Re: Creating a Multi-Line Dynamic Length Invoice/PO In Google Docs

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Been doing a fair amount of searching but have not come up with quite the answer I’m hoping is out there.

I have a base with a couple tables to manage Inventory, ordering, receiving, etc. For now I’m mostly concerns with the ordering.

Table 1 is inventory, a list of items we have ordered and/or create a new line for when we add something new ie we have shovels, gloves, bolts, nails and if I were to place an order for some 2x4s, I could add the line

Table 2 is the Purchase Order list, with each PO getting a Unique ID that is the purchaser’s initials followed by an autonumber. This has a linked record to the vendors table and a multiple linked record field to the line item detail table. All POs are linked to one vendor and possibly lots of line items.

Table 3 is line item detail. This links line items to a particular PO and also links the inventory item to the line item (this allows we to order 100 nails 5 different times on 5 different POs and increase the inventory qty up to 500). All line items are linked to a single PO and a single inventory item (or a newly created item).

Table 4 is vendor info with name, contact, billing, etc.

I have figured out (pretty easily) how to build a very basic purchase order in page designer, but it seems to be limited when my purchase order gets to be many line items and needs to spill onto multiple pages (construction company, we often order 100+ items at a time depending on what it is).

I have watched a few videos on airtable + zapier + google docs which mostly center around capturing a single line item for an invoice or purchase order, but what I’d like to have is a dynamic length, multi line purchase order such that if I order 5 things, it’s just a 1-page doc. If I order 150 things, it might be 4 pages with the signature fields and such pushing all the way to the end. Then hoping to trigger the PDF creation and deposit that PDF back as the airtable attachment (saw how to do that too). Ultimately that whole process would be triggered by a button on the PO table #2 to execute creating the PO when it’s ready.

Building the table I’ve got, but connecting what amounts to multiple tables to a single page is where I’m losing it. I imagine there has to be a pretty solid example out there somewhere as this is a common scenario, but so far I have not found it. If anyone could point me in the right direction on what to configure in zapier to look at the PO record and pull data from all linked line item records (or a good example/sample/video/whatever), that would be much appreciated. The multi-line item is tripping me up.

Bonus points if anyone has any good rec’s for a way to have a native mobile app interface that could enter data for the POs (miniextensions seems to have what I need in web app form). Playing around with appsheet to see if that can serve the purpose.

Thanks in advance.

3 Replies 3

With Google Docs and Zapier, you would have to loop through all of your line items to add them onto your document. I don’t have any specific examples of this, although I find it much easier to work with Integromat instead of Zapier because they have built-in looping capabilities and 100% full Airtable support. (Note that I am a professional Airtable consultant and a Registered Integromat Partner, and the Integromat link contains my personal referral code.)

However, it might be significantly easier & quicker to do this with a tool like DocuMint, which is a tool specifically designed for what you’re trying to do. DocuMint natively lets you design PDF files that support an unlimited number of line items from an Airtable invoice, Airtable purchase order, etc.

The only downside (compared to the free Google Docs) is that there is a monthly cost if you create more than 15 documents per month. Although you can create an unlimited number of free test documents per month that have a DocuMint watermark on them.

DocuMint is a new service so they’re still building out their support documentation, but if you email their support team, they will send you some excellent demo videos on how to set all of this up. It’s really quick & easy & painless.

p.s. If you have a budget for this project and you’d like to hire an expert Airtable consultant & Registered Integromat Partner to help you with any of the above, please feel free to contact me through my website at

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hey Spencer, I’m trying to do something very similar. Did you ever figure out a way to do this, or did you find a third-party tool that worked really well? Also a construction guy trying to bring some much needed automation to this paper-based world.

Airtable recently announced the very basic Google Docs Document Automator. It doesn’t do much & it doesn’t do it very well, but it might be enough for your needs:

Otherwise, 3rd-party apps are the only way to go, unfortunately. In addition to DocuMint (which I previously mentioned above), here are 2 other popular 3rd-party tools for this:

And there are tons of other document-creation tools on the market as well (PlumSail, Formstack Documents, and more), all of which can be automated with