Pre-filling linked records IS possible in a form!

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

When using a form, you can pre-fill linked fields in forms by using the Record ID for the record you want into a single line text field instead of the actual name, then use Zapier, IFTTT, or (my personal favorite) Integromat to update the linked field with that record ID. I realize it’s cumbersome, but you just have to have it, it works. I do this for several of my forms.

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hey Patrick,

Thanks for this tip. That could be really useful going forward for a scenario I have where users add order lines to an an order and have to link the order line to the main order record.

One question on tritggering the integration, does the action which copies the data between the fields run on a timed basis, or can it be triggered by data going in?


Since I prefer using Integromat, it can be either. I use a timed basis just because it’s the easiest to set up, but you could do it instantaneously using webhooks and some additional programming. On the free plan, Integromat runs the integration once every 15 minutes, but for a paid version, you can have it down to every minute if you want. If you’d like to see a specific example, please send me a private message.

Actually, you can’t: Airtable currently does not support webhooks, so there isn’t a way to trigger on creation. That said, a 1-minute poll cycle is probably near-enough to real time for most applications.

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

@W_Vann_Hall A 1-minute poll time on Integromat is going to chew up your available operations VERY quickly.

The ‘top-up’ price for operations is $9 for 10,000 which means a 1-minute schedule will cost around $40/month, just for the task of checking Airtable, let a lone actually operating on any found data.

The Airtable integration with Integromat is quite weak. I’m hoping it beefs up soon.

Update from the Airtable team: we now support pre-filling linked record fields directly, rather than requiring a workaround! It works the same way as other field types.

I was under the impression that Integromat, like Zapier, didn’t burn an action unless there was a record awaiting action. That is, either service could poll all day at 1-, 5-, or 10-minute intervals, and unless there was some activity in my base generating new records or new records in a view, nothing was deducted from my account.

I’m not pleased with Integromat’s level of [non] documentation – and their decision to kill their support forums in favor of their Facebook page is a New Coke-level misstep. That said, there are aspects of their UI I prefer to Zapier’s – and other aspects I bet I’d like a lot, as well, if only I could figure out what the &(%&$! they do…

In a sense both you and @Dan_Weaver are correct. Integromat checks the trigger module for a change (this counts as one operation). If there is no change then nothing continues in the scenario. If there is a change then it continues and each module that is enacted counts as an operation. And yes this can eat up operations very quickly on a 1 minute interval - most people don’t need something that soon.

I have an entire university Makerspace reservation system built on Airtable and Integromat. We get an education discount, so our Standard Integromat only costs 15 per month instead of 30. Even in heavy use at checks every 5 minutes, I’ve never run out of data and operations.

Moving their forum was the dumbest thing they could have done, whatever their reasons. Their documentation sucks a fat one. And yes it’s hard to use… but for some reason I love it. I love the scalability and adaptability it offers. And their support and integration offerings are usually top notch. If I ever need something added to a module, it’s usually added the same day. Not to mention - unlimited modules.

Yes! Thank you thank you thank you!!

I don’t see how to send a PM. But maybe I haven’t earned that badge yet :slightly_smiling_face:
I hadn’t heard of INTEGROMAT until now; it may be the solution I seek (for this request)
— so my ‘non-PM’ is to see if you take on consulting gigs?

I think you just click on my name and then click Message. And sure I’d be willing to consult. I’m not an expert by any means but I do love helping people out with Airtable. What kind of project are you working on?

Thanks. (I see your other reply)
I guess noobs cannot DM/PM:
I don’t think we can embed images either :slightly_smiling_face: but we can use emojis!

You’re too kind: @Dan_Weaver was right, and I was wrong. :winking_face:

I’ve not turned up a production system using Integromat, only proof-of-concept experiments for my own experience. Accordingly, I typically disable my test Scenarios and Zaps when I’m through testing them; as a result, almost all of the actions processed under my account were triggered manually using a ‘test now’ button rather than as the result of a recurring polled test. If I’d left an action running, I’d have noticed my pool of actions steadily decreasing, even though the corresponding base remained unchanged.

Dan is right: That certainly puts Integromat’s more-frequent poll cycle in a different light — and moves Airtable support of webhooks up a few notches on my priorities list.

Thanks for [oh so gently] correcting my mistake!

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

This is exactly what I’m trying to do, but can’t seem to get it to work. Can you direct me to more detailed documentation? Thanks!

Yes you can prefill forms by following this guide:

It works the same way for both linked fields and non-linked fields. The text must match exactly though.


Patrick Ford

Media Developer and Manager, CIDL

Anderson University

(864) 328-1457 (Office)

Thanks! But I’m actually trying to create a progression of linked records based on forms filled out by other people…

What do you mean by “a progression of linked records”?

It’s possible to prefill linked records in a form – assuming you can somehow tailor the URL accordingly. (For instance, I was playing around earlier today with a base where the user selected a form URL as his or her last step in data entry. Once the form opened, the only action the user needed to take was to select ‘Submit’. It made sense in context because it allowed a number of links to be made automatically without requiring user intervention.) Obviously, linked-record prefills are less useful when called from a static, hard-coded URL…

One thing that can;t be done is to create a chain of linked records. That is, you can’t prefill a linked record and then somehow prefill a linked record in that linked record.

If you’re dealing with records entered by others via form that you are manipulating via a grid view, you may be better off looking at using copy/paste to generate the appropriate links based on what was entered, as you can take advantage of calculated fields unavailable to users accessing via form…

Yes, am dealing with records entered by others via form. I’m an educational designer, and am using it for a workflow in a course that has 2 instructors, 7 adjunct editors and 16 students. They have 12 projects to work on throughout the semester, with some overlapping timelines, and multiple segments that are conditional (i.e., submit draft > receive feedback > revise > upload video file and so on). Airtable has solved for a number of things that had previously been a time sink, and I’m exploring ways to further automate this record-keeping and notification aspects.

I have 1 base for each project, and then am embedding forms and views in the LMS (i.e., students submit form > instructors view records in embedded gallery > instructors use form to provide feedback > and so on…).

I had hoped to be able to find a way to auto-populate certain form fields using pre-fill…

Hi Ofelia,

I too am an instructional designer and this is a great method of keeping track of things like this. We do something similar for our faculty who must redesign courses every 2 years or so. Using Integromat, Airtable sends email reminders to the course faculty when the revision time is within 60 days. A method like this could easily be applied to your situation as well.

You will need a function field that takes a date field (for instance, submission date) and then adds days onto it to show when the feedback is due. Integromat will check for fields that meet the criteria for feedback due and send reminders to the approporiate people provided they are listed in the same record. See our base below for an example:

This is fairly new for us so some of the courses have not come up for revision yet and result in an ERROR. Let me know if I can help further.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I would love to be able to pre-fill a field in when it’s submitted via a form, but currently the pre-filled doesn’t populate if data is submitted via form view :confused: