How to Create PDFs from URLs in Airtable

In this guide, we'll create PDFs for a list of URLs in Airtable. We'll use the Data Fetcher Airtable app with the Microlink service to turn URLs into PDF attachments in Airtable.

Set up PDFs Table

Create a table called 'PDFs'.

Create a field called 'URL' and add the URLs you want to create PDFs of.

Create a field called 'PDF' with type 'Attachment'.

microlink pdf table.png

Create a new Grid view called 'Needs PDF' with the following filters:

  • The 'URL' field is not empty.
  • The 'PDF' field is empty.
microlink pdf needs pdf view.png

Install Data Fetcher

Install Data Fetcher from the Airtable app marketplace. After the app launches, sign up for a free Data Fetcher account by entering a password and clicking 'Sign up for free'.

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Create PDFs from URLs in Airtable

On the home screen of the Data Fetcher app, click 'Create your first request'. Requests in Data Fetcher are how you import data to or send data from your Airtable base.

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On the create request screen in Data Fetcher, for Application, select 'Microlink'.

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For Endpoint, select 'Create PDfs from URLs'.

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Enter a Name for your request, e.g. 'Import PDFs'. Then click 'Save & Continue'.

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For URL, we want to insert a reference to our 'URL' field. First click the + button.

microlink-url-add-icon.png

Then, on the modal that opens, select 'URL' for Field, 'Needs PDF' for Run for every record in view. Then click 'Confirm'.

microlink pdf url reference modal.png

URL should now contain a reference to the table.

microlink pdf url reference.png

Make sure the Output Table & View is set to 'PDFs' and 'Needs PDF'.

microlink pdf output table view.png

Click 'Save & Run'.

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The request will run and the Response field mapping modal will open. This is where you set how the available fields from Microlink should map to the fields in the output table. Make sure the 'PDF' field is mapped to the 'PDF' field we created earlier. Then click 'Save & Run'.

microlink pdf fm.png

Data Fetcher will then run the request for every record in 'To process' and convert the URLs into PDF in Airtable.

microlink imported pdf.png

Note: if you run into Microlink's free plan limits, you can buy a Microlink paid plan here, set the Authorization type to 'Header' and enter your API Key to increase your limit.

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Create PDFs from URLs on a Schedule

At the moment, we have to manually run the request to create the PDFs. We can use Data Fetcher's scheduled requests feature to automatically create them every 15 minutes/ hour/ day etc.

In Data Fetcher, scroll to Schedule and click 'Upgrade'.

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A new tab will open where you can select a plan and enter your payment details to upgrade.

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Return to the Data Fetcher app and click "I've done this".

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Click 'Add API key' in order to add your Airtable API key. You can find your Airtable API key here.

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Enter your Airtable API key and click 'Save'.

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Enable Schedule this request.

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Select how often you want the request to run, e.g. 'Every 15 mins'. Click 'Save' The request will now run create the PDFs from URLs automatically on a schedule.

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