Re: WebMerge not processing Airtable lookup fields in PDF via Zapier

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I run a photo studio and am looking for a way to better streamline my rental contract creation. I know a little programming, but not enough it seems to pull off what I’m trying to do. Details below. Would love any help the community could provide.

I have created a long and detailed base of clients that I use for all my contacts. I want to track and associate sales with each client while simultaneously simplifying the creation of the contract I write for each booking/sale.

In my contact base, I created a form view of in which I can select the client via lookup field and then input manually the details of each sale/booking. I then created a Word document that I uploaded and configured the settings to in WebMerge. Next, I use Zapier to pull in the data from each new sale/booking and marry it into my Word doc and spit out a 4 page PDF contact that I can then email to my client.

Everything works perfectly EXCEPT for any fields that are pulled into the PDF via a lookup field in Airtable. Things like client name, address, email, etc. all come out in gibberish (eg: “receYScrwCdlFjZxk”).

Am I configuring something wrong or is it just not possible to pull in this data?

I’m also open to other solutions if this Airtable > WebMerge > Zapier flow is not feasible.

~ Geoffrey

5 Replies 5
10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

The linked fields only show useful data inside Airtable, what you’re looking at externally is the underlying key that references the record.

Most likely you’ll have to add the fields you want to use as extra lookups in your table.

7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

I have a very similar workflow of Airtable to WebMerge PDF via Zapier. The workaround I use for the issue you describe is simply to create a new formula field that converts the lookup field you want into a text value.

If “Contact” is the name of your field, just create a new formula field called “Contact_text”; then input {Contact} as your formula; then have WebMerge look for the field “Contact_text”

You could also use the concatenate formula to combine name, address, email, etc, into a single text value.

Hope that helps!

Thanks for your reply. I gave it a try, but couldn’t figure it out. Can you please give me some more details on how to write the formula. I don’t know how to do this.

I have the following fields that either don’t show in WebMerge or return gibberish.

Company - Linked field to “Clients” sheet in same table to pull in the following data
Usage - Lookup field
Contact Type - Lookup field
Client Address - Lookup field
Client Type - Lookup field
Client Email - Lookup field

What’s the syntax I would use?

Thanks for your help!
~ G

Hi Geoffrey, sorry for the delay.

I misunderstood your question the first time around. You said “lookup field”, but I thought you meant “linked field”.

Lookup fields work fine for me going from Airtable to WebMerge. For example, I have a lookup field called “FirstNameLookUp” and in the WebMerge .doc I just call for: {$FirstNameLookUp} and it pulls in the data just fine. If you’re getting gibberish results there, perhaps it’s a problem on the WebMerge side. Check with their support team; they’ve been very helpful to me in the past.

But if it’s the LINKED FIELD that’s returning gibberish, you may need to use a formula to turn that linked field into a text value, as I stated above. The formula is simple. For your linked field named “Company”, just create a new formula field and input {Company} into the formula configuration window.

Hope that helps. Good luck

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

To @Arlo_Haskell and anyone else reading this topic… I signed up for the beta “blocks” feature on Airtable and it solved my issue perfectly without having to use a third party service like Zapier or WebMerge. The editing tool leaves a lot to be desired, but once you get it set up, it works great. I look forward to this feature growing.