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A client of mine just discovered a small issue with Airtable when it comes to the “Send Record” command. (“Send Record” is the command you can choose when right-clicking on a record.)
If you have an attachment field as part of your record, Airtable will place a small thumbnail of your attachment in the outgoing email.
This is fantastic! 🙂
However, if your attachment field is actually a LOOKUP FIELD that displays an attachment, then the thumbnail is no longer placed in the outgoing email. Airtable just places a link to the attachment instead.
What’s interesting is that all other types of lookup fields (text, dates, numbers, etc.) seem to get placed in the outgoing email just fine — it seems like only attachments cause this issue.
Yes, I had the same issue with a client and it made me change the setup of the Base because of it!
I believe this is because a lookup field returns an array.
When you choose to send a record that directly contains an attachment, the attachment goes through fine because there’s no conversion needed. However, because a lookup field returns an array, Airtable needs to render the contents of that array in some readable fashion in the email. My hunch is that it applies the equivalent of an
ARRAYJOIN() on the lookup array, regardless of the type of items in the array, and that process normally renders the array as a comma-separated list of items. With most data types, this is no big deal. However, any time that an attachment is “rendered” by a formula or rollup, Airtable shows the attachment name and URL. Therefore, if the array items are attachments, you get their respective text equivalents instead of the actual attachments.
To fix this, Airtable would need to add some logic to recognize an array of attachments compared to an array of just about anything else, and render that attachment array differently.
Ah, that makes sense! Thanks for explaining the logic that is probably behind this!! :slightly_smiling_face:
Not the exact solution you’re looking for, but a workaround option would be to use this extension. It allows you to share any record as a link instead. It would include all attachments regardless where they’re coming from (whether they are lookups or not).