Recognizing a string as an entry in a linked table


So I’m building a base that, among other things, records contractor time. Our data is imported regularly as a CSV and each record corresponds to an accomplished task. Each task-record has the contractor’s name as a string, as well as the start and end times of that task.

I was hoping to be able to keep track of my contractors in a separate table where we will also record each contractor’s hourly rate. I know I can use a lookup to access the hourly rate from the linked record - but is there a way to setup the base to automatically recognized the imported contractor name-string and then link it to the corresponding contractor?


If your [Contractor] table has as its primary field a name-string that matches the one being imported, then, yes: Define that field as a linked-record field pointing to [Contractor]. Airtable will convert strings imported into that field as a link to an existing record of that name; if no matching string is found, it will create a new [Contractor] record.

The only caveat (well, main caveat) is that you can only import a single linked record. That is to say, while you could copy-and-paste ‘Record1, Record2’ into a linked-record field and have Airtable create a link to ‘Record1’ and a link to ‘Record2’, if you import that value, Airtable will create a link to a single record whose primary field is ‘Record1, Record2’.

Actually, now I think about it, this reply comes with its own caveat: Namely, I have not tested this using the Import CSV Block since that block was modified to update, rather than replace, existing records. There is a possibility its behavior has changed.


Thank you! This is excellent!