Auto-populate fields with default values for imported records?

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I want certain fields in my table to auto-populate with the designated default values I've given them. 

While it is working as expected when I add records manually, it does not work when I import records. 

I am trying to avoid using automations as I want to keep my automation runs low, and this particular use case would cause them to run up rather quickly. 

Anyone else run into a similar issue? Thanks! 

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Unfortunately, Airtable’s default values only work when a human is manually creating each record manually with their own mouse and keyboard manually. 

If you’d like, you could use Airtable’s new “record template” feature to manually right-click on records and apply default values to a bunch of fields at once. But once again, that requires manual human intervention.

You could also write a script in a script extension, but again, you’d have to manually trigger the script. 

So automations are the only way to go.

But as you mentioned, Airtable’s automation runs have low limits with no ability to purchase any more runs.

This is one of the reasons why I always recommend Make to everybody. It’s my favorite automation & integration platform, and you can buy as many automation runs as you’d like. You can use Make’s CSV modules to automatically parse CSV files that you drop into a cloud drive somewhere, and then you can import all of those records into Airtable with the default values that you specify.

There can be a bit of a learning curve with Make, which is why I created this basic navigation video for Make, along with providing the link to Make’s free training courses. 

If the data's never edited, perhaps you could use a formula field to consolidate it? 

E.g. let's say you have "Field A".  You could make a formula field that would display the value in "Field A" if there was such a value, and if there wasn't you could make it display "Default Value"

Pretty clunky, but if the data's never modified it could work maybe