A tip about updating your drop-down fields

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  • Daniel Sanders

    If one wanted a category drop-down that dynamically updated from the created Zendesk categories, rather than statically created via the form admin interface, can one use these curl commands within JavaScript to update drop down options such that they submit the updated value correctly?

  • Charles Wilson

    I'm re-posting Brandon K.'s suggestion from above:

    If you wanted to rearrange your options, you could add numbers before each option and then click 'Sort field options alphabetically by title upon save.' you can rearrange the fields based on the number. If you then go back in, delete the number from the title and save the page without selecting to sort alphabetically, your options will stay where they are.

    I had a list of values  and their tags:

    Amsterdam tag: amst
    Los Angeles tag: losA
    Winterschliem tag: winter

    I wanted Los Angeles to be first, so I edited it's tag to:


    (notice I didn't need to number the other tags?)
    And sorted the list on Save.
    The list was sorted as I desired, and I went back in and changed the tag back to it's original value.

  • Jessie Schutz

    Thanks for sharing your solution, Charles!

  • Zac

    I'm a little confused about the tip in this article. Does this mean (1) that changing the tag in the ticket field options will wipe the tag from all historical tickets, (2) that changing the tag will update the field, so that reporting on the dropdown value now returns results for the updated tag?

    It seems like (2), is the issue here. I can see how that would make it seem like you have lost all the data; however, if I were to change the field and the tag (never mind easy access to historical reporting on the value) I could do so, and access historical reporting via referring to the old tag manually in Insights.

    I want to confirm this, as I am consolidating some ticket fields, meaning I will be deleting some of them and changing the tag on others, but I want to be able to do manual historical reporting on the old values.

  • Dennis Lynn

    Hey Zac! 

    The tag is the driver for your drop-down fields. If you change the tag, you'll notice that all of your non-closed tickets will lose the value that was in that drop-down field. That is because those tickets will still have the old tags associated with them, and as our system won't know what field to associate with the tag, you will see nothing in that field for the ticket.

    To answer your points directly:

    • Does this mean (1) that changing the tag in the ticket field options will wipe the tag from all historical tickets

    Any ticket in a "Closed" status cannot be changed, so it will continue to have the tag that was associated with the original drop-down field. The field itself will appear empty, or may appear to have a value that matches the old tag. 

    • [Does this mean] (2) that changing the tag will update the field, so that reporting on the dropdown value now returns results for the updated tag?

    Again, changing the tag "breaks" the fields functionality - so any non-closed ticket will now appear to have nothing populated in the field itself. You will still see the old tag when you look at these tickets. 

    I hope that clarifies things!

  • Zac

    This clarifies it. I can use historical tags to report on the historical field data if needed. Thanks Dennis!

  • Kristin Stroobosscher

    Can I get some clarification on what happens if I just change the Title of the tag, but not the tag itself? Say I had a customer change the name of their organization, but I wanted to retain all of their historical data. Currently, their company name is AA and their tag is a_a. If they change their company name to BB, but I leave the tag as a_a, will I retain all of my historical data? Or will I lose anything by simply changing the title?

  • Brian Manning

    @Kristin - As long as you're only changing the 'Title' for an existing dropdown selection you shouldn't have any trouble. The title really just acts as a label for the tag it's associated with. Insights will pick up the change after your next sync and even closed tickets will display the new Title.

    Most people run into trouble when they remove the old dropdown selection and recreate it with the same tag and a new title. Be sure to modify an existing dropdown option and you shouldn't have any trouble.

    If you have nay more questions let us know. Cheers!

  • Darren Chestnut

    Is there a way to do a bulk upload to the drop-down section?  I want to upload our product skus (200+) and just wanted to see if there was a way to upload all at once instead of individually?  

  • Fred Thomas

    @Darren - You can add custom drop-downs "taggers" in bulk via the Zendesk API. With the number of skus that you are working with, it would require a bit of scripting but it most certainly can be done!

    Here's more information about the particular API endpoint that you will use: 

    Updating drop-down field options

    Feel free to reach out here in the community for more help with scripting if needed. If you need more help or have any questions, just let us know!


  • Matthew Knight

    Hi Team,

    Are there any recommendations around how to handle reporting on potentially altered history for tickets that have their dropdown options changed?

    We use dropdown lists for all sorts of categorization and will need to remove options and edit other options fairly often. It makes sense not to edit the tag on options that change (although not ideal), but what about options that are to be removed going forward?

    Some times we have services that are retired or replaced, we don't want to have these options clogging up our lists, but there is a requirement to be able to produce reports on statistics related to some of these fields.

  • Patrick Bosmans

    Hello Matthew,

    If you remove the value option and tag from the dropdown, you can still report on these tickets as the tag will still remain on the ticket. You will want to maintain a record of the removed tags and use the following article to report on tag use, https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/203664306-Insights-tag-reporting-Reporting-on-tickets-with-one-or-more-tags-Professional-and-Enterprise-.

    I hope this helps.


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