A tip about updating your drop-down fields Follow

With Zendesk Support you can create a wide range of custom ticket fields: drop-down lists, text, multi-line text, etc. If you want more information about custom ticket fields, feel free to check out Adding and using custom ticket fields .

One of the most frequently used custom fields is the drop-down list. Sometimes the wording of your drop-down field options is not exactly what you wanted, so you may want to edit all of them. And you can do it by simply changing the wording of your drop-down field options. However, there is one important thing that you should always bear in mind when doing so: never edit the tags of your field options!

When you create a drop-down list, four fields can be reworded in the edit page of your drop-down list, and here they are:

  1. The ticket field title visible to your agents
  2. The ticket field title visible to your end-users
  3. The titles of your field options
  4. The tags of your field options

Like I said, you should never edit the tags of your field options (circled in red in the screenshot below). The tags have the important task of rendering the value of your field options, and if you change them, then you will lose the data on your existing tickets.

On the other hand, the other parts of the drop-down edit page can be reworded (outlined in green below) and the rewording will be automatically applied in bulk on all your existing tickets without loss of data.

For example if you want to give completely different options for the above drop-down list, you can do so by changing the titles of your field options : “General Enquiries”; “Technical issue”; “Refund”; “Job Application”....but their respective tags (“tag1”; “tag2”; “tag3”; “tag4”) should never be edited.

If you have any additional questions, add a comment here or contact our customer service team support@zendesk.com .

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  • 0

    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?

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    Thanks for sharing your solution, Charles!

  • 0

    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.

  • 0

    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!

  • 0

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

  • 0

    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?

  • 0

    @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!

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