’t have duplicate entries in either case.

In terms of which I’d prefer, I might lean toward the [Tags] table. In that table you can see (and add a field to count) how many posts use each tag, which would be difficult (if not impossible) with a multi-select. In other words, if you have any inclination to do more with these tags in Airtable than just add them and be done, then I’d go with a table.

Sorry about the slow response. I just saw this - I guess I missed the notification with everything going on last week.

That’s way easier than I thought it was going to be. Thank you for this.