Airtable Guide


Airtable Guide

Creating and Customizing your Database

You’ll be up and running in no time.


What is a base?

Before you can create your first Base you’ll need to create an Airtable account. Once you’ve signed up, there are four ways to create a new database. The right method for you depends on what you want to create and whether you have existing data.

From Template
From Spreadsheet
From Scratch
From Existing Base

If you’re new to Airtable, we recommend starting with a template so you can see how a Base is typically structured.

We offer a rich variety of templates to help you get started. A template is a pre-made Base for a specific use case and comes prefilled with some relevant tables, fields, and other content. You can easily start with a template and modify it to suit your own purposes. For example, there are templates for planning trips, managing projects and scheduling content production. You can start with a template and then modify it to suit your own purposes.

To use a template, select “+ New Base” from the homepage, choose a “Start with a template” to access the template gallery.

Creating a base from a template

In the template gallery, you’ll find a wide variety of templates ranging from wedding planning to a sales CRM.

Select a template from the gallery to get a preview, and then click on “Use template” at the top of the page.

Selecting a template

Templates come with example records to illustrate how they are set up. You can delete these records whenever you want. See how to delete all records in a table at once.

You can easily import an existing spreadsheet into Airtable.  You have two options for importing data — uploading a CSV file or copy-and-pasting the data into a new, empty Base.

Option 1: Import a CSV file

Step by step instructions

  • Open your original application and export the data as a CSV file.
  • Click + New Base from the homepage and select Import a spreadsheet.
  • When prompted, choose the CSV file that you want to import.

Option 2: Copy and paste from another application

Step by step instructions

  • Open the application from which you want to copy data.
  • Select the desired set of data and copy it to your clipboard:
    • For Numbers, Excel, and Google Sheets, use Ctrl+C (on a PC) or Cmd+C (on a Mac) to select a range of columns and rows.
    • For FileMaker, use Option+Ctrl+C (on a PC) or Option+Cmd+C (on a Mac) to select all found records.
  • Prepare your new base by creating the proper field types for your data. (Note that the target base must have the fields ordered exactly as they are in the source for the data to copy correctly.)
  • Paste your data using Ctrl+V (on a PC) or Cmd+V (on a Mac).

You can make a database from scratch.  It’s easy.  You’ll just need to create your own tables and fields.

Creating a base from scratch

Create a copy of an existing Airtable Base from the homepage by clicking the dropdown beside the Base name and selecting “Duplicate.”

You can choose to keep the existing records and comments in the new version or just duplicate the structure of the Base. Note that the revision history and any Base snapshots will not be copied from the original Base.

Duplicating a base

Customizing your Base

After you create a Base, it’s time to make it your own! From the home screen, click the dropdown beside the Base to open its configuration menu. You can then name the Base, choose a color, select an optional icon, and invite collaborators.

Customizing your base

You can also access the configuration menu from inside a Base by clicking its name.  In this menu, you’ll have the option of adding a Base description, which will appear when people open the Base for the first time. This is useful when you share Bases with other people.

Creating Tables

Intro to tables

What is a table?

Every base can contain multiple tables. Tables are where you keep lists of different items. For example, if you have a travel base, you could have tables to represent destinations, hotels, travel buddies and flights.

You can create a new table by clicking the [+] button to the right of your existing tables.

Creating a new table

Next: Setting Up Field Types