CollectiveAccess provides tools for making uniform changes to batches of data. These features, by allowing you to upload large folders of media, for example, or add or remove text from many records at once, can save time and effort. In this section, we'll examine the Batch-Editing feature, which allows you to group the records you wish to edit, and then make changes to all of them simultaneously. Batch-edits are performed via Sets, groups of similar records that can be created to aid your work in a variety of ways.
Before beginning a Batch Edit, you should check your settings in Preferences. Navigate to Preferences (either from Manage or at the very bottom of your screen) and choose “Batch-Editing” from the left-side navigation.
In most cases, the default setting is the best (or only) option. However, in some cases there are alternate settings which can limit the fields appearing on the batch-editing screen, so be sure to check this page before you begin your work.
Batch-editing using sets
In order to batch-edit records, you must first define the terms of your set. One approach, detailed in sets, allows you to hand-pick individual records and group them according to your needs by navigating to Manage → My Sets. From this screen, you may define the type of set you wish to create (slide show, user set, etc.), the type of records it contains (objects, entities, etc.), and its title. To add records to the set, click on the edit icon to the far right of the set’s title and search for the data you wish you include. A second approach to set creation, which we will discuss in a moment, allows you to quickly define a set based on search results.
Once a set is established, one can perform a batch edit from the “My Sets” screen. Navigate to Manage --> My Sets and click on the batch-edit icon in the “# of items” column (circled in red below).
Clicking this icon will bring you to the batch-editing interface, where you will see a familiar list of fields; namely, all of the metadata elements from that record type's Basic Info screen.
The above image displays fields from a Basic Info Screen, but if you wish to batch-edit data in fields on other screens, you can access them using the left-hand navigation. The image below illustrates the fields one might see when batch-editing Relationships.
So how do you begin to actually apply edits? As you can see, beside each of the available fields are the words “in batch” and a drop-down list. Use this list to specify the type of batch-edit you wish to accomplish. Your choices will vary somewhat, of course, based on the nature of the field, but in general you must choose “do not use,” “add to each item,” “replace value,” or “remove all values.” When you choose an “add” or “replace” option, the field will be expanded to allow you to add values to all of the records in the batch. If you have chosen “replace,” pre-existing information in that field will be deleted throughout the batch of records. Exercise caution when making these sweeping changes.
'Caption" field with "Replace Values" option selected from drop-down
When you have made the necessary edits and you feel confident that you won't be erasing any important data, click “Execute Batch Edit.” You will be asked to confirm this choice, as batch edits cannot be undone. Remember that you must execute a separate batch edit for each screen in the editor. If you navigate between screens without executing the edits, changes made to the previous screen will be lost.
If you are making changes to a large set of data, the process may take some time. In light of this, you can opt to "process in background," which allows you to continue working while the changes are processed, or receive an email or text message to alert you when the process is complete.
Creating and batch-editing sets using search results
Sets can also be quickly generated (and subsequently edited) based on a search term. For more information about searching and browsing, see Searching and Browsing. When you have completed your search and the results are displayed on the screen, choose “sets” from the options immediately above your search results (highlighted in red in the image below).
1.) The first tool, "Add checked to set," allows you to select records from your search results and add them to a pre-existing set. Beside each records in your results list you will see a checkbox. Records can be checked individually, or you may select (or de-select) all of them by clicking "toggle checked" (in small print below the "Add checked to set" option.)
2.) If you wish to create an entirely new set from your search results, you may choose the next option, "Create set from results" by clicking "Create."
3.) Finally, if you wish to create a new set and immediately begin batch editing, click "Edit" beside the final option, "Create set and batch edit results." Clicking this last option will bring you straight to the batch editing screen discussed earlier, bypassing the need to navigate to Manage --> My Sets.
Records can be batch deleted just as they can be batch edited. First, follow either of the two approaches outlined above for selecting your to-be-deleted record set. Next, open the batch editor interface. You'll see some text "More options >" in the inspector on the upper left hand corner of the screen:
Click to open and you'll find controls for batch deleting the entire set.
Batch updating access and status values for representations
As of version 1.7, a specialized interface bundle is available that enables setting of access and status values for related object representations. Using this bundle you can, for instance, force the access values of all representations linked to a set of objects to "public." This bundle, called "Media representation access and status" (code ca_object_representations_access_status), is different than the standard "Object representations" bundle (code ca_object_representations), which performs the addition or removal of representations from a batch of objects.