Editing, previewing, publishing, and sharing interfaces
  • 11 Jul 2022
  • 6 Minutes to read
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Editing, previewing, publishing, and sharing interfaces

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With Interface Designer, you can create visual interfaces that reflect your underlying base’s data. Interface Designer has a built-in publishing workflow that allows creators to create or build on existing interfaces without worrying about affecting other collaborators.

Overview

When it comes to Interface Designer, there are two main ways base collaborators work with interfaces: creators can build new interfaces, and all base collaborators can view and interact with published interfaces.

Interface Designer allows creators to control when their interfaces are visible to other base collaborators by controlling when those interfaces are published. Collaborators without “Creator” permissions can only see published interfaces. This allows creators to experiment as they please because they can control which interfaces are published, republished, or unpublished with just a few clicks. This article will cover the whole interface publishing workflow from beginning to end: editing, previewing, publishing and sharing!

Editing

To see unpublished interfaces, edit existing interfaces, or create new interfaces, you must first enter editing mode in the interface group you’d like to work within.

Collaborators with “Owner” or “Creator” permissions on an interface’s base will be able to enter editing mode within any interface group in that base. To enter editing mode, first, navigate to the interface group you want to make changes in, then click on the “Edit” button at the top of the screen:

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Note that if you don’t have “Owner” or “Creator” permissions on a base, you will not see the “Edit” button because you are unable to edit interfaces with your current permissions.no_edit_button.png

In editing mode, you will see all currently unpublished interfaces and unpublished changes within published interfaces. Changes made in editing mode won’t persist outside of editing mode until an interface is published (or republished).

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Any changes you make to an interface within editing mode are automatically saved. While in editing mode, interfaces will indicate in the top bar if there are any unpublished changes within the current interface:

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If someone previously published an interface, you will also be able to see the date of publishing:

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You can exit editing mode at any time by clicking “Exit” in the top right corner of the screen.

Once you’ve finished editing your interface, you can preview the changes you made to see what your collaborators will see.

Previewing

Clicking on the “Preview” toggle in the top bar will let you see what the final product would look like if the interface was published in its current state.

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We always recommend previewing any changes you made to an interface to ensure your interface looks and acts just right!

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Entering preview mode will also allow you to interact with your interface without elements showing the properties panel when clicked—giving you a much better idea of how an interface will feel when it’s published.

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In preview mode, you can also double-check all the interactive parts of your interfaces, like seeing which fields are editable, checking the conditions in your Filter elements, and making sure your Record picker elements fit nicely within your formatting.

Preview mode not only allows you to see what your interface would look like if it were published, but preview mode also allows you to see your interface as if you were another specific base collaborator viewing that interface:

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The “View As” dropdown will be set to “Yourself” by default, but you can use the dropdown to select another collaborator in your base to see what your interface will look like for them. This is particularly helpful if you added a “Current user” filter to your interface:

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When you have finished previewing, it’s time to show your interfaces off to other base collaborators by publishing your interface.

Publishing

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A group of interfaces can only be published if it has at least one interface within it.

When you are ready for your work to be available to other collaborators in your base, you can click the “Publish” button in the top bar to choose which interfaces you’d like to publish:

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Interface Designer allows you to select which, if any, of your interfaces you’d like to publish within an interface group so you can specify one or multiple interfaces to publish at once. The publishing menu shows which interfaces have unpublished changes and the last time those interfaces were published.

If you click “Publish” while on an interface, Interface Designer will automatically set that interface to publish:

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In the publishing menu, you can:

  1. Choose “Do nothing” if you aren’t ready to publish or republish that individual interface
  2. Toggle “Publish changes'' next to any interface you are ready to publish

Note that anytime you publish an interface, you will also be publishing any edits you made to the interface group as well.

Viewing current publication status for interface groups

Those with “Creator” permission on a base can see which interface groups have been published/unpublished for that base by navigating to the Interfaces home screen:

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Clicking on a published interface group will take you to the Overview page for that group, where you will see your currently published interfaces:

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Clicking on an unpublished interface will automatically take you into editing mode on that interface.

Sharing

You can share a URL directly to an interface with your current base collaborators once your interface has been published. While on the interface you’d like to share, copy the URL from the address bar and send it to any of your base collaborators.

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Interfaces each have a unique URL, so you can easily share a specific interface with a base collaborator by sharing the URL for the interface you’d like them to see. If your interface includes a “Record picker” or “Record selector” element, the URL will also include the specific record you are viewing. So you can share not only a particular interface but a specific record in that interface via the URL.

If you’d like to share your interface with someone who is not a current base collaborator you can share that group of interfaces directly by clicking the “Share” button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

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You can share an interface group via email with an individual Airtable user or a user group from the share menu.

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Note that if you share an interface with a user who is not already a collaborator on the connected base, you will add that user as a collaborator on that base. The share menu will allow you to set collaborator permissions for the new person you are inviting to the base as part of sharing the interface:

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At this time only base collaborators can see interface groups on a connected base. If you share an interface with a user you are effectively making them a base collaborator and granting them access to the underlying base’s data as well as the interface itself.

Our colleague Aron walks through how to share an interface in the clip below:

FAQs

How do I unpublish an interface?

To unpublish an interface, make sure you're in "Edit" mode. Click the down arrow next to the interface name, and then select "Unpublish".

unpublish_interface.png

I changed the look of one of my interfaces, but it’s not showing up for my other collaborators?

If you made a change to an interface group or to the elements contained in an interface itself, you must first publish the changes for that interface in order for other collaborators in a base to see those changes.

I created a new group of interfaces; why can’t I publish it?

A group of interfaces can only be published if it has at least one interface within it.

If I share an interface with another individual or team, can they see the underlying data?

Yes, only base collaborators can view an interface—so by sharing an interface you are also sharing the underlying base.

Can I publish changes to an interface group without re-publishing any of the individual interfaces within that group?

If your interface group has been previously published, you can publish changes to just the interface group by not choosing any interfaces to publish and clicking “Publish changes”.

What happens if someone who is not a base collaborator tries to navigate to an interface URL?

If you share an interface URL with someone who is not a base collaborator, they will have to request access on that base to see the interface.

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You will then be able to grant them access to the base, and its interfaces, or ignore the

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