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Metafields

Metafields for Import and Export

Matrixify app allows you to bulk manage, export, import, and update almost all entity Metafield values that Shopify supports natively:

Metafield values are managed within the entity they exist in, for example, to export or import B2B Company Metafields, you would need to do this through the Companies export/import sheet.

Column Names

Metafield column headers are constructed in the following template: Metafield: namespace.key [type].
The column will start with Metafield:   except for Variant Metafields where it will start with Variant Metafield:  .

Namespace and key

After this, the column header will have the namespace.key combination which is used to identify the Metafield that is being imported.

If Metafield definitions have been set up in the store, then you can see the Metafields namespace and key in that definition:

Shopify metafield namespace and key location

If there is no namespace defined in the column header, then the global namespace is used.

You can have almost unlimited Metafields per item – just add them as additional columns.
If there is a dot already in Metafields namespace or key then in the exported and import files it is escaped with a backslash: \..

Metafield type

The last part of the Metafield column header is the Metafield type. It is always set in square brackets [].
You can also import Metafield column without the type specified. In that case, Matrixify app will try to find a definition with that namespace and key and assume the type from it.

When exporting Metafields – in Excel those types will be reflected as cell value types. If the value is a number_integer type, then in the Excel cell that will also be visible as an integer. And if that’s a single_line_text_field, then, of course, it will also be visible as a text type, even if it will contain a numeric value.

Example columns headers with specified types:

  • for number_integer: Metafield: specs.mu_number [number_integer]
  • for boolean: Metafield: specs.is_it_cool [boolean]
  • for product_reference: Metafield: specs.other_products [product_reference]
  • etc…

Each Metafield for each item can have one of the types:

All Metafield Types

We have compiled all possible Metafield types to see what is the correct type value to use in the import file and an example of the value that would need to be set to import.

You can also see Shopify Metafields manual page for metafield type descriptions.

Date and Time

Type Description / Example Value
date A date in ISO 8601 format without a presumed timezone.

Allowed Values

Date

Example
2021-10-25
date_time A date and time in ISO 8601 format without a presumed timezone.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
2021-10-25T14:30:00

Measurement

Type Description / Example Value
weight A value and a unit of weight. Valid unit values: oz, lb, g, kg

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
{ "unit": "kg", "value": 2.5 }
list.weight A laist of value and a unit of weight combinations in JSON format.
Valid unit values: oz, lb, g, kg

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
[{"value":1100.0,"unit":"g"},{"value":600.0,"unit":"kg"}]
volume A value and a unit of volume. Valid unit values: ml, cl, l, m3 (cubic meters), us_fl_oz, us_pt, us_qt, us_gal, imp_fl_oz, imp_pt, imp_qt, imp_gal.

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
{ "unit": "ml", "value": 20.0 }
list.volume A list of values and a unit of volume combinations in JSON format.
Valid unit values: ml, cl, l, m3 (cubic meters), us_fl_oz, us_pt, us_qt, us_gal, imp_fl_oz, imp_pt, imp_qt, imp_gal.

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
[{"value":1.0,"unit":"ml"},{"value":0.001,"unit":"l"}]
dimension A value and a unit of length. Valid unit values: in, ft, yd, mm, cm, m

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
{ "unit": "cm", "value": 25.0 }
list.dimension A list of value and a unit of length combinations in JSON format.
Valid unit values: in, ft, yd, mm, cm, m

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
[{"value":1000.0,"unit":"mm"},{"value":54.0,"unit":"mm"}]

Number

Type Description / Example Value
number_integer A whole number in the range of from -9007199254740991 till 9007199254740991.

Will round decimal numbers.

Allowed Values

Number

Example
10
list.number_integer A list of whole numbers in the range of from -9007199254740991 till 9007199254740991.

In this field, you need to add a list of numbers in JSON format.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
[8,2,3]
number_decimal A number with decimal places in the range from -9999999999999.999999999 till 9999999999999.999999999.

Allowed Values

Number

Example
10.545
list.number_decimal A list of numbers with decimal places in the range from -9999999999999.999999999 till 9999999999999.999999999.

In this field, you need to add a list of numbers in JSON format.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
["1.123","2.545","3.987"]

Text

Type Description / Example Value
single_line_text_field A single-line text field.
Will not allow importing text with line breaks/newlines in it.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
This item contains dairy products.
list.single_line_text_field A single-line text Metafield with “Accept list of values” selected in the definition.
Will not allow importing text with line breaks/newlines in it.

Allowed Values

JSON array

Example
["this","is","list", "with 4 list values"]
multi_line_text_field A multi-line text field.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
Ingredients:
Flour
Water
Milk
Eggs
rich_text_field Rich text field.

