The Ultimate Guide to Airtable Scripting: How to Run Scripts in Automation

Thierry Maout • Apr 15, 2022 • 10 min read

For advanced users that want to get deeper into Airtable and start introducing automation into their bases, Airtable offers the option to create their own scripts, essentially implementing snippets of code to automate specific actions and tasks. 


Because of the technical nature of the topic, however, it is quite difficult to find documentation about it and figure out where to get started.


Fret now, as we’ve put together a guide to bring some clarity and guidance. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Airtable scripting!

What is Airtable scripting and how to get started?


The scripting app allows you to write code in Airtable. This allows you to introduce automation elements in your projects, automatically running specific tasks and actions. This is especially helpful if you’re looking to:


  • ​​Streamline repetitive, multi-step workflows
  • Put data validation and formatting on auto-pilot 
  • Enable cross-table search and reporting
  • Import external data from specific sources


To get started with scripting on Airtable, you must first install the scripting app from the Airtable Marketplace. Please note that you must be on the pro plan to do so (you have the ability to sign up for a trial first).

Airtable scripting app

Source: Airtable



The next step is to add the Scripting app on one of your bases (watch for the number of apps per base, depending on your plan). Once you have, you’ll be onboarded with a welcome screen, some templates you can pre-select (more on that later), and a bit of documentation.

Airtable scripting app installed

After a couple of onboarding screens, you are ready to go! 


The interface of the scripting app will be familiar to anyone that has ever used a code editor. It is composed of three panes: A coding area for you to actually type and edit, an output area to run your code and see if it works, and a documentation area where you can find useful information and templates.

Airtable scripting app interface

Coding in the scripting app will require you to be fluent in using Javascript, as well as some notions of HTML for the API section. Find out more details in the documentation Airtable provides, along with references and other resources.


If you’re not a developer, don’t worry! Non-technical folks are thankfully also able to enjoy the app thanks to the numerous templates and examples available in the script section of the marketplace. As a matter of fact, Airtable encourages tech-savvy users to share their own scripts by publishing them for the rest of the Airtable community, so we might see an increase in template apps in the near future.


To get you started, we’ve gathered 6 Airtable scripting examples you can implement in your bases today! Let’s jump into it.

5 examples of useful Airtable scripts


From a simple currency converter to a useful data importer, here are 6 fun scripts you can get started with when learning about Airtable scripting.

1. Converting one currency to another


Straightforward but super-useful, this script uses an API to look up the current price of any currency and automatically convert it to a different one. You can adjust it to fit whichever use case fits you best. 


This is particularly handy if you're working with international businesses and/or clients and need to display financial data in one specific currency.


Here’s the script (make sure to update it with the name of your table and base + records): 

2. Creating a custom report


Using this script, you are able to automatically filter records in a base of your choice and generate a summary of that data in a report. This is especially powerful to use as a starting point to create further data visualizations, reports, and dashboards.


Here’s the full script: 

Find the entire script in the Airtable scripts examples library.  

3. Removing duplicates


Anyone that’s ever worked in spreadsheets knows how annoying pesky duplicates can be. Scripting is a great way to automate such repetitive, menial tasks, identifying duplicates without the need for human involvement and removing them from your base.


Here’s the full script (make sure to update it with the name of your table and base + records): 

Find the full script in the Airtable Marketplace.

4. Finding and replacing 


When dealing with large sets of data, finding and replacing specific snippets can quickly turn into an annoyance at best, and a massive undertaking at worst. This script allows you to automatically find occurrences of a specific text or string and replace it with another.


Here’s the script (make sure to update it with the name of your table and base + records):

5. Scheduling shifts based on availability


This script is ideal for managing staff schedules for businesses, from retail to restaurants, call centers, and more. Based on three tables (shifts, people, availability), the script automatically looks up the availability of your staff and assigns them a shift accordingly. Pretty smart, no?


Here’s the script (make sure to update it with the name of your table and base + records): 

Find it in the Airtable Marketplace.  

How to find more Airtable scripts and publish your own in the Airtable Marketplace


There are plenty more things you can achieve by creating your own scripts, but also by engaging with the Airtable community. Check out the Example Script Showcase to find out some of the great work from Airtable users around the world and to submit your own.

example script showcase

Source: Airtable



You are also able to submit your scripts to be available in the Airtable Marketplace! To do so, make sure to remember the following rules:


  • The script should be able to run immediately, without edits from users
  • The script code has to be clean, easy to use and documented properly
  • The script details should be thorough and explicit (name, description, video explainers, etc)


Find out more in the guide provided by Airtable for Marketplace submissions.

Conclusion


We hope that these directions and examples have provided you with some context and clarity about Airtable scripting. This is an extremely powerful feature that can be used to create valuable automation easily, especially when paired with other automation capabilities from Airtable.


Additionally, it’s a great way to engage with the Airtable community by trying out scripts created by users and by sharing yours if you have the technical know-how to do so. 


Talking about sharing, how about joining our Softr community and exchanging best practices, tips, and learnings with other Airtable and Softr users? Join our Slack workspace today! 


Happy scripting!

About Softr


Softr is an easy-to-use no-code platform that turns Airtable bases into powerful web apps, member-only websites, and client portals. Softr offers a way for you to authenticate your end-users, control access to your content and data based on conditional rules like roles, logged-in status, subscription plans, etc. If you're using Airtable as a product catalog you can use a Softr template to build your e-commerce website. Or maybe you'd like to build a custom website for your travel journal, there's a template for that too!

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