Possible to Automate the Creation of Linked Records?

Topic Labels: Automations
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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I am working on documenting a language.

I have a base with two tables.

The primary field for the first table is “Words”.
Examples of records in this field: Car, Day

The primary field for the second table is “Phrases”.
Examples of records in this field: new car, fast car, cloudy day, day of rest

I want to create a linked field on the first table so that I can see all the phrases that contain the word.

So, in the row for “car”, I want a record that will show me “new car” and “fast car”.

I know how to link tables. It’s quite easy.

I want to know if it’s possible to automate this.

Right now, it’s quite cumbersome. I have to go into the linked field and manually add all the phrases that I want.

I want to automate this so whenever a phrase is added on the second table that has a certain word in it (that matches to a word on the first table), it will automatically pop up in the linked field on the first table.

Is this possible? If so, how can I accomplish this?
Thank you very much in advance for any help!

2 Replies 2

There may be a way to do this using the help of an integration service like Zapier or Integromat. Aside from that, the best I can come up with involves a slight change to your process. Rather than manually build links from the [Words] table to the [Phrases] table, work the other way around, and let Airtable help with the link building.

In your [Phrases] table, add a formula field (I called mine {Split}) that replaces the spaces in your phrases with comma-space combos, like so:

SUBSTITUTE(Phrases, " ", ", ")

Next to this, add a link field that points to your [Words] table, and which allows for linking to multiple records. We’ll get to that in a moment.

Now start filling up your main {Phrases} field as you like, watching the split phrases appear in the adjacent field:


Once you’ve got a bunch of phrases built, copy the contents of the relevant entries in the {Split} field, and paste them into the adjacent field linking to your [Words] table. The end result should look like this:


Now jump to your [Words] table, and each word will be linked to the relevant phrases. Airtable will even make new records for words that didn’t previously exist. When I started this, I only had a “car” record. Airtable added the other three:


It’s still a manual process, but now it’s just copying and pasting from one field to another, and letting Airtable take care of the links.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer


Thank you so much!

I’m extremely grateful. I was able to apply your solution quite easily! The one manual step involved isn’t all that onerous.

Thanks again.