Form answer -> Page designer -> PDF as "Send email action" attachment

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer


I am looking for fairly simple workflow:

  1. User fills a from
  2. User Receives an email with a file with their answers with some minimal formating

Airtable has a page designer that has some bare bones features that are sufficient for my use case. On my action “Send email” I would love to be able to select my attachment as a “page designer PDF” form the same record.

All the parts are there but I just cant see the integration between apps and actions. Am I blind? It really looks like I am missing it rather than it being missing.

P.S. Formstack has an app that generates PDF into an file type fields but I can’t find a way to tiger it on new record creation…

4 Replies 4

You are not blind! Airtable is a highly dysfunctional product in many different areas.

There is zero communication between automations and apps, and there is almost no communication between buttons and apps.

Apps essentially stand alone in their own little island, and they can only be acted upon by the user manually.

If you use automations, you can only use one of the limited email actions that are built into automations, because apps can not be automated in any way.

For any other sort of automation — such as automating Airtable with Formstack Documents and then sending a email with a formatted PDF to your users — you would either need to:

(1) custom write your own JavaScript code to communicate between Airtable & external APIs (and this CAN be automated)
(2) use an external low-code/no-code automation platform like Integromat.

(Note that I am a professional Airtable consultant and a Registered Integromat Partner, and the Integromat link contains my personal referral code.)

Welcome to the community, @Povilas_Sidaravicius! :grinning_face_with_big_eyes: To give an example of what @ScottWorld is talking about (which might work for you with some adaptation), I built my own invoicing system in Airtable, including automatic creation and emailing of invoice PDFs. In my case, I create the PDF layout as HTML using Airtable formula fields. When it’s time to send the invoice, an automation runs and calls an Integromat webhook. The Integromat scenario pulls the HTML data from Airtable and sends it to CloudConvert, which has an HTML-to-PDF option. The resulting PDF file is added to an attachment field in Airtable, which then triggers another automation to email the PDF to the client.

If you’re okay with simplifying the process a bit you could skip the PDF altogether and just send the form answers to the user in a plain email using one of the built-in email automation actions.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Well this is a mess. I migrated to google forms with a simple appscript flinging emails and sending PDFs to people using a google doc as a template.

I am trying to make it, so people who can not code would be able to edit as much as possible and the google doc that I use as template for PDF will most likely see some action so I can not use HTML for and setting up a HTML file editing with it’s own visual editing or conversion from word… To many places where it can go wrong.

Will keep watching this thread if anything changes as Airtable still have reference fields and file uploading as killer features that I would consider using it over Google Forms.

I ran a brief test a few months ago using Integromat to send Airtable data to a Google document template and generate a PDF from that, and the basic process worked really well. The only issue that I ran into for my use case is that I wanted to create a document structure that couldn’t be easily built/populated using the available template options. For a simple document, though, this would probably work well. The basic process would then look like this:

  • A record is added to Airtable as the result of a user filling a form
  • The new record triggers an Integromat scenario, which then…
    • Sends data from the record to a Google document template
    • Saves the document as a PDF
    • Adds the document to the triggering Airtable record as an attachment
  • The attachment arriving in Airtable triggers an automation that sends it to the user via email

No code. If changes are made to the Google document template, you may need to change the Integromat scenario to ensure that the Airtable data is sent to the template correctly.