How to import metadata

Learn how to bulk import metadata to update your assets

Charlie Pinker avatar
Written by Charlie Pinker
Updated over a week ago

You can import a CSV file to update the metadata (fields) of a large number of assets in one go. This is often something you will do having completed a bulk import.

By importing metadata, you can update the title, description and all other fields of multiple assets in one go, by preparing that information in advance in a CSV file.

Metadata import template

Click here to download our CSV metadata import template:

Open the file in a text editor or a spreadsheet application and add your metadata. It is often easier to edit the file in a spreadsheet application like Google Sheet or Excel, but it is important that you always save the file as a CSV file (many applications will attempt to save the file in their own native formats such as XLSX).

How do I add metadata to the template?

Any metadata import sheet for Dash must be structured as follows. The following assumes you are editing the sheet in a spreadsheet application:

  • The first row is the field titles, e.g. "Filename", "Folders", etc

  • The first column heading must be "Filename to match on"

  • Each column heading represents an existing field title from your Dash, e.g. "Tags".
    The field must already exist in your Dash, although the values within it don't need to be populated in advance.

  • Each subsequent row represents a single asset

How we match assets

If you think there may be assets with the same filename in your account, you should add an additional matching criteria as a column to the import spreadsheet:

  • Required "Filename to match on"

  • Optional "File size to match on"

  • Optional "Folder path to match on"

To find the file size from your Dash, open the embedded file data for the asset and locate the filesize attribute, which should show you the numeric data in bytes for the file size of that asset. Use this figure in the "File size in bytes to match on" column for the row that relates to this asset in your metadata import sheet.

Importing the completed metadata file

Once your file is ready:

  1. Navigate to Admin > Import > Metadata

  2. Scroll down to Step 3 and upload your file

Formatting tips

Forward slashes in folder names

If you have a folder containing a forward slash. For example, to import a field value of "Rock/Pop", write the following:


The date information isn't importing correctly

If you are having problems importing dates, make sure the dates are formatted in standard ISO format: yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss, e.g.


Be sure to keep leading zeros, e.g. 01 not 1

Adding multiple values to a field

Multiple-valued fields should be separated by semicolons ; e.g.


Adding multiple folder levels

Nested folder fields should be separated by forward slashes / e.g.

Brand A/Campaign B

Adding commas within a field value

To use commas inside a field you should surround that field with double quotation marks, e.g.

"Mountain, snowy"

Using commas and quotation marks in the same field value

In instances where you need to use commas and a quotation in the same field, put a double quotation mark around the entire phrase, and then use two sets of double quotation marks where you would normally use one e.g. to import the value She said, "I wish it were sunny, write:

"She said, ""I wish it were sunny"""

Frequently Asked Questions

What fields can I update?

You can update any field that exists in Dash. Simply add the name of the field in the first row (to find the field name, go to Admin > Fields).

Can I create a new field in Dash via the import, if I create a new column with a new field title in the heading?

No, all fields that you want to update must already exist in Dash before you do the import. The fields don't have to be populated with entries; any field entry included in a row in the import file will be created in that field when you do the import.

Can I import assets into multiple folders?

Yes, in the Folders column, separate each folder tree with a semicolon, e.g.

Brand A/Marketing/Promos;Brand A/Marketing/Campaigns/Summer 2023

Would add an asset into the following folders:

  • Brand A/Marketing/Promos

  • Brand A/Marketing/Campaigns/Summer 2023

How do import a hierarchy of controlled tags?

You can create a hierarchy using "/" between the levels, e.g. tag/childtag;tag2/childtag2

How do I import a set of tags to a field?

If you want to populate your dash with fields and entries without actually applying these to assets, do the following:

  1. Upload a dummy asset to your Dash

  2. Create an import spreadsheet with that asset as the only asset listed to be updated

  3. In the column that represents the field you want to update, add all the fields

  4. Import the file, and this will populate the field as desired

  5. Delete the dummy asset

What will happen to existing metadata for an asset that I update via the import?

For any fields that are specified in the import sheet, these will overwrite any existing field data for each updated asset. We won't modify any fields that aren't in the import sheet.

E.g. if you have an asset with Tags "plane, bird, sky" and your import sheet contains the word "dog" in the Tags column for that asset, the asset will result in a single tag of "dog" and the previous tags will be removed.

If you want to append metadata, you'll need to include the previous metadata in the import sheet as well. To obtain the existing metadata, request a metadata export.

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