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How to bulk update assets using a metadata import
How to bulk update assets using a metadata import
Katya Rose avatar
Written by Katya Rose
Updated over a week ago

It's currently possible to bulk update assets within Dash, by following the steps outlined in our article here. However, there'll sometimes be cases where you'll want to do something specific that won't be possible using this method, or where this method will take quite a bit of time. Examples of this would be:

  • Renaming assets in bulk with a different title for each asset (e.g, adding "Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3" to each asset).

  • Identifying all assets that don't have a specific field filled in, and then filling this in.

For these cases, you have the ability to use a metadata import to bulk update assets instead. You can follow the steps below to do this.

Rather than editing assets directly in Dash, this method involves using a spreadsheet application (Google Sheets, Excel, etc) to bulk edit your Dash assets. Then, you import this sheet into Dash, and anything contained in this sheet will override the existing metadata in your Dash. As you can imagine, using this method gives you a great deal of flexibility on the types of edits you can make.

Step 1: Get the metadata export

Step 2: Prepare the import sheet

  1. Open up your CSV file in your desired spreadsheet application. You'll see all your asset metadata listed out, with a row per asset. You can find more info here on how this works.

  2. Make the necessary edits, using standard spreadsheet methods to make bulk edits to the cells. Here are a couple of example scenarios to give you an idea of what's possible:

    1. Identifying fields with no entries so you can populate them. For example, maybe you have a controlled tag field set up called "Primary colours", and you want to identify any assets that don't have a colour added. You could filter the "Primary colours" column in your export by "blanks", then fill in the necessary colour(s) for each asset. You can do this for any other field type.

    2. Replacing asset titles with an ascending order. For example, there may be duplicate titles across your account, so you want a more standardised way to be able to identify assets using titles. In your spreadsheet, then, you can filter to all your assets with the names you want to replace. Then, add something like "filename01", then use the drag down option to auto-populate the rest of the fields with ascending names.

    3. You want to make multiple edits to different assets all at once, e.g. selecting all assets with a certain tag, then replacing some of these assets with one tag, some with another, etc. This is possible in Dash directly, but if there are a lot of assets and you want to edit a lot of different assets at once with many different edits, you might prefer using a spreadsheet. In this case, you could use find and replace to make your edits.

  3. Once you've done this, double check your formatting abides by the guidelines listed in the article linked in point 1, and you haven't accidentally changed anything. Once you've done this, your sheet is ready for import.

Step 3: Import your sheet into Dash

Go to Admin > Import > Metadata > Import your CSV file.

Done! Check your Dash to see if your assets have been updated correctly. If not, check you followed the steps above correctly, and check the main metadata import article to make sure you've formatted the sheet properly. If you still can't figure out what's wrong, message our in-app chat and we'll be able to help.

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