Linking Two tables together

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast


I am having trouble linking two tables together. I think I know how to create a new field in a given table (let’s call it Table A), and link another table (Table B) but when I do, the new field in Table A is not being populated from Table B.

Can anyone help?

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Welcome to the community, @OTF_Admin! :grinning_face_with_big_eyes: An important thing to note about Airtable link fields is that they aren’t automatic. Building a link field in [Table A] that points to [Table B] won’t automatically bring in anything from [Table B] into [Table A]. It simply gives you the option of creating your own links between specific records in [Table A] to specific records in [Table B].

If you could describe the end result you’re trying to achieve, perhaps we can help you find a way to get there, and help you understand more about Airtable’s tools along the way.

Hi Justin -

Thanks so much for your response. So, in the end, I’m trying to get the unique number of participants who came to a particular project.

I have a base for the organization.

I have a tab for Participants where each person is unique.

I have a tab for Projects and in that - a field where staff note which participants attended the project. But the participants are mentioned more than once if they attended multiple times.

I had tried to put in a field in the Participant tab that links to Project tab to find out which projects that participant came to, then filter in Participants for those who came to that event and it will be a unique list.

Does this make sense? Feel free to advise differently! New to Airtable.


Yes, that makes sense, and you’re pretty close to what you want. The nice thing about link fields is that they essentially work two ways. When you create a link field in [Table A] pointing to [Table B], Airtable makes a matching field in the “target” table (B in this case) so you can see the incoming links from A, but the link isn’t a one-way street. With that link in place, you can create a new link in B pointing to a record in A, or the other way around.

In your case, you’ve linked your [Projects] and [Participants] tables, and have connected participants to specific projects. However, that same link allows you to work from the [Projects] table and add links to records in [Participants] just as easily.

So now let’s look at your goal:

Because of this link between tables, you can now add certain field types that specifically operate on linked fields. In this case, you want the number of participants linked to a given project. One of Airtable’s link-driven field types is the Count type, which does nothing more than count the number of links in a specific link field. By adding a Count field—named something like {# of Participants}—to your [Projects] table, and setting it to count links in the field connected to your [Participants] table, each project record in [Projects] will show its own participant count.