Tips & Tricks

How to prepare a spreadsheet for bulk importing assets

Find out what is important to keep in mind when preparing a proper CSV file for importing assets.

Using CSV format

Shelf allows users to import assets from a CSV  comma-separated values) file. This file format is widely used across various spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, and Google Sheets. To export your data into a compatible CSV file you'll have to access the 'Download as', 'Export as' or 'Save as' option from the program you are using to edit your spreadsheet.

Important: Currently downloading the CSV via Google Sheets causes an error when trying to import.

Our pre-formatted CSV template

Import your own content by placing it in the CSV file. Here you can download our CSV template.

  1. Click Assets
  2. Now click Import
  3. (Recommended) Use our pre-formatted CSV template to help your import work smoothly
This is where you can find the Import functionality within the app.

Setting up the CSV

When adding your data into the spreadsheet you'll have keep in mind a couple of things. Please read the following instructions carefully.

An example of a filled CSV ready for import. (NOTE: cf: means Custom Field) - We recommend avoiding importing custom fields on your initial import.
  • You must use ; as a delimiter* in your CSV file (A delimiter is one or more characters that separate text strings.)
  • Each row represents a new asset that will be created
  • Columns such as category, location & custodian represent just the name of the related entry. An example, if you put the category Laptops we will look for an existing category with that name and link the asset to it. If it doesn't exist, we will create it.
  • Columns such as tags represent the names of a collection of entries. To assign multiple tags, just separate their names with commas. If the tag doesn't exist, we will create it.
  • The content you are importing will NOT be merged with existing assets. A new asset will be created for each valid row in the sheet.
  • To import custom fields, prefix your column heading with "cf: ", add the type followed by a coma from one of the allowed types ("text", "boolean", "option", "multiline text", "date").

This is how a sample header looks like for custom type with name "purchase date" and type "date" -> "cf:purchase date, type:date"

If no type is mentioned "text" is used as default type. Date can be in mm-dd-yyyy or dd-mon-yyyy format. In case of options, if you do not have to have the options created. We create the option (both the field and the option) while importing if the option does not exist.

  • IMPORTANT: The first row of the sheet will be ignored. Use it to describe the columns.
  • If any of the data in the CSV is invalid, the whole import will fail.

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