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Modify a Collection

Once you’ve created a Collection, you can go back and edit collection items, fields, and other settings—even after the project has been published.

Note: We're transitioning to Workspaces, and this lesson has been updated to reflect that change. Visit the Workspaces blog post to read more about these updates and changes. 
If your account hasn't yet switched over to Workspaces, please visit our legacy lesson about modifying a Collection. You can also learn how to check if your account is on Workspaces.  
This video features an old UI. Updated version coming soon!
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Once you’ve created a Collection, you can go back and edit Collection items, fields, and other settings — even after the project has been published.

In this lesson you’ll learn:

  1. How to edit Collection settings
  2. How to edit individual Collection items
  3. How to bulk-edit Collection items
  4. How to selectively export Collection items
  5. How to delete Collections
  6. How to delete all Collections from a site

How to edit Collection settings

To access the Collection settings, open a Collection in the CMS and click on Settings. You can also click on the settings icon next to the Collection in the Collection Panel.

The Collection settings button is highlighted in a Collection.

Collection name

The singular and plural versions of the collection name can be edited at any time after a Collection has been created.

The Collection settings panel includes a text field for a Collection name, a notice of the plural and singular versions, a text field for the Collection URL, a cancel button and a blue save collection button.

Collection fields

You can add, edit, or remove any fields in your Collection. In each field you can modify the label and help text. Customizing the help text can make it clear to Collaborators what each field is intended for.

Learn more about Collection Fields.

The Help text section is highlighted on the Collection fields panel. The help text field contains the phrase "Choose a photo where you're smiling!"

Manage Collection and Field connections

The connections manager in a Collection's settings allows you to see where a Collection Field is connected to in your designs. To access the connection manager, open the Collection settings, scroll all the way down, and click the button labeled "view connections".

Here, you can:

  • See all the instances where a Collection and its Fields are connected to on your pages
  • Disconnect any instance with one click
  • Jump to the page in the Designer where the connection exists
  • Jump to the specific element in the Designer that’s connected to a Collection Field

Once you remove a connection from an element, the element falls back to the default content associated with that element. For example, a paragraph will show the default placeholder text for the paragraph element.

How to edit individual Collection items

A Collection is a living, breathing database—it’s constantly growing as you add more items to your Collection. You can make changes to existing Collection items or create new ones at any time in the Designer or the Editor.

Step one on the left, select the name text field to edit the previously entered text. Step two on the right, edit the text and click the blue save button on the top right.

How to bulk-edit Collection items

If you work with a large database of content, bulk-editing Collection items can be a lifesaver. You can filter, sort, or search your content to determine what to edit.

Filter, sort, or search

With a Collection open, select the pin icon in the top right corner of the list to show or hide fields in the Collection. Depending on the field type you’re sorting, you click on the column heading to sort alphabetically, numerically, by date, or by true/false values.

The pin icon is highlighted in a Collection, which displays fields that can be hidden or displayed in a Collection.
The created field shows a tooltip indicating that it’s being sorted by latest items first.

You can also use the “filter” button to refine the items that are visible, based on their status, published date, created date, and modified date. 

Using the search bar is another quick way to find exactly what you want to edit.

Learn more about filter, sort, and search

Bulk-edit

To edit multiple items, click the Select button in the top action bar to activate bulk editing.

The Select button in a Collection is highlighted. 
Good to know: You can filter, sort, or search your items before activating bulk editing, so you can selectively choose which items you want to bulk edit.

Select items (SHIFT + click to select a range of items). Once you’ve selected your items, you can perform a variety of bulk actions depending on your selection and the items’ current status (e.g., you may not be able to perform all actions available if your items contain mixed statuses). The first bulk actions are:

  • Export: exports Collection items as a CSV (learn more about how to selectively export Collection items)
  • Delete: permanently removes the Collection items from the Designer, but leaves the items on the live site until the next site publish, at which point they will be removed from the live site

Click the “Update items” button to choose from the following actions in the dropdown menu:

  • Stage for publish: sets current draft items as staged for publish at the next site publish
  • Publish: immediately publishes items to your live site
  • Save as draft: sets Collection items to a draft if they are not yet ready to be published, and will unpublish a live item from the site at the next site publish
  • Unpublish: immediately removes items from your live site and changes their status to “Draft”, (or maintains the draft status if the item was already a draft that was still published to the live site) — unpublishing also removes the original published date 
  • Archive: pulls Collection items from the site at the next site publish, but keeps them accessible from the CMS in the Designer or the Editor
Pro tip: When in bulk editing mode, you can SHIFT + click to select a range of items. This feature works even if your Collection contains more than 100 items and displays them in a paginated view. Move through the additional pages, and continue to SHIFT + click to continually select the additional items you’d like to edit.
Important: Unpublishing is blocked if your site’s domains have different publish dates, or if your site was restored from a backup. You can regain access to unpublishing after you perform a full-site publish that syncs the publish dates of the different domains.   
The top action bar in a CMS collection displays actions that can be performed on multiple selected CMS items, including Export, Delete, and Update items. Update items shows a dropdown menu with options to Stage for publish, Publish, Save as draft, Unpublish, or Archive.

