Import CSV data into an existing base
  • 04 Jul 2022
  • 2 Minutes to read
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Import CSV data into an existing base

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Airtable makes it easy to get started with data from an existing CSV file, Google Sheet, or Excel Workbook. This article covers create a new table in an existing base by uploading a CSV file or pasting cell data directly from a spreadsheet program. For other import options, please see these articles:

NOTE

You can also add new records to an existing table in your base from a CSV file using the CSV import extension.

Importing CSV data from a CSV file

Open the base where you want to import your data. Click the + button next to your list of tables that says "Add or import". Click the "CSV file" button.

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Or if you want to add data to an existing table, then click the drop-down arrow next to the name of that table. Then click "Import data" and select "CSV file."

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Once you decide where to import the data, select a CSV file from your computer (or from a variety of other supported services). Note that there is currently a 5MB limit on CSV uploads.

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This will open up the import adjustment window, where you can see a preview of what your information will look like and adjust field mappings and other settings.

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In the case of this payroll CSV file example, we'll need to update the setting to remove the first row and adjust some of the field mappings.

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Once the setup is looking the way you'd like it, you can click import. After importing you may want to enrich the created records with other information.

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NOTE

Can't find the import button? Try resizing your browser's window until it appears.

Importing data by pasting from a spreadsheet

In a spreadsheet application, select a range of cells and copy them using ⌘ + C.

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Similar to the CSV import option covered above, you can either choose to paste data to an existing table or to a new table. Click the "+" button or the drop-down next to the table you'd like to update and find the "Paste table data" option.

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You can then paste that data into the text box in the Paste table data dialog using ⌘ + V.

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Preview your pasted data

You will be shown a preview of the header cells that will be created in your new base based on the pasted data.

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If the first row in the pasted table is not a header, you can uncheck the "First record is a header" option, and every row pasted in will be added as records to the table. This will open up the same import adjustment window mentioned above.

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NOTE

You can also import or paste data in just after creating a new base. You'll see a sidebar on the right side with the same options discussed above.4421452632087importoptionssidebarnewbase.jpg

Converting text fields with commas

An important thing to note if you want to convert a field from a single line text field into a multiple select field or linked record field is that Airtable will read commas as separators and create an appropriate number of select tokens/links based on the number of commas.

This means that if you wish to create a link to a record with a comma in its name, you will need to delimit the desired record name with quotation marks.

So if you wanted to create a single record for the city of Denver, CO, you would need to delimit the text strings with double quotation marks so that "Denver, CO" becomes a single record, [Denver, CO], rather than two records, [Denver] and [CO].


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