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
{"type":"root", "children":[{"type":"heading", "children":[{"type":"text", "value":"Text with formatting"}], "level":3}, {"type":"paragraph", "children":[{"type":"text", "value":"This is "}, {"type":"text", "value":"text with formatting", "italic":true}]}, {"type":"paragraph", "children":[{"type":"text", "value":"in multiple rows"}]}]}

Reference

Type Description / Example Value
product_reference A reference to a product from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as a product Handle. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both products Handle and Shopify Product GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
summer-jacket
list.product_reference A reference to a product from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as a product Handle. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both products Handle and Shopify Product GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
summer-jacket, winter-coat, colorful-shirt
collection_reference A reference to a collection from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as a collection Handle. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both collection Handle and Shopify collection GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
summer-sale-collection
list.collection_reference A reference list of collections from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as a collection Handle. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both collection Handle and Shopify collection GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
summer-sale-collection, branded-clothes
variant_reference A reference to a product variant from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as product_handle.variant title. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both product_handle.variant title and Shopify variant GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
summer-shirt.Red Small
list.variant_reference A reference to a product variant from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as product_handle.variant title. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both product_handle.variant title and Shopify variant GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
summer-shirt.Red Small, summer-hoodie.XL
file_reference A reference to a file from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as a file name. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both file name and Shopify file GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
1230_20Single_20Door_20Wall.jpg
list.file_reference A reference to a file from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as a file name. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both file name and Shopify file GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
1230_20Single_20Door_20Wall.jpg, 50002-102-02.jpg
metaobject_reference A reference to a metaobject entry from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as a metaobject.entry. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both metaobject.entry and Shopify metaboject entry GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
manufacturer.Robert-Jones
list.metaobject_reference A reference to a metaobject entry from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as a metaobject.entry. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both metaobject.entry and Shopify metaboject entry GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
manufacturer.Robert-Jones, manufacturer.July-Smith
page_reference A reference to a page from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as a page Handle. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both page Handle and Shopify Product GID.

To reference page outside of this store, use the URL field.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
about-us
list.page_reference A reference to a page from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as a page Handle. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both page Handle and Shopify Product GID.

To reference page outside of this store, use the URL field.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
about-us, contact-us
order_reference A reference to order from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as an order name. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both an order name and Shopify order GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
#1234
customer_reference
A reference to a customer from this online store.

When exporting, the value will show as a customer email. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).

When importing, you can use both a customer email and Shopify customer GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
[email protected]

Other

Type Description / Example Value
color The hexadecimal code for a color.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
#fff123
list.color A list of hexadecimal codes for a color.

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
["#44b144","#ff0000"]
money Amount of money in specific currency.

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
{"amount":"15.0","currency_code":"EUR"}
rating A rating measured on a set scale.

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
{ "value": "3.5", "scale_min": "1.0", "scale_max": "5.0" }
boolean A true or false value.

Allowed Values
TRUE
FALSE
Example
TRUE
url A URL with one of the allowed schemes: https, http, mailto, sms, tel.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
https://matrixify.app/

Advanced

 

Type Description / Example Value
json A JSON-formatted string.

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
[{ "k": "v1" }, { "k": "v2" }]
mixed_reference A reference to a metaobject entry from this online store.
Can be used to specify entries from multiple different metaobjects.When exporting, the value will show as a metaobject.entry. (Can ask Matrixify Support to set up for specific store to export reference Metafields as Shopify internal GID).When importing, you can use both metaobject.entry and Shopify metaboject entry GID.

Allowed Values

Text

Example

manufacturer.Robert-Jones, style.Summer

Deprecated/old metafield types

If importing Metafield with the below listed old types, app would primarily check if there is Metafield definition in the store with he same Namespace and Key and if found then use the type from the definition ignoring the old type specified in the file.

Type Description / Example Value
integer A number.

Allowed Values

Number

Example
10
string A text.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
This is red shirt.
json_string JSON format code.

Allowed Values

JSON

Example
[{ "k": "v1" }, { "k": "v2" }]

Cell Values

Each row cell is a Metafield value of that respective Metafield column.

In Shopify – Metafields are actually not columns, they are entries for each separate item. There can be some items with Metafields, and some without.

If the exported Metafield value is empty, then it means that this Metafield doesn’t exist. Shopify cannot have Metafields with empty values.

When the Metafield is imported:

  • If there is some value, then it will either create or update the existing Metafield in Shopify.
  • If the value is empty, then this Metafield for that item will be deleted (not set to empty value, but deleted).

Deleting Metafields

To delete Metafields, just set all values to empty, and import it.

Metafield Examples

Column Name Description
Metafield: title_tag SEO Title

If the value will match exactly the same Product (or Collection) Title, then Shopify stores it as an empty value. Also, if the value is empty, then Shopify will serve SEO Title the same as Product (or Collection) Title. Therefore – SEO Title is never empty.

