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How to import metadata

Learn how to bulk import metadata to update your assets

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's 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're editing the sheet in a spreadsheet application:

  • The first row is the field titles, e.g. "Filename to match on", "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. "Auto tags".

    • ​The field must already exist in your Dash, although the values within it don't need to be populated in advance. These can be built-in fields such as "Title", or new custom fields you've created.

    • For example, "[custom field name 1]" would be filled with the name of a custom field you've created

  • Each subsequent row represents a single asset

Note: Any metadata you upload will overwrite existing metadata. 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. We won't modify any fields that aren't in the import sheet.

Can I append existing metadata?

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.

What if I have multiple assets with the same name?

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).

You cannot update filenames using the metadata import. Filename is protected metadata as this directly refers to the original file uploaded into Dash. You can use the Title field for your own customisation, but if you did want to update the filename, you can do this by uploading a new version of the file.

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

Can I pre-populate a field in Dash with a set of options/tags?

Yes, you can populate your Dash fields with options/tags in advance of uploading assets. Refer to our dedicated article on this for full instructions.

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