Airtable makes it easy to get started with data from an existing CSV file, Google Sheet, or Excel Workbook. This article covers creating a new base by uploading a CSV file or pasting cell data directly from a spreadsheet program. For other import options, please see these articles:
You can also add new records to an existing table in your base from a CSV file using the CSV import app (available to pro and enterprise customers).
Importing data from a CSV file
Spreadsheet/CSV import can only be done on the desktop and web versions of Airtable at this time. You cannot import a CSV file with enough rows that doing so would put your table over the 50,000 record limit for a single table. There is a limit of 15,000 rows per upload, but it's recommended that you split large CSV files into even smaller chunks to prevent performance issues.
To import an existing spreadsheet or CSV, open the new base dialog by clicking the New Base icon:
Clicking this button will open a dialog with three options—click the option to Import a spreadsheet.
This will open the "Import data" dialog.
To import a CSV file, just click the "CSV file" button.
Then, in the Choose a CSV file dialog, click the "Choose a .CSV file" button.
From the attachment upload dialog, you can 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.
You can then choose to let Airtable try and detect the field types for you—or you can skip that step for now and set up the proper field types after your data is imported.
Importing data by pasting from a spreadsheet
In a spreadsheet application, select a range of cells and copy them using ⌘ + C.
In the Import data dialog, click the "Paste table data" button.
You can then paste that data into the text box in the Paste table data dialog using ⌘ + V.
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.
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.
Cleaning up the data
Once you've imported your CSV or pasted data, a new base will appear called Imported Base.
After clicking into the base, you'll see a table comprised of single-line text fields. To get the most out of Airtable, we highly recommend that you take the time to convert fields from single line text fields to other field types, where appropriate. Some examples of conversions you might wish to make:
- Changing a field containing numbers into a number field
- Changing a field containing lists of tags into a multiple select field
- Changing a field containing long paragraphs of text into a long text field
- Changing a field containing values that are important enough to warrant their own table into a linked record field (which will create a new table)
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 [