Struggling with Output - Page Designer PDF or Embed HTML Nothing Working for me

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

I’ve been banging my head here for a bit and ready to give up. I am trying to get Page designer PDF output and copy paste it into a word document. I only want three text fields. Name, Title, Description.

The output from PDF has a variety of problems if copy past to a new document.

  • All kinds of corrupted characters, combos of “fi” appear to be vectors, not text. So all kinds of words have issues. Dan Gri􀂣ths , 􀂡lled

  • Line Breaks throughout the Description text block. Should be clean text.

I tried galley with an embed to see if I could copy/paste html from the embed but the Desctiption field is truncated.

I can’t figure this out, is there any way I can get clean output other than CSV.

So far the best result is to export PDF, then convert PDF to Word using an online service. This fixes the line breaks but still have corrupted characters and bookmarks. Open new word in Google docs, copy into notepad ++ and back to clean up a bunch of other stuff and I’m finally at clean text the way it should be.

Sample output from the Page Designer PDF.

Brandon Full
Witness to the removal of a variety of debris. Wire Spools, sheets of plywood, bed springs, various metal 
and broken chairs.,
Image shows a variety of debris. Wire Spools, sheets of plywood, bed springs, various metal and broken 
chairs., Image shows a
variety of debris. Wire Spools, sheets of plywood, bed springs, various metal and broken chairs. Nail and 
glass 􀂡lled primative
rock 􀂡repit.
Labor - Set Fence Posts on
7 Replies 7
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Looks like it’s not translating Unicode characters correctly. Do you have to use PDFs, or could you get the data in some other way?

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hi Michael, no, in this case I don’t need a pdf, I just want the text. I guess that is my point. Is there another way to get this data out of airtable, short of using an api? I’m new here but trying but feel like I’m missing something. At a minimum I’m looking for a way to just output the fields to text or even html. Is there a page designer to create an html embed or xml output?

The fact that the output of airtable text output is corrupted is really troublesome though. This is text that was entered directly into an airtable text field and comes out different.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I just started using Airtable and have the same problem. The other means of exporting text aren’t as convenient to me as the ability to print pdf and then extract the text from if. This seems like an issue that wouldn’t be too difficult to solve for the developers.

10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

Generally speaking, text copied from a PDF will paste incorrectly. This happens for me no matter the source of the PDF.

When copying text directly out of an Airtable field, I’ve found that sometimes quotes are added around the text, but other than that it seems to be somewhat reliable.

Could you make use of rollup fields to get the text you want? Depending on your base set-up, you might be able to create a workaround with some creative linking and formulas to get only what you need in certain fields.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

OMG, this was a great idea!

I ended up making a “summary” field that sums up the information from several fields of one record into one text block.

I used markdown language to mark the headings and subheadings and “\n” to mark the line breaks.

Since Airtable marks the text fields with quotation marks (“this is content of one text field”, “this is the content of the second text field”, “etc”) and I have also other quotation marks in my text, I added letters ÅÅ in the beginning and in the end of my formula to help me out with the clean up. I will never use a word where I would have double ÅÅs.

Some of the fields will be empty in some records and therefore don’t require subheadings. I used if-formula to make sure that only on those records where there is something in the “additional idea tbd”-field the “Notes, ideas and questions” heading is added.

Here’s the formula I used:

"ÅÅ"&"\n"&IF({Additional ideas tbd}=BLANK(),"#"&{Scene number}&" "&Name&"\n"&"\n"&{Scene content},"#"&{Scene number}&" "&Name&"\n"&"\n"&{Scene content}&"\n"&"\n"&"##"&"Notes, ideas and questions"&"\n"&"\n"&{Additional ideas tbd})&"\n"&"ÅÅ"

I then copied in the Grid-view only the cells in summary column from my Airtable. I pasted them as “text only” directly to Ulysses app, because it supports Markdown-language. I could have used the regular Text app too.

Then I used find-replace to clean up


and double “” and some weird \ added by Airtable to the text.

I used this Airtable base to plot a tv series I’m writing (i.e. the storylines, scenes, backstory etc.). I need to export the scene information in a format where I can send it to the producers and the director. Later I’ll import the text to my screenwriting software.

I can export the text as formatted text from Ulysses to Word or PDF etc. where it would look like this:


Explanation of what happens in the scene. This can be very long with many line breaks as this is a synopsis for a scene.

Notes, ideas and questions

Here I may have some notes, ideas and questions for my co-writer and our producers and the director who read the notes.

This was much faster way to export the text than trying to extract the text from PDF AND allowed me to use Markdown language, which helps separating the headings and subheadings etc.

So thank you again for inspiration, Neads_Admin! ❤️

Yay! You’re so welcome! Glad you were able to work it out :slightly_smiling_face:

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I think if the Long Text field has rich text formatting enabled, it doesn’t print to PDF as text. If rich text formatting is disabled, then I can copy that text out of the pdf.
I don’t know why and I would prefer to be able to have rich text formatting to send out as part of information packets I am sending.