Bulk editing products

04/01/2011

Stores with large number of products take a significant amount of your time to make bulk product updates if done one by one. Using one of the bulk editing options available in Magento can prove very helpful, especially when transferring your ZetaPrints web-to-print portal into a Magento web-to-print store.

Basic bulk edit

Some product attributes can be edited in bulk on Manage Products page in Magento admin.

Select multiple products, chose Update Attributes from the Actions drop-down menu and click Submit.

The next page shows you all the product attributes that you can change.

How to select products

Narrow down the list of products using the search filter on the page

Select All – selects all found products, even if they are not visible on the current page

Select Visible – selects all on this page

You can also increase the number of products per page to manually select what you need.

The downside of this approach is that:

  1. you’re limited to a certain number of attributes that can be edited
  2. you can only assign identical values per attribute to all selected products

Advanced bulk edit

Apart from bulk editing through Magento admin panel, product attributes can be edited in more detail using a .CSV or .XML file. This process includes:

  1. Export product data as a .CSV or .XML file,
  2. Download the file to your local hard drive
  3. Edit the file in a text editor
  4. Import the file back into Magento
  5. Run the Import profile to apply your changes

Unlike the previous method, this one allows you to edit all product attributes and conveniently assign different attribute values for different products.

Navigate to System -> Import/Export -> Profiles in your Magento admin panel.

Note. As you can see from the list of automatically created profiles, apart from product attributes, this method can also be used for bulk editing product stocks and customers.

Export all products

Click on Export All Products profile.

The Profile Wizard tab displays all the preferences that you can change. Ranging from the preferred file format (.XML or .CSV) to the location where the generated file will be stored on your server etc.

You can also set filters and flag specific attributes you want included in the file in order avoid flooding it with unnecessary info, if all you need is to bulk edit a single attribute.

After you’re done editing the settings, you can run the profile and generate the products info file. Click on Run Profile tab and then Run Profile In Popup button.

By default, this profile is set up to generate a complete .CSV file containing all existing product details and store it in var/export folder of your Magento installation. Navigate to this location and download the generated file to your local hard drive.

Edit product details

Depending on the file type, you can use any text editor (for .CSV files) or MS Excel (for .XML files) to edit product attributes.

Lets say we need to assign new products to existing categories in our store. After importing new web-to-print templates, creating products for them and running the Export All Products profile, as explained above, we get the export_all_products.xml file.

Open the file and locate the “category_ids” column of values. Assign a product to a category by entering the category ID in the corresponding cell.

When done editing all the attributes, save the file without changing the extension or format version.

Import all products

As a final step, you need to apply the changes you’ve made. This means uploading the edited file back into Magento and running the profile. Navigate back to System -> Import/Export -> Profiles page in your Magento admin panel and click on Import All Products.

Click on Upload File tab on the left, Browse for the file on your local hard drive and hit Save.

Your edits are now uploaded into Magento and ready to be applied to all the products. In the Run Profile tab, select your file from the drop down list and hit Run Profile In Popup.

Wait for the profile execution to finish and check the front end of your store to confirm all your changes were applied as intended.

Multiple category assignment for web-to-print products

ZetaPrints templates are imported into Magento without keywords or category information. Their corresponding products need to be assigned to one or more categories. It can be done quickly and efficiently using advanced bulk editing described above.

See also: