Re: Exporting sheets to PDFs and CSV files include clickable web links

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hello. I have a roster of influencers that I need to share with potential clients/brands. I thought the easiest way to share info with my clients would be to select the relevant content in my sheet and export it into a PDF or CSV file to share with the clients. This means that unfortunately the weblinks, instragram links etc that are on my sheet do not carry through to the PDF or CSV file as clickable - is there a way to do this? I am looking for the easiest, most time-efficient and attractive way to share my sheets information with clients for pitches etc.

12 Replies 12

Welcome to the community, @Georgina_Lippa! :grinning_face_with_big_eyes: I’m guessing you’ve tried the Page Designer block, which (unfortunately) won’t create clickable links when exporting a page to PDF. One other option to consider is to use a service like Integromat to build the PDF from an HTML source. In other words, create some fields that convert the data from your table into formatted HTML, including making live links from the URLs in your data. Create a scenario in Integromat that extracts the HTML and builds a PDF document using the “HTML to PDF” module. I do this to build my business invoices. Before today, though, I hadn’t tried including clickable links anywhere in the page, but I just ran a quick test and it worked.

@Georgina_Lippa, I’ll go out on a limb here and say - use Airtable.

  1. Create a view that has only the relevant data.
  2. Share the view using the private link option.
  3. Email the link to all clients.
  4. Fix a margarita and relax.


Am I missing something?

In Chrome, when I print a Page Designer block to PDF, the links are clickable from Acrobat Viewer…

Thanks for following up on that. I only went so far as to test adding a URL field to a Page Designer layout, and didn’t see a live link, so assumed (poorly) that it likewise wouldn’t be live in the export.

@Georgina_Lippa Clearly you’ve got several options to play with, depending on how you want to share the data with your clients.

Actually, URL fields in Page Designer should be live links.

Load this shared view of a block from [a copy of] my Black Mirror base. The URL in the lower left of the large light-gray block should be an active hyperlink. I’m using Chrome under Windows 10; YMMV…

Just tested it in one of my existing bases, and sure enough, they’re live. I was expecting more of a visual cue (color change and/or underline) to make it obvious, and was only looking in editing mode to see if this cue would appear. Admittedly I was in a rush, and made lots of assumptions based on what I saw…or rather, didn’t see. My apologies for any confusion this caused.

This is a useful option, but speaking for myself, I’d want a static copy of the information I’m sending to coworkers/clients. AFAIK, there’s no way that folks with the linked view will be notified if data is changed. It could get confusing down the line if record contents are ever edited.

@RathaiM, I think you’re conflating two different requirements -

  1. The need to share access to information
  2. The need to be notified when [shared] information changes

The former ($1) was the topic of this question and sharing the link to a view shaped for those data consumers is achieved.

The latter (#2) is another business requirement that is sometimes very important.

There are many ways to inform people of change even when they’re offline or largely distracted. But to achieve this the recipients must be named users in the scope of Airtable (or any other app for that matter). Without identity, there is no way to (a) allow them to opt-in to notifications and (b) know where to send such notifications.

Named users (i.e., authenticated users) are known and can be sent direct notifications that alert them to recent changes. Anonymous link sharing does not have the ability to provide this. So, if you want people to know what’s changing, they must become named users on the Airtable platform.

To meet your requirement a shared view to actual Airtable users would give them a far better opportunity to know when something has changed.

You also mentioned “static” - like a snapshot in your message. Currently Airtable has no ability to freeze the data in time (that I know of). Only tools such as ElasticSearch/Kibana can easily achieve this.

In that case, sending a PDF of a Page Designer Block would give you an audit trail of what you provided the user. Admittedly, Airtable’s ‘everything is dynamic’ design makes some things extremely difficult — but, then, storage these days is cheap, so you can always save a copy of whatever you send as an attachment. If you need to track multiple revisions over time, save it as an attachment to a linked record; you can use CREATED_TIME() and LAST_MODIFIED_TIME() together to guard against alterations…

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

thank you all for your comments / solutions, I guess I should have clarified I want to do it in KanBan view - so that I can basically send an attractive looking PDF document to potential clients (hence why I wasn’t choosing the share link option. I’ll have a play around with your suggested solutions and see what I come up with. Apologies for my delayed response thanking you all - I work a 3 day week so been off line for a few days!

Yeah, I don’t think you can click on links directly in kanban view: The first click opens that particular card, and the next follows the URL. However, you could possibly create a multi-record Page Designer Block, each containing a URL, and print that to PDF. I’ll have to see if I can knock out a quick version to demonstrate…

Edit: OK, it works. I tossed together a quick page of Page Designer blocks based on a filtered view from my Music Library demo base, printed it to PDF, and the links are active. That’s the good news. The bad news is that if you were using the kanban view to convey information based on column, rather than just as a pretty interface, you’ll have to play around a bit with your blocks to maintain that information. Still, perhaps you can find a scheme that allows you to do both…

Here’s the quick demo PDF…

great - thanks so much for trying this out and sharing with me. Will start having a play around and see what I can come up with. Appreciate your help.