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Scott_Brasted
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

I use Airtable for my small property management business. I have to send a list of customers and some data about them to my insurance agent every year as part of the renewal process for my liability insurance. Insurance companies do not want electronic views of databases. They want hard copies. Paper. To do this, it appears that I have to spend a considerable amount of money to use another application to get my data out of Airtable.

Is there a way to print a view or an Interface, or send a pdf of the info, or an email that can be printed? If not, then Airtable has become of no value to me. I need to communicate the way my vendors do. A cannot bend to them to using systems they do not want. I am a very small company. They are very large.

If there is away, would someone please let me know how to go about it?

Many thanks, Scott

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ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Unfortunately, Airtable does not support printing anything at this time, outside of the very limited Page Designer extension, which can only print documents that don't exceed one page. However, Page Designer cannot be automated in any way.

So yes, as you said, most users need to use external tools to print documents from Airtable. Two of the popular options are DocuMint and DocsAutomator, and of course you can use Make to create documents with Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or any other document-creation app.

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7 Replies 7
ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Unfortunately, Airtable does not support printing anything at this time, outside of the very limited Page Designer extension, which can only print documents that don't exceed one page. However, Page Designer cannot be automated in any way.

So yes, as you said, most users need to use external tools to print documents from Airtable. Two of the popular options are DocuMint and DocsAutomator, and of course you can use Make to create documents with Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or any other document-creation app.

Scott_Brasted
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Thank you for your information and recommendations. I find it hard to continue with Airtable because it appears from my prospective as a small business owner that all they are in business to do is to either get you to upgrade to a plan that is way out of financial reach for someone like me or to get other vendors business by saying  we can't do that but so and so can for $49 per month. It is not feasible to constantly add monthly charges to get something as simple as a csv export of data. That is something I could do in 1985 on a pre-386 intel based dos machine. Thanks for your input, I'm done venting. Best, Scott

I have to generate a lot of paper reports out of the data we keep in Airtable, and initially we did not have any budget for add-on services. Here are some methods I use:

  • within a base view, use the ∨ down arrow by the view name and select "print view". This is very clunky, but if you don't have too many fields/columns and play around with both the airtable and your printer settings, you can probably get a decent looking grid printout
  • use Page Designer, with a custom size defined to be as many pages as you need. This can also be pretty clunky and requires playing around with the margins both in Page Designer and your printer setup, but it is possible to get multipage printouts this way
  • Use Page designer, format for a single record, and then select "print all records in a list" which will also give you a multipage document. This tends to be the least clunky. If you issue the same type of report frequently, it's worth taking the time to set up a Page Designer block this way
  • Copy and paste data from Airtable to Google sheets/Excel/Google Docs/Word, then do your formatting and printing from there. This gives the most control over the final output but, for me at least, always produces feelings of rage that it's 2023 and I'm still having to copy/paste between applications. 
  • I haven't tried this yet (because I've made decent page designer setups for our current reporting needs) but it seems like it's now possible to automate some creation of google docs and sheets, so if your formatting needs aren't too complex, you might be able to get your data into report templates in those apps via the integrated Airtable automations

None of the above are perfect. I'm planning to move our reports over to a 3rd party document service when I have time (... and when I decide if our small Enterprise level org is going to stay on airtable or move to a different platform...)

 

It is not feasible to constantly add monthly charges to get something as simple as a csv export of data.

You were talking about printing, not exporting CSV files. You don't have to add monthly charges to get a CSV export of data, since that is built into Airtable. Also, Liz gave you some good free printing ideas above as well.

To be fair, OP wasn't really "talking about printing". He needs to "send a list of customers and some data about them to my insurance agent …to get my data out of Airtable." And therefore was wondering about "a way to print a view or an Interface, OR send a pdf of the info, OR an email that can be printed." 

Your initial solution latched on to Airtable's inability to print without mentioning that the easiest and certainly cheapest solution for achieving his goal of sending an annual customer list would be to export the data as csv (as you say, a built-in feature), open it in a spreadsheet editor and modify as necessary before printing-to-PDF. 

Thanks for mentioning DocsAutomator @ScottWorld ! 

Sergio
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast
Hey!
 
I can recommend using the Plumsail Documents extension to create documents from Airtable. Plumsail Documents is an application for generating documents from templates. All you have to do is customize your template once and choose the delivery method for the PDF (DOCX, XLSX, or PPTX)  document created based on Airtable.
 
You can add the Plumsail Documents extension button in the Airtable interface to your database and with one click create documents from Airtable data in PDF or other Microsoft Office format. 
 
There is a detailed tutorial on how to do this, and there is also a video: