Custom Attributes

Users can add descriptive data to assets via custom fields; these fields are known as attributes. Attributes can be created in a variety of data types. Users with sufficient privileges to the site can add values to these attributes for stored assets. Custom attributes and their values allow users to:

  • Search for specific assets based on attribute criteria.
  • Sort gallery contents by attribute values.
  • Narrow gallery results using attribute facets
  • View individual asset's data.
  • Map existing XMP data to attributes while uploading assets. 

Configuring custom attributes

To access the master list of all custom attributes for your NetX site, log into NetX as an administrator. Use the System button along the left sidebar and choose the Attributes tab.

Creating custom attributes

From the Attributes tab in the System area, use the plus button found along the upper-left of the attributes window to begin creating a new attribute:

  1. Object types determine whether or not the attribute you are creating can be applied to Assets or Video clips – or both. This choice cannot be changed later.
  2. The Type of attribute assigns a data type, determining the kind of input users will be able to apply to the attribute. This choice cannot be changed later.
  3. The Name of the attribute; this is the label NetX uses in all contexts attributes appear. Attribute field names cannot be more than 100 characters long.
  4. The Value of an attribute will depend on the type chosen for the new attribute. For attributes such as text, text area, or number input types, the value here will act as a default – that is, the value which will be applied while uploading assets if no other value is added. Attributes such as pulldown or multi-select input types present a list of values to users for selection while editing attributes. Values can be added or removed when editing the attribute, or via the vocabularies feature if enabled. 
  5. Minimum user level determines who can see the new attribute and its values, preventing any user below the customized user level from seeing the attribute in any context. A selection of No minimum will allow users of any level to see the attribute. Note that this setting does not affect which users can edit the attribute if they have permission to edit attributes based on their user level.
  6. Sync metadata allows the current attribute to be synced, meaning assets imported into the system with values in these preset XMP fields will write those values to the custom attribute automatically.
  7. Toggles whether or not an attribute is Mandatory. If an attribute is mandatory assets cannot be uploaded nor edited without at least one value.
  8. Pulldown multi-select, and tag attributes can be used as search facets by toggling this checkbox.
  9. Enabling attribute history means NetX will retain a record of all changes made to the attribute, which can be accessed via an asset's detail page. Note that enabling history for an attribute will not display any changes which occurred before the feature was enabled for that attribute, nor will older historical records be maintained if this feature is toggled off, then on again.
  10. Clicking Cancel will close the window and all changes will be lost; no attribute will be created. Save will create a new attribute with your settings.

Editing a custom attribute

Object typeType, and Vocabulary cannot be edited after an attribute is created.

  1. From the Attributes tab in the system area, click the menu  button which accompanies the attribute you would like to edit.

  2. Choose Edit attribute. Alternately, clicking the attribute line will open the editor.

  3. When finished editing your attribute, click Save.

Deleting an attribute

Deleting an attribute is permanent. The attribute and all of its data including any values applied to assets and its history will be removed from the system

You can not delete an attribute if it is being used:

From the list of custom attributes on the Attributes tab of the System area, select the action menu icon which accompanies the attribute you would like to delete; choose Delete.

Ordering attributes

If your site allows attribute reordering, attributes can be rearranged in their list order using the drag button to the left of each attribute. Attributes will appear in gallery and editing contexts in the order they are arranged here. By default, attributes are ordered in descending chronological order. 

Attribute types

NetX provides the following attribute types to accommodate a diverse range of data input:


Text attributes are simple, one-line text input fields. Text attributes can be used as a link if the sole content of the text field is a URL beginning with either http:// or https:// and will be clickable in any read-only attribute context, such as in the gallery. 

Text area

Text area attributes are larger text fields which can be used for longer inputs, such as paragraphs.


Pulldown attributes provide an administrator-curated list of value options that present as a drop-down list in editing contexts. To create value options, separate each item with a line break while creating or editing the pulldown attribute. Users can only select one value per attribute. If you are using the vocabularies feature to manage attribute values, see Vocabularies.


Date attributes limit user input to a standard date format. The date value is input using a pop-up calendar from which the user can select the desired date. Date attributes can be created or edited with a default date.


Multi-select attributes present their value options in a drop-down list, with the ability to apply multiple values at a time. To create value options, separate each item with a line break while creating or editing the attribute. If you are using the Vocabularies feature to manage attribute values, you'll need to create values in the vocabulary that's linked to the attribute.

Tag (dataset)

Tag attributes, much like multi-select attributes, allow users to apply multiple values to the same attribute for a single asset. Tag types are most helpful when you need to provide a large number of value options.

  • Tag (dataset) attributes have a Source field instead ofValue field; this is where you assign an existing dataset to the attribute that contains the list of tag values.
  • Tag datasets are managed in Tools > Datasets. Newly created tag dataset files need to be uploaded here before they can be selected as a Source.
  • Tag attributes have a unique checkbox: Allow users to create new values. If this box is checked, users can dynamically add values to an existing dataset while editing attributes. If this box is unchecked, users will be limited to only those values contained in the dataset source.

Formatting a tag dataset

Dataset files destined to be applied to a tag attribute must meet the following format requirements:

  • The file must be in .csv format.
  • Use the name of your new tag attribute as the dataset's column header
  • Each subsequent row under the header should have a unique attribute value.
  • Remove any empty cells from your worksheet, if you are using a spreadsheet-style editor.

Below is an example of a properly formatted file. Note that the column header value, Mission red shirts must match the new attribute name exactly. Once your file has been properly formatted and saved, upload your new file via the dataset manager.

Creating an empty tag dataset

Tag attributes can be configured to allow users to add new values as they edit attributes throughout the application. Each time a user enters a new value, it will be added to the attribute's dataset. To create an empty dataset that relies entirely on user-inputted values, create a file with only a header row value. Note that this header value must still match the attribute name exactly.

Tag (vocabulary)

Tag (vocabulary) attributes behave similarly to tag (dataset) attributes, but use a vocabulary to manage values instead of a dataset. These attribute types are only visible when the vocabularies feature is enabled.


Neither Number type nor Size settings for a number attribute can be edited once they have been created

Number attributes restrict user inputs to number values. Administrators can choose to further limit what number values will be accepted by the attribute while editing assets:

  • Whole number: Restricts number inputs to only whole numbers, i.e. numbers without decimals.
  • Once decimal: Restricts number inputs to numbers with only one digit after the decimal point, if any.
  • Two decimals: Restricts number inputs to numbers with only two digits after the decimal point, if any.
  • Three decimals: Restricts number inputs to numbers with only three digits after the decimal point, if any.
  • Unlimited: Allows for any number input, with or without decimals, with no limit to the number of digits that come before or after the decimal point.
  • Sortable: This is a legacy setting that is no longer needed.

Additionally, number entries can restrict the size of the number value. This size limit will dictate the number of digits a number can have for a particular attribute. 

Advanced settings

Property Description

Setting this property to true forces alpha-numeric order for all attributes in all contexts where all attributes are displayed. This still allows users to define the order of attributes in any attribute sets.

Value options: true / false

Requires restart? No


Determines whether or not the attribute history option is available on your site. If this is false, the History checkbox will not be visible when creating or editing custom attributes. This is set to true by default.

Value options: true / false

Requires restart? Yes


Determines how often attribute history values are indexed for the attribute history search feature. By default, metadata history values are indexed daily.

Value options: hourly / daily / weekly / never

Requires restart? Yes

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