You can easily import data to your Airtable database from CSV and Excel files, as well as Google Sheets. Getting data out of Airtable as a CSV is also easy and can be done with just a few clicks. However, if you want to export data to spreadsheet apps and automate the process, you will need to resort to third-party tools. So, we decided to share the best practices for how you can export Airtable data to different destinations.
Why export data from Airtable
The main reason why you may need to export Airtable base is to access the data while offline. In Airtable, it’s not possible to do so yet. However, if you have your Airtable data in, let’s say, Excel Workbook, you will have offline access to it.
Another reason is to back up your base. Airtable automatically takes snapshots, but it does so irregularly and won’t keep them for long on the lowest plans. We’ve covered this issue in detail in our Airtable Backup guide.
Other use cases to export data from Airtable may relate to data visualization and manipulation needs. Spreadsheet apps, such as Excel and Google Sheets, have much to offer you in this regard. Moreover, you can easily connect them to data visualization tools, such as Google Looker Studio or Power BI.
Whichever reason you have, you need to know how the Airtable export can be done. Let’s start with the native option of downloading your data as a CSV file.
How to export Airtable data on a schedule – the best option
To automate Airtable export, you can use the no-code Airtable integration designed by Coupler.io.
Coupler.io is a data automation and analytics platform that allows you to integrate multiple data sources into Google Sheets, Excel, BigQuery, Looker Studio, or Power BI. With the Airtable integration, you can automate exports of views from Airtable at a custom frequency and avoid manually copying and pasting data.
Let’s see how it works step-by-step in the example below.
Export contact info from Airtable to Google Sheets
We’re going to export a view containing the contact information of customers using the Airtable to Google Sheets integration.
Sign up for Coupler.io with your Google account, Add new importer, then select Airtable as a source app and Google Sheets as a destination app.
Note: Alternatively, you can use the Coupler.io add-on for Google Sheets to make the setup right from your spreadsheet. Install the add-on from the Google Workspace Marketplace.
Extract data from Airtable
Get a shared view link for your Airtable view and insert it into the Shared URL field. Unlike many other integrations available at Coupler.io, you won’t need to connect your Airtable account.
Note: If your Airtable view is password-protected, then click Continue and enter your password. Otherwise, click Jump to Destination Settings.
If you need to load data from more than one Airtable view, click Add one more source and configure it as above. This feature allows you to add not only multiple Airtable views but also stitch data exported from other sources.
With Coupler.io, you can not only automate exports of Airtable data to the chosen destination but also transform it on the go. The Transform module allows you to perform the following transformations before your data is loaded to the destination:
- Preview data
- Manage columns (hide unwanted columns, rename and reorder columns, and change column data types)
- Add calculable columns using the supported calculation functions
- Filter data to extract only the required data based on specific criteria.
Connect your Google account, then, on your Google Drive, select a spreadsheet and a sheet where the exported Airtable data will be loaded.
Tip: You can create a new sheet by typing in a new name.
In the optional fields, you can select the first cell address where your Airtable data will be imported, change the import mode, and enable the last update column. For more on this, read about the Google Sheets destination setup.
Click Finish and Proceed to complete setting up the importer. Now, you can run it to load data from Airtable to Google Sheets. At the same time, you can also automate exports on a schedule.
Coupler.io supports close to real-time data refresh. It allows you to schedule exports at a frequency of every 15 minutes! For this, toggle on the Automatic data refresh and configure the schedule for your automatic exports:
- Interval (from 15 minutes to once per month)
- Days of the week
- Time preferences
- Time zone
Click Save and Run once you’re ready. After the successful import, you can check out your spreadsheet with the exported Airtable data by clicking the View Results button.
Here is what we got:
Airtable export base to a spreadsheet
One importer allows you to export one view from Airtable. So, if you need to export an entire Airtable database, you’ll need to make as many importers for as many views as your database contains. You can copy importers, so you won’t have to make each one from scratch.
Besides, you’re not limited to Google Sheets as a destination. Coupler.io also allows you to connect Airtable to Excel. The workflow is mostly the same.
Export a large base from Airtable to BigQuery
It’s not always feasible to export a large base from Airtable to a spreadsheet app. In this case, Coupler.io provides BigQuery as a destination and a dedicated Airtable to BigQuery integration. Again, make sure that you create importers for each view of your database. You can copy the first one and edit it for each Airtable view.
Pay attention to the way to connect your BigQuery account. To do this, you’ll need to generate and upload a Google Cloud JSON key from your device. Read how to generate a Google Cloud JSON key.
Then you’ll need to enter the name of your BigQuery dataset and a table where the exported Airtable data will be transferred. The rest is the same as for a spreadsheet as a destination.
Export a table from Airtable as a CSV
You can’t download a table as a CSV from Airtable, but you can fetch any view. For this, click on the view name and select Download CSV.
Your view with Airtable records will be downloaded as a CSV file to your device. You can open it in Excel or upload it to Google Sheets.
If your base consists of multiple tables, you’ll have to download each view as a CSV. This is very inconvenient especially when you export data from Airtable as a backup. In this case, you’ll need to manually repeat the flow every time you want to update the backup copy. So, the Airtable integration by Coupler.io is much more efficient.
