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Advanced Forms in Airtable | Prefilling and Hiding Data | Updated for 2024

airtable Jun 03, 2024

How to Prefill Airtable Forms: A Comprehensive Guide

In the rapidly evolving world of no-code tools, Airtable stands out as one of the most versatile and user-friendly interfaces available today. It allows you to build and customize data-driven applications without writing a single line of code. Among its many functionalities, one of the most useful yet often overlooked is the ability to prefill information in Airtable forms. This feature can significantly enhance your user experience, saving precious time, and increasing data accuracy. In this article, we tease out all you need to know about prefilling and hiding data in your Airtable forms.

Understanding Prefilling in Airtable Forms

Prefilling information is essentially ensuring your form already carries specified data right from the get-go, saving your users from redundant or repetitive typing. But setting it up might initially seem a bit daunting, mainly due to the use of unique syntax and commands. So, let's delve into the basics.

Setting Up Prefilled Airtable Forms

The prefilling process essentially follows a format made of commands and syntax. This involves writing a specific command into the URL of your form. It starts with a question mark (?), followed by the command to prefill data (prefill_), then the field name you wish to prefill (name, for example), concluding with an equal sign (=), before including the value you want to prefill. This format can be summarized as:


For instance, to prefill the “name” field with the value “Project 123,” the command would depict as:


It’s noteworthy that spaces, along with certain other characters, cannot be used in URLs. Instead, use “%20” to insert a space in your value, and “%40” to replace the “@” symbol.

To include additional fields, start the command for each subsequent field with an Ampersand (&) instead of a question mark. For example,


Here, “name” and “email” fields will be prefilled with “Project 123” and “[email protected],” respectively.

Using the Hide Functionality in Airtable Forms

Another invaluable tool Airtable offers is the ‘hide’ functionality - enabling you to restrict the visibility of certain fields from your respondents, yet collect the necessary information. This command is similar to the prefill command, but replaces the "prefill" part of the command with "hide".

Using the same example, the command would be:


Here, 'fieldname' refers to the field you want to hide, and 'true' signifies that the said field should indeed be hidden. If you want to keep the field visible, replace 'true' with 'false'.

Foolproofing Your Airtable Forms

Prefilling and hiding data are indeed invaluable, but there's a caveat! If anyone alters the field names in your base, the prefilled links will break, disrupting your form function. To prevent this, you can use field IDs instead of field names in your commands. Field IDs are unique identifiers for each field and will remain constant even if you change the field name.


Understanding how to prefill and hide information in an Airtable form is pivotal to unlocking its full potential. Anyone can build streamlined data collection mechanisms that enhance productivity and lessen the room for error. Persist in building, and with time, these techniques will transform into second nature, and the functionality of your Airtable forms will improve exponentially.

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