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Combine attachments

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Alex_Lidell
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I am using airtable to keep track of medical records. I’ve uploaded several X-rays of the same bone, but they all came in as separate records. Is there a way of combining all the images in a single record now? drag and drop isn’t working, and copy paste just replaces the one whole image with another. I need multiple images to be attached to one record. Any ideas?

13 Replies 13
drassi
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Yes, all the attachment fields support multiple uploads in the same field. You may need to click the plus button to the left of your existing attachment, to add a new one instead of replacing the old one. See screenshot:

05%20PM

Yes, you can have multiple images within the same attachment field for a single record.

However, as far as I know, there is no current way to move attachments from one record to another, if your attachment field is already in the exact same table as your other fields (which it sounds like it is).

As far as I know, you would need to download the attachments to your hard drive and then re-upload them into the appropriate record.

For future reference, a possibly better long-term solution might be to create an entirely new “Images” table. Then, from your main table (I’m assuming it’s some sort of a “Patients” table?), you could link to multiple images in the Images table. Then, if you ever needed to move images from one patient to another, you could simply re-link the existing image to a different patient.

Thank you! It sounds like there is no way of combining rather than re-uploading, right? <> is there another option if its in a different table?

Right, it sounds like you’ll need to re-upload.

However, if you’re still early on in the building of your database (i.e. your table isn’t much more than individual images in individual records at this point), you could change this table to become your “images” table.

Then, create another table to become your “patients” table (I’m assuming “patients” here). Then, you can manually link from the “patients” table to the images table — by manually linking multiple image attachments to each patient record.

Eric_Petersen
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

A similar concept:

Create a new Lookup field that points to the attachments / photos in another table.

It is a good way to look at your photos / attachments aggregated.

If you do not have linked records, you could make them linked following this method:

[Linking every record of one table to a single record of another]

Moe
10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

If you have attachments in different fields and you want to combine them all to be in one field, this tool allows you to do that directly in Airtable without having to download and upload any attachments.

Hi @Moe, Thanks! There also seems to be an additional need for an extension that does the OPPOSITE of this: taking multiple attachments from one record and extracting them into individual records in a linked table. There was a thread about this the other day that I tagged you in.

@ScottWorld I’ll see if that’s something we can build!

Hello, has this question on creating an opposite app been solved? I have the same need:

I use Airtable on my mobile/iPad to take photos when processing products for my store, however, I am hitting the max storage usage due to these photo attachments. I want to continue to be able to take the original photos through a single attachment field in a single record. Meaning, multiple photos in one attachment field in one record per product.

I’ve restructured my one base into many bases so I can separate out a processing product base, product base, inventory base, and published base (syncs to my online shop).

When I’ve marked the processing record as complete I have an automation that is triggered to create a new inventory record in my Inventory base. This record is now linked to the original record in the processing record base, has already been linked to an existing or new record in the product table in the product base, and when it is triggered to publish from the Inventory base - it gets added to the Published base. Here, I need to simultaneously be uploading each of those attachments from the original product processing record as new records in the Published base’s Image table. This is the first time the images get touched, since I want to avoid linking them in the inventory/product bases for the aforementioned storage reasons.

  • Is there a way to create this parsing of one attachment field with multiple attachments, into a new image record on a separate image table for each image, all still linked to the one processed product record I originally took the photos in?
  • Note that I can use the image URL, but I’m lost as how to extract the attachment images URLs from, say, a lookup field on my inventory table for those attachments. It seems like parsing would still need to occur. I could do this in Zapier, but if I can in Airtable that would be preferred.

Thank you,
TT

You might be able to do this in Airtable with either a custom JavaScript, or by creating a series of formula fields that break up the attachment URL’s into separate fields — and then have different automations handle the different URL fields. Others can probably guide you on these techniques, and I think there have been some threads in the forum about separating attachment URL’s into separate fields.

However, my personal recommendation for what I think is the easiest & simplest & quickest way to do this would be to just use Integromat, which is a no-code/low-code automation platform.

You could also do this with Zapier, but Integromat is easier, more powerful, and more affordable than Zapier. Integromat also offers full support for Airtable, whereas Zapier only offers partial support for Airtable.

In Integromat, you would do this by using the Iterator tool to loop through the attachments, and then you can do whatever you’d like with each attachment:

Hi, I know this is older post but hoping you can help. I am trying to merge attachments fields using miniextensions and I can’t get the look up field attachments to show. I have to copy and paste them in a new record. Any way I can get around doing that?

Mas
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

It would be great if someone can show the integromat scenario setup. I still haven’t worked out how to merge multiple attachments into one field.

itoldusoandso
10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

The iterator setup can be tricky for a user not familiar with Integromat. I used it for text and have spent couple of hours figure it out. You may be better to reach out to Integromat / Make community there, they have finally a forum setup so no need to use your facebook account to message them.

Anyhow, just a note, I found 2 more ways of doing the picture merge:

1. pictures to pictures separate using URL extension converter

 
Extension: Convert URLs to attachments
... and you may also need this here
 
Extension: Convert attachments to URLs
 
... or you use formulas to separate the URLs and cleanup the text to remove the brackets and file name (search Airtable forum for another forum post about how it is done). That's what I use and it gives me direct link to the picture file JPG etc.
 
Another reason why I prefer to use formulas to convert attachments to URLs is because I don't need to run anything (although it may a bit slow down the table) and also because the 3rd party extension seems not published by Airtable (while there is probably little risk as Airtable likely vets 3rd party extensions but if you are dealing with medical records that may be a little bit too much for you).
 
The extension needs to have the picture links separated into separate lines. 
 
2. Another way doing this (if you don't mind PDF) is converting all attachments into PDF:
 
Extension: PDF.co PDF Merger
 
This is a 3rd party service, it converts attachments to PDF and it seems it does it on the server. With the free or even paid service, I am not clear about data security since the encryption is not available for to cheaper accounts and that could be also an issue for medical records.