Building Zaps is all about moving data between different tools. The thing is, it’s not always as easy as just connecting the two tools together and watching the data flow. The problem is that two apps that you’re trying to connect can accept and return data in different formats. But, that’s where Zapier formatter can help you out!
In the first part of our guide to Zapier formatter, we’ll briefly review the key things it lets you do. We’ll look at the most popular formatter actions, output, as well as the different data types that it accepts.
So, let’s dive right into it!
What Is Zapier Formatter?
Zapier formatter is a built-in Zapier app used for manipulating data. When you add it as an action step to your Zap, you can use it to perform a variety of different operations on data that you send to Zapier. Here’s a quick video overview of Formatter prepared by the Zapier team:
To use it, simply add it as an action step to your Zap.
You can either click the “Format” button to your right or enter “Formatter” in the search bar:
Please note that you can’t use the formatter as a trigger. After all, you first need an app to feed it the data that you’ll then format.
Once you add the step, it’s time to choose the event category. The actions that you can perform using Zapier formatter are split into four different event types:
Let’s quickly list them and go over each of them:
Formatting Date and Time
The first Zapier formatter tool is an excellent tool if you need to clean data containing dates or time. It allows you to calculate the time zone difference, compare two dates, or add or subtract time.
As the name suggests, you can also use it to change the format of the date, including timestamps. To learn more about this event, check out the Guide to Date/Time Zapier Formatter Event
Formatting and Transforming Numbers
The “Numbers” Formatter lets you do all sorts of things with numeric data. This includes formatting standard numbers, phone numbers, and currency.
You can also use it to perform math operations (including spreadsheet-like formulas) or generate a random number.
To learn more about how to manipulate numbers in Zapier, check out this Guide to manipulating numbers using Zapier Formatter
Formatting and Transforming Text
The “Text” Zapier formatter event offers a whole lot more options compared to Numbers or Date and Time. The list of available operations includes:
- Capitalizing, pluralizing and splitting text.
- Setting the case to title, uppercase, or lowercase
- Converting HTML to Markdown and Markdown to HTML
- Finding, replacing, and counting words.
- Converting the text to ASCII
- Setting a default value for your future Zaps
- Extracting different types of text, including email addresses, numbers (also phone numbers), and URLs. You can also create a Zap that’ll search for specific patterns.
There are a few more things you can do with the text formatter step. To find out how to perform each of the above operations (and more) check out the Guide to manipulating text using Zapier Formatter.
Playing with Zapier Utilities
The last event available in Zapier formatter is a little bit different in that it doesn’t focus on one particular data type. Instead, it’s a group of tools that you can use to format all types of input data in different ways. The available actions include:
- Importing a CSV file
- Line Itemizer (creating, appending, and prepending)
- Line-item to text or text to line-item
- A lookup table, which you can use to assign different output values to input data.
- A “pick from list”, which lets you pick the first, last or random item from a list of items.
Each of these actions has different use cases. To find out how (and when) to use them, check out this Guide to Utilities in Zapier Formatter.
Start Formatting Your Data the Right Way
Zapier Formatter is a powerful tool. It lets you clean, modify, and manipulate data without having to write a single line of code. Mastering it is, next to webhooks, one of the key things you need to do if you want to master Zapier.
Of course, you don’t have to work on mastering Zapier yourself. Alternatively, you can hire a Zapier consultant to solve your formatter problems for you.
To do that, simply head over to this page and schedule a discovery call or use the contact form and let’s get in touch.
Hey, I’m Jacek. I’m the founder and Chief Automator at Clickleo.com
I’m on a mission to help you use automation to reclaim your time and achieve more in your business.
You can find out more about me – and why I started Clickleo – over on this page