Getting started

Welcome to the Contentful Bulk Edit app documentation.
Need to install the app? Check the installation guide for instructions.

Intro

The Bulk Edit app allows you to make changes to many entries at once in your Contentful space without having to know how to code.

Steps to a successful edit of any number of Contentful entries:

  1. Define the filters for entries that you want to edit (similar to how you would search Contentful).
  2. Check the list preview showing you the first 10 entries returned by your filters.
  3. Define operations that should be executed on your entries (You can define multiple operations and they will be executed sequentially. If any of them fails, the subsequent operations will not run to prevent data corruption).
  4. (Optional) Run the editing in a "Dry run" mode. This serves as a sanity check and will go through all of the changes without actually making them, giving you a sense of what's going to happen.
  5. Run the editing, leave the tab open until the app finished your edits.

Filtering entries

Your first step with any edit is specifying filters. These tell the app on which entries it should operate. You want to be as specific as possible here for several reasons:

  1. You don't want to edit entries you did not mean to
  2. Fewer entries = quicker bulk editing completion
  3. Fewer entries = less damage, and easier to revert changes if anything goes wrong

For the most part, the filtering works identically to the standard Contentful search, only with a slightly different UI/UX.

Defining operations

There are two types of operations: operations on entries (publish, unpublish, delete, etc.) and operations on fields (set value, clear value, etc). You can define multiple operations, and they will be executed sequentially (one after the other). If the previous change fails for whatever reason (for example, you not having permission to make a change or Contentful API being down), subsequent operations of that same entry will not be processed (to avoid unexpected results).

Operations on entries

These operations affect entries as a whole. You will often use them in conjunction with field operations (for example to publish an entry after making a change to its field).

Operations on fields

These operations target a single entry field. They are more complex and come with additional configuration. At a minimum, you will need to specify which field you are targeting with the operation.

For example, to set the value of a field, you would use the "Set field value" operation.

Referencing field values inside of your operations

You can use a special format (called Shortcodes) inside of operations value inputs to reference the value of any field of the current entry. This allows for a powerful composition. The format is as follows: {fields.FIELD_NAME.LOCALE}

For example, imagine you had a content type Person with firstName and lastName fields. You now want to add a new field fullName to your content type and merge firstName and lastName into it. After creating a field on your content type, you would open up the app, set up your filters, and create a new "Set field value" operation. You would then use the following as a value of your field: {fields.firstName.en-US} {fields.lastName.en-US}. This would combine the two field values and form the final value of your new field.

You can learn more about the shortcodes in the Shortcodes documentation .

Working with the (multi) reference fields

Reference fields are represented as entry/asset IDs. In the case of a multi-reference field, the value is represented in form of comma-separated IDs.

Publishing your field changes

After the app makes changes to a field of an entry, that entry will have its status set to "CHANGED". The changes are not automatically published to prevent accidental breakages, and so Contentful API will continue serving the old version of an entry. If you want to immediately publish the changes made, add the "Publish entry" operation after all of your other operations.

Running the edit

The editing happens in your browser and so it"s important not to close the tab until the editing completes, otherwise, the editing will not complete. You can still safely work in other tabs and leave the APP tab open in the background.

Before running the edit

The app is powerful so it needs to be used responsibly. It"s easy to make an unintended change which can then be hard to reverse (the app currently does not offer a recovery mechanism). In most cases, you can still revert the changes manually (or with the help of a developer) as Contentful keeps old versions of entries. Given that the app offers the ability to edit a lot of entries at once however, recovery can be a painful process. For this reason I suggest running the app in a separate, non-primary environment, and then using environment aliases to push your changes to production.

Dry run

The app supports running your changes in a "Dry run" mode, which goes through all the entries and "pretends" it's making changes, while it only fakes them. This can be a useful sanity check before running the real editing. Note that in its current form the dry run mode is not able to detect all errors and it might succeed where the real edit would fail.