Airtable data export best practices
Above we’ve explained the most obvious options for exporting data from Airtable. At the same time, Airtable users may have other advanced cases and questions in this regard. Let’s check out some of them.
Airtable full base export – is it possible?
There is no button or view link that will allow you to export the entire base from Airtable. With Coupler.io, you can’t export the entire base, but you can do it easily with views. Pick a view that has the information you need and set up an importer. If you need to fetch data from multiple views, duplicating importers is very simple. For this, click the three dots and select Copy.
Airtable export blocks
Airtable Blocks are a set of pre-built, customizable tools that can be used to enhance the functionality of an Airtable base. With these blocks, you can visualize your data, display images, create project timelines, and add other valuable things to your base. Not to cause any confusion, we should remind that the name of Blocks was changed to Apps in 2020.
Unfortunately, Airtable does not currently have a built-in option to export Blocks like charts or timelines. However, you can export the data from the underlying table of a block as a CSV file or a Google Sheets doc, and then use that data to recreate the block in another base or application.
The good news can be for those who use Vega-Lite or Charts & Reports apps for making charts or other visualizations. Vega-Lite allows you to export charts as SVG or PNG; with Charts & Reports, you can download your charts as PDF or PNG.
Export Airtable pivot
Airtable users on a Pro or Enterprise plan have already enjoyed pivot table app blocks as they are very useful for reporting. Unfortunately, you can’t share individual blocks with anyone outside of Airtable and you can’t export the pivot table as a CSV. You can share a view link with anyone, even outside of Airtable, but the charts from the dashboard won’t be loaded.
The solution here is to reverse the actions:
- First – export data to Google Sheets.
- Second – create a pivot table of the exported data.
Here is an example of a pivot table with the contact information we exported from Airtable:
This way, not only Pro/Enterprise Plan subscribers will be able to enjoy pivot tables, but every Airtable user. Read our tutorial if you need any assistance with creating pivot tables in Google Sheets.
Note: If your pivot table is coded with Vega-Lite, then you can export it as a PNG or SVG. Click the three dots in the top right corner and select the option you want.
Airtable export attachments – how it works
When you export Airtable data as a CSV or with Coupler.io, you only get links to your attachments like this:
If this does not work for you or you want to bulk download all of your PDFs, images, or other attachments, you have two options:
- Use the Bulk Download Attachments app (available on the Pro/Enterprise Plan).
- Set up an integration using Zapier or a similar tool.
However, think twice about whether you need to make copies of the attachments rather than just having them referenced.
Airtable export list of emails
When we loaded contact information from Airtable to Google Sheets, we had emails, names, companies, and other data in one batch. If you only need a list of emails, you can create a separate view of your table with the names and emails to be exported.
However, if you need a view with only one field, such as emails, then you can do the following:
- Duplicate the primary field – this will create a field named ‘Customer Name copy’.
- Change the primary field type to ‘Email’ and copy and paste emails there instead of names.
- Delete the initial ‘Email’ and rename ‘Customer Name copy‘ to ‘Customer Name‘.
Now you can create a new view and hide all of the fields excep ‘Email’ before exporting it with Coupler.io.
However, from our point of view, the best option is to simply extract or reference the list of emails from the view exported either to Google Sheets or Excel. For example, like this:
Read how to link sheets in Google Sheets for more details.
Can you export Airtable to SQL?
Airtable does not have a built-in option to export data directly to SQL format. However, there are a few workarounds you can use to do the job:
- Export data from Airtable as a CSV file that you can then convert into SQL format.
- Use Coupler.io to connect Airtable to BigQuery where you can use SQL queries.
- Create a code-based solution to connect to the Airtable API and export the data to a format that can be imported into SQL.
Of these methods, Coupler.io looks the best if BigQuery suits you as a data destination. If you want to export Airtable data to other SQL databases, then it makes sense to use the Airtable API to programmatically export data. If you need help with this, feel free to request data analytics consultancy service provided by Coupler.io.
Airtable XML export
Again, there is no built-in option to export to Airtable to XML. The most actionable way to do this is to export data from Airtable as CSV, which then can be converted to XML. For this, you’ll need to use a third-party tool or even a programming library. Here are a few options you can consider:
- CSV to XML Converter – Online tool that allows you to convert CSV to XML
- ConvertCSV – A website that allows you to convert CSV to XML
- csv2xml – A command line tool that converts CSV files to XML
- Excel – Microsoft Excel has the ability to save a CSV file as an XML file
As for the programming library, Python’s Pandas is the first that comes to mind in terms of converting CSV to XML but there are other options as well.
Any other options to extract data from Airtable?
Coupler.io is definitely not the only connector available for exporting Airtable data. You can check out some other alternatives with different pricing, but it’s unlikely that you’ll want to switch. Why?
Coupler.io allows you to export your table view from Airtable in just a few clicks. It only takes a couple of minutes to set up an integration and automate the load of your data on a schedule. You can choose different destinations and even stitch your Airtable data with records imported from other sources. You’ll get your job done fast and without much effort. Try it now for free and good luck with your data!
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