I have what seems like a very basic and common need for the Page Designer block, but it doesn’t seem possible without some kluge-y workarounds. I just want to confirm my understanding and see how others are addressing this issue.
As we all know, from any given view of a table, it’s possible to print that view with all its unique sorting, filtering, column display, and other attributes. This is a quick and easy way to get your sliced-and-diced table into hard copy or PDF for sharing with others, but it has limited formatting capabilities. Helpfully, however, the little print dialog in Airtable tells us we should consider the Page Designer block to create “completely custom print layouts.” This sounds promising, and I have the Pro plan, so let’s go check that out.
When I go over to the Page Designer block, I see that I can set up some very nice record-centric views using not only the data from the table I was in, but even other tables linked to the primary table. That’s great, but as far as I can tell, each of these is designed for you to look at one record at a time (yes, I see the suggestion that I can create a bunch of business card sized layouts and print a grid of them to a letter- or legal-sized sheet, but that’s not what I’m talking about).
Is there no easy way to just get my table view, which I’ve already spent so much time filtering and tweaking, over to the Page Designer block so I can make it pretty? This seems like such a common use case that I’m wondering if I’m just missing the functionality. Conceivably everybody Airtable user could have use for a nicely-formatted one-page printed list of a dynamic subset of records meeting certain criteria (lists of customers, prospects, or employees; product/inventory listings; task lists; status lists; basically any filtered table in an Airtable base). If Page Designer is essentially helpful only for one record at a time, why do we see it misleadingly referenced on the view print dialog? The print dialog suggests Page Designer is an enhancement to what people are trying to do by producing their filtered table of multiple records on a single printout.
So far the best workaround I’ve seen is creating a second table (table B) with a cell linking the subset of records from table A that you want to see in your Page Designer layout. From there you can define a table in Page Designer using the columns from table A that you need in your Page Designer layout, which is actually driven by the cell you made in table B. As far I can tell this has many problems (table B cell needs manual creation and manual updating, proliferation of table tabs for each report you want, we already did much of the work setting up the view in table A, etc.). Similarly, we can export a filtered view to a CSV and format away in Excel or elsewhere, but who wants to do that?
Am I missing something, or is there a better workaround than what I’ve suggested? Or maybe is there another report creator I should be looking at that can easily pull in a particular Airtable view, either directly or via Zapier?