When exporting, you will have some value only if it differs from the Product (or Collection) Title.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
Mom Strength Red T-shirt Slim Fit
Metafield: description_tag SEO Description

If the value will match exactly the same Product Description, then Shopify stores it as an empty value. Also, if the value is empty, then Shopify will serve SEO Description the same as Product Description. Therefore – SEO Description is never empty if Product has some description at all.

When exporting, you will have some value only if it differs from the Product (or Collection) Description.

Allowed Values

Text

Example
Those t-shirts are the best ones for smart moms.
Metafield: some number If you set the value in Excel as a number, it will be automatically saved as “integer” type.

Allowed Values

Text or Number

Example
234876234
Metafield: namespace.name If column name starts with “Metafield: “, then what comes next is treated as Metafield name. To set the namespace, prefix it before the name, and “.” (dot). If a namespace is not set, then it will be set to “global”.

If column name has “[string]” or “[integer]” at the end, then it will force the type accordingly from that.

If the Metafield value is empty, then it will not be updated at all – this item Metafield will be ignored.

Allowed Values

Text or Number

Example
Anything can be written here.
Metafield: birthday If you want to save Customer birthdate, and use it in the Store.

Allowed Values

Text or Number

Example
1980-11-18

Import Metafields by row

Matrixify app in export and import primarily uses Metfields by columns as explained above.
You can also import Metafields by row.

Metafields by row can also be mixed with Metafield columns from Matrixify template.

Column Name Description
Metafield Namespace A container for a set of metafields. You should define a custom namespace for your metafields to distinguish them from namespaces used by apps and Shopify (including the default global).
Metafield Key The name of the metafield.
Metafield Value The information to be stored as metadata. This column is required when other metafield columns are included.
Metafield Value Type The metafield’s information type. See Metafield Types for valid type values.

Metafields by row - Transporter Shopify Matrixify Excel XLSX CSV

For Products – this way you can import both Product and Variant Metafields. If the row is for Variant then app will save that Metafield as Variant Metafield, if there is no variant in the row then the app will save it as product Metafield. If you need to have multiple Metafields for the same variant then copy whole variant row for each additional Metafield row (or use Metafield columns from Matrixify template).
Above example, each variant would have 1 Metafield and the product itself would have 2 other Metafields.

Metafield values with more than 32767 characters

The problem

Microsoft Excel has some limitations that can sometimes cause trouble when working with large amounts of data. One of those limitations is 32767 character limit for a single cell.

Multiple other apps use Metafields to store various information and it can get quite large over time. If some Metafield value is over this Excel limit of 32767 characters, then it will still be all exported, but when opening the file in Excel it will first display error:

"We found a problem with some content in 'Export_2019-06-18_1659.xlsx'. Do you want us to try to recover as much as we can?".

When Excel has recovered the data it will cut all cell values over the limit to 32767 characters. Saving this file and importing back into the Shopify will result in the Metafield being saved with these 32767 characters, thus cutting the rest off information in that cell.

Note that it will cut it off only if you open the exported .xlsx or .csv file in Excel, and save it. If you will not save the file, and import it by just exporting, then nothing will be cut off – you will be all good.

Solution

We have made the Matrixify app to locate this possible issue and not update any Metafields whose values are exactly 32767 characters (the cut-off cell size).

If the cell value is over 32767 Characters that means that Excel has not cut it and it’s good to import.
If the cell value is under 32767 Characters that again means that Excel has not forcefully cut anything and Metafield will bet set/updated as usually.

Once the Matrixify will detect Metafield with this exact length it will not fail the item, but in the Import Results file a warning will be returned:

"Warning: [Metafield: namespace.key [type]] is not saved. It may be cut off by the Excel because of the 32767 character limit."

Good To Know

  • To update existing Metafields or add new, minimum required columns are:
    1. ID
    2. Handle (if you want it to identify item by Handle)
    3. Metafield: ****
  • When importing Metafields that you will need to use in definitions, it is best to set up the Metafield definitions first in your Shopify Admin -> Settings -> Custom Data. If definitions have not been set, then they will be imported as “Metafields without definitions”. Shopify limits what types of Metafield definitions can be created from “Metafields without definitions”, such as, you will not be able to then set up those definitions as Rich text or reference types.
  • The easiest way to learn Metafields is to export them and watch how they are in Excel (or in CSV). Then import them back, and see what changed. You can do those experiments with just one row.
  • Shopify allows probably unlimited Metafield values per item (at least we haven’t seen any real limit). If you need to export more than 10’000 columns of Metafields, then please use CSV file format because Excel will struggle with more columns.
  • See more about Metafields – what they are, and why there exist, in this tutorial: How to manage Shopify Metafields?