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How can I copy or clone Zaps to save time mapping data between fields?

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How can I copy or clone Zaps to save time mapping data between fields?

An Ask Zapier answer

By Janine Anderson · January 12, 2021
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This Ask Zapier question comes from Tony D. He asked about how he could copy or clone Zaps to save time mapping fields between different steps.

We're answering this question as part of Ask Zapier, a series where we answer questions submitted by Zapier blog readers and social followers. If you'd like to ask us a question about automation, Zapier, productivity, apps, remote work, or anything else that's not quite right to send to our support team, scroll to the bottom of this article and enter it in the form.

First, a little background:

Zapier is an automation platform that lets you connect different apps and software, so that when something happens in one place, a different action gets taken somewhere else. Here are some examples: You could use Zapier to get a team chat message every time someone fills out a form, an email when someone updates a shared spreadsheet, or automatically add someone to an email newsletter audience or CRM when they fill out a contact form.

You use Zapier to set up workflows—called Zaps—for those software-to-software or app-to-app tasks, so you no longer have to do that work yourself. When you set up a Zap, in order to send information from one app to another, you have to map those fields from one step to the next. Here's what it looks like in the Zapier editor:

A screenshot of the action step of a Zap showing text on a gray background. Some of the text is inside white ovals that contain Google Forms logos, showing that is information mapped from an earlier step.
Each of the white ovals with the Google Forms logo at the start represents data I mapped from my form trigger step into my team chat action step.

Imagine I have five forms, and I want each of them to show up in my team chat in a similar way. I could make each Zap individually, or I could copy my first Zap and just change the place Zapier looks for the data.

There are two ways to copy or clone Zaps. 

Copy a Zap

First, you can copy a Zap to use yourself or share with colleagues in a Team or Companies plan. After you log in to your Zapier account, click the arrow next to the Zap from the list of your Zaps. Then, select the option to copy the Zap. You'll now have a new version of that exact same Zap that you can customize. 

A screenshot of a list of Zaps showing the down arrow to click and the expanded menu that opens. An arrow points to the icon next to "Copy".

With this method, you should be able to get away without mapping your data. For example, let's say you don't want to make any changes to your Zap, other than selecting a new Google Form that asks the same questions. 

The copied Zap will pull in everything that existed in your initial Zap. You'd first need to set up your new trigger step, selecting the correct form, and test it, so you know the right information is flowing into Zapier. After that, if you look at your action step, you should see the new data appear.

Here's how that looked in my test:

Test data in a Zapier action step. The text reads "Questions:" then there is a small Google Forms logo followed by "1. whatquestionsdoyouhaveaboutremoteworkthatwecanhelpyouwith: test 2". The text that follows the logo is pulled in from a form.

However, we still recommend testing your Zap to make sure it runs the way you want.

Share a Zap

If you want to share a Zap with someone outside your organization, you can use the Zap sharing function. You can find that when you're on the page where you edit your Zap. Click the blue Share button in the top right, and you'll find a link. Copy that, and paste it where you want to share it. Anyone who clicks that link will be taken to a version of your Zap that they can set up using their own apps.

A screenshot with an arrow pointing to the blue "Share" button to the right of a Zap named "Boot Bot".

You can also create a customized shared Zap page that explains the Zap, what it does, and a bit about how to set it up. You can see what that looks like for my Boot Bot, a Zap that sends me a Slack message at 5 p.m. every weekday reminding me to close Slack and stop working.

This method retains some information from step to step, but you'll always want to confirm that things transferred as expected, particularly if you make changes that send information ahead to be used in other parts of your Zap. 

Why field mapping is important

Field mapping is at the core of your Zaps, and it's worth taking time to get it right. 

It may seem easier to just have things transfer over. Confirming everything works is your insurance that Zapier will take the exact actions you want. 

Ask Zapier

If you have a question you'd like us to answer, submit it using this form. We're taking general questions about automation, Zapier, remote work, productivity, or apps, but are not able to answer specific questions about your account or help troubleshoot a Zap. Support-related questions about a specific Zap or your account should be submitted through the support contact form.

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Janine Anderson picture

Janine Anderson

Janine Anderson is the managing editor of the app directory, and works from Racine, Wis. You can often find her reading, writing or knitting, and is happiest when she is at the Lake Michigan shoreline.

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