Markdown URL Won't Parse

I’m importing a csv with the Airtable markdown for pretty urls but, they’re not parsing. If I manually create the individual record it parses fine.

So, I’m importing this: Google Search
e.g. the above in markdown as [ x ]( x )

I have a ton of records and doing this manually cell by cell will be difficult.

I’ve tried clearing my history, logging out/in, and refreshing the page many times with no change. I have also tried manually copy/pasting CSV, as well as using the CSV import block both as a new table and by replacing existing data. Nothing is working.

Thanks!

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Difficult to assess the issue without seeing an actual fragment of the CSV including the markdown content.

Hi Thanks Bill. Here’s a sample of an article and author:

Why Don’t We Know Who the Coronavirus Victims Are?
Ibram X. Kendi

which in markdown is:

[Why Don’t We Know Who the Coronavirus Victims Are?](https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/stop-looking-away-race-covid-19-victims/609250/)
[Ibram X. Kendi](https://www.theatlantic.com/author/ibram-x-kendi/)

And how is that markdown snippet formatted in a CSV column? Screenshot or text will do.

I also need to know how you are importing CSV data - through the API? A block? A custom script block? Copy/paste?

Here’s a snippet. I also tried saving as a CSV after changing the encoding to Unicode(UTF-8) and that didn’t have any effect.

image

I assume those two fields are being imported into Long Text fields (each) and the markdown setting is enabled.

Correct - this is not an encoding issue. Okay - so here’s the real issue:

Airtable Markdown is not as markdowny as John Gruber’s Markdown.

If you manually create the example link you shared in a rich text field and then use a script block to examine the actual contents of the field, you will see that it really looks like this:

"[Why Don’t We Know Who the Coronavirus Victims Are?][1] [1]: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/stop-looking-away-race-covid-19-victims/609250/ "

… and, it displays like this (I believe this is what you hope to achieve):

image

Ergo, Airtable is expecting a very different Markdown format. I also verified that I generally create my Markdown-enabled content in Airtable using this oddball Markdown format. I have done this via the API as well as Script Blocks and Custom Blocks.

My assessment is that you cannot import true Markdown content into Airtable via any means including CSVs, APIs, or Script Blocks; it simply has no [apparent] capacity to interpret true Markdown links.

What’s the Remedy?

Unless you can transform the CSV before import, or build a script or bypass CSV altogether and use the API, you aren’t going to get the links you want.

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OK nice Bill! Thanks for checking that. Just learned another something new today :). I may have to manually create this batch. I had to do that for the other items on my site at CivicTip.com so I’ll get to this asap.

FWIW, the code you show looks similar to the Link Reference in the Links section here: https://support.airtable.com/hc/en-us/articles/360044741993 and I’m going to take a quick shot at that but, that type of reference is typically used in a research paper and not so much a table. Odd option.

Thanks again!

Correct, and that’s why I modified the suggested link format to display the linked text (and only the text) like this -

image

Oh ok, so I missed your suggestion and appreciate that. I’ll give it a whirl.

Very nice work Bill. Is OpenAir your company?

Here’s the results.

Thanks again!

Noooooo… that’s Dan’s company (@openside).

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