Learn more about bulk-editing Collection items.

How to selectively export Collection items

If you want to update multiple Collection items’ data, you can selectively export just the individual Collection items you need to update: 

  1. Search, filter, or sort your items (optional)
  2. Press Select to bulk select the items you want to export
  3. Press Export to create a CSV file you can download and edit
The Export button is highlighted in a CMS collection with multiple items selected.

After you’ve made your changes and have saved your CSV file, you can re-import just the updated, individual Collection items into your collection, and can overwrite old content with your new updates. Learn more about importing Collection items

Note: Items are matched based on the “Item ID” field, which is included in a CSV export from a Collection.

How to delete Collections

You can delete a Collection when you don’t need it anymore. This will also delete the Collection template page from your site.

Good to know: Removing connections and deleting Collections may affect your visual design and code embeds. It also can’t be undone, short of restoring a backup. Before you remove connections and delete a Collection, you can manually save a backup of your site using Command + Shift + S (on Mac) or Control + Shift + S (on Windows). 

To delete an entire collection, you’ll need to complete 3 steps. Let’s walk through each of them:

Step 1 — Delete all Collection items from the Collection

You’ll need to first delete all Collection items from the Collection: 

  1. Open your Collection
  2. Use the bulk edit option to select all your Collection items
  3. Press “Delete” and wait for your site to save

Step 2 — Remove all connections to the Collection and its Fields

After deleting all Collection items from the Collection, you’ll need to remove connections to the Collection and its Fields (e.g., you’ll be disconnecting children elements from their parent element — the Collection). You’ve got 2 different ways to do this.

Option 1 — Remove connections but keep the Collection List designs on your pages

If you want to keep all your Collection lists and the designs within them on any of your pages where they exist (except for that Collection’s template page which will be deleted):

  1. Open your Collection’s settings
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Collection’s settings and click "View connections"
  3. Click the “arrow” icon to expand and view connections 
  4. Hover over each Field and click the “unlink” icon next to the Field to disconnect it
  5. Hover over each Collection list and click the “unlink” icon next to the Collection list to disconnect it (you must disconnect Fields before you can disconnect Collection lists)
The View connections button is highlighted at the bottom of a CMS Collections’s settings.
Arrow icons are highlighted next to pages shown in a CMS Collection connections modal.
The broken link icon is highlighted next to a CMS field in the CMS collection connections modal.
Note: This option removes the dynamic connection between your content and the Collection, so remaining elements will be filled with placeholder content. 
Option 2 — Remove connections but delete the Collection Lists with all content from your pages

If you want to remove all the designs in Collection lists on all pages:

  1. Open your Collection’s settings
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Collection’s settings and click "View connections"
  3. Click the “arrow” icon to expand and view connections 
  4. Press the “eye” icon next to each Collection list to go to the page where it exists
  5. Delete the corresponding Collection list on the page

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all Collection lists and elements have been removed and disconnected. (You can also follow these same steps to delete any remaining linked elements in a Collection template page.)

The View connections button is highlighted at the bottom of a CMS Collections’s settings.
Arrow icons are highlighted next to pages shown in a CMS Collection connections modal.
The eye icon is highlighted next to a CMS field in the CMS collection connections modal.
Locate the Collection in your page and delete it. 

Step 3 — Delete the Collection from the Collection settings

After you’ve deleted all the Collection items from your Collection, you can delete the Collection itself: 

  1. Open your Collection’s settings
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Collection’s settings, click "Delete Collection" and confirm your choice 
The Delete collection button is highlighted at the bottom of a CMS Collections’s settings.

How to delete all Collections from a site (remove CMS from your site)

Good to know: Removing connections and deleting Collections may affect your visual design and code embeds. It also can’t be undone, short of restoring a backup. Before you remove connections and delete a Collection, you can manually save a backup of your site using Command + Shift + S (on Mac) or Control + Shift + S (on Windows). 

You can delete all CMS Collections from your site to unlock Basic Hosting for that site.

To remove all CMS from your site, delete each and every Collection in your site following the 3 steps to delete a Collection above.

Additionally, if you have any Guest editors added to your site, you’ll need to remove them before you can switch to a Basic site plan. 

  1. Open your Site settings > Members tab
  2. Scroll to the Guest editors section
  3. Remove all Guest editors
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