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Allow photo attachments to be exported

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Global1
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

It seems that there is no way to get photos attached to records to export. I use a lot of photos - images are a key reason that I turned to AirTable. But it is frustrating that I can’t back the photo aspects of my work to my hard drive.

Photo exports could also help AirTable work better in a contact database capacity.

9 Comments
Elias_Gomez_Sai
13 - Mars
13 - Mars
Brenda_Ginsberg
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Was a solution ever identified to export images? This would be VERY helpful and I have a need to use it today, so hoping someone may have found a solution. Thanks so much.

Moe
10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

We built this tool: miniextensions.com/Bulk-Download-Attachments. It allows you to export all images (or any attachments) into a single zip file.

miniextensions.com_Bulk-Download-Attachments

Shelby_Rutedge
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I am having an issue where when I export to excel, the images do not export along with the data in my excel. Athough the apps to export the images to a folder are great, I need the photos to stay in the excel. Is there any solution to this?

Kat_Dalager
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Two years later. Are we able to export images to Excel without paying for an app yet?

E_Herman
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Same issue. Waiting for simple soultion

Alexey_Gusev
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

Hi,
for Windows you can use formula (doc - fieldname)
then copy whole column to .CMD file and run it


IF(doc, SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(
  'curl -o "' &doc,
  '(https:','" https:'
  ),')',''),
  ',',' & curl -o "')
)
E_Herman
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Thank you for the reply and suggestion :slightly_smiling_face:
I use a MacOS, but suspect there is a similar approach.
Thank you!

ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

I have some ideas to help people with this topic:

One great solution is to use On2Air: Backups, which exports all of your records & full attachments to a cloud drive, along with links to your full attachment files (photos, images, PDFs, etc.).

Additionally, there is a fully-automated way to export your Airtable records to a Google Sheets spreadsheet along with their attachments, but it requires using an external automation tool (like my personal favorite Make.com), or it requires knowledge of writing JavaScript code.

I don’t know JavaScript, so I can only outline how to do this in a “no-code” way that doesn’t require writing programming code.

This solution also requires cloud storage space, just like On2Air: Backups does. The reason for this is because the current Google Sheets API does not currently support inserting actual files (images, photos, PDFs, etc.) into cells. Yes, a human can MANUALLY insert files into cells by logging into the Google Sheets website and manually inserting one photo at a time, but Google’s current API (version 4) does not support automating this functionality on your behalf.

So the workaround for this is to store your files in the cloud somewhere, and then reference the URL of those images in your spreadsheet using Google Sheets’ IMAGE function. (Note that your folder of images must be publicly-accessible so Google Sheets can see it.)

Google Sheets’ IMAGE function looks like this:
=IMAGE("https://www.example.com/photo.jpg")

A few notes here:

  • Your image file needs to be permanently accessible at the URL that you specify. If the file is no longer available that URL, then the image will disappear from Google Sheets.
  • As I mentioned above, your image file needs to be in a publicly-accessible folder in order for Google Sheets to see it.
  • You cannot use Airtable’s URLs for this, because starting in November 2022, Airtable URLs will expire in 2 hours from the time that an attachment URL is accessed from outside of Airtable.
  • I don’t know how Excel handles this, because most of my spreadsheet experience is with Google Sheets. So I can only speak about this from the Google Sheets perspective. I’m assuming that Excel handles this nearly identically to Google.

Below are extensive step-by-step screenshots of what this Make.com scenario would look like.

In the first screenshot, I show what the entire 4-step scenario could look like. Then, underneath that, I give more detailed instructions & screenshots for each step.

Screen Shot 2022-09-10 at 12.19.09 PM

  1. Search for the Airtable records that have attachments.

Screen Shot 2022-09-10 at 12.19.47 PM

  1. Download the attachment from Airtable’s URL. (To make this example as easy as possible, my example only supports one attachment per record.)

Screen Shot 2022-09-10 at 12.20.44 PM

  1. Upload each record’s attachment to a publicly-accessible folder in a cloud storage drive, such as Google Drive or Dropbox or Box. The folder you use must be publicly-accessible.

Screen Shot 2022-09-10 at 12.21.48 PM

  1. Add each Airtable record into a new row in your spreadsheet, and use the IMAGE function to make the attachment appear directly in your spreadsheet. (Again, this won’t work unless your image was put into a publicly-accessible folder in #3 above.)

Screen Shot 2022-09-10 at 12.22.18 PM

And that’s it!

Now you’ve got all of your records in a Google Sheets spreadsheet, with full attachments visible within your spreadsheet.