Multi-reference field

A multi-reference field allows you to associate one item with multiple others from another Collection, which is great for tagging and categorization.

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A multi-reference field is just like a reference field, except it allows you to reference more than one item from another Collection and then present these items in a Collection List on a Collection Page. This is great for tagging systems and other instances where you want to connect one item to many others.

Common uses
  • Blog post Collection referencing multiple authors from an Authors Collection
  • Projects Collection referencing multiple tags in a Tags Collection
In this lesson
  1. Create a multi-reference field
  2. Reference items from a multi-reference field
  3. Use the multi-reference field in your design
  4. Filter a Collection list using the multi-reference field
  5. Set conditional visibility using the multi-reference field

Create a multi-reference field

The beauty of the reference and multi-reference fields is that whenever you edit an item that’s being referenced, the new content will automatically update everywhere it’s referenced. So, for example, if I updated a related blog post's name, every reference to that blog post will update automatically.

To add a multi-reference field to a Collection, click New Field and then choose the multi-reference field.

Set up the multi-reference field

In multi-reference field’s settings, choose which Collection you want the current Collection to reference. You can also specify the name, help text, and whether the field is required to publish.


Reference items from a multi-reference field

Once you've added a multi-reference field to a Collection, you can go into your Collection items and start adding references. You can choose multiple items from the Collection you chose in the reference field settings.


Use the multi-reference field in your design

To use multi-reference fields in your designs, connect a Collection List to this field in a Collection Page that has that field. You can then connect to elements and styles inside this Collection List.

Connect the multi-reference field to a Collection List

In this example, we have a Blog Posts Collection with a multi-reference field that’s referencing the "Tags" Collection. Drop a Collection list onto the Blog Post Collection page, and connect it to the "Tags" multi-reference field.

Make sure you connect to the multi-reference field and not the actual Collection that is referenced. If you connect to the actual collection, that will pull all the Collection items in that collection instead of only the referenced ones.

Connect elements and styles to fields from the referenced collection

When you add an element to this Collection List, you can pull the content for that element from any of the referenced Collection’s fields. For example, you can use a tag’s name in a heading element and the tag’s icon in an image element.


Caption: In this clip, we show you how you can pull the values of a number of fields from a Contributors Collection right into a Blog Post.

Filter a Collection list using the multi-reference field

Let's say you have a Collection of "Blog posts" that has a multi-reference field connected to a "Tags" Collection. You can use the "Tags" multi-reference field to filter Collection Lists connected to the "Tags" Collection on both the "Blog posts" and "Tags" Collection pages.

Show all items that contain the current referenced field

For example, you can show all "Blog Posts" that reference a Tag on the "Tags" Collection Page. To do this:

  1. Add a Collection List on the "Tags" Collection page and connect it to the "Blog Posts" Collection
  2. Create the following filter rule: Tags — contains — Current Tag

Show all items that contain any referenced field of the current item

Let's say, on the "blog posts" page, you want to display a list of all related "Blog posts" that have any of the same "Tags" as the "Blog post" you’re currently viewing. You can do as follows:

  1. Add a Collection List on the "Blog posts" Collection page and connect it to the "Blog Posts" Collection
  2. Create the following filter rule: Tags — contains — Any Tags of current Blog post

Set conditional visibility using the multi-reference field

You can set conditional visibility to show or hide individual elements in a collection list or on a collection page using the multi-reference field.

This type of condition can only be created within a collection list that's connected to the collection that has the multi-reference field or on the collection template page of this collection. For example, if you have a collection called “Blog posts” that has a multi-reference field linked to a collection called “Authors”, you can add conditions based on the reference field “Authors” in any collection list that is connected to the “Blog posts” collection as well as on the “Blog posts” template page.

You can add the following conditions based on the multi-reference field:

  • when the multi-reference field is set or is not set
  • When the multi-reference field contains or doesn’t contain a specific value

Show content when a multi-referenced field is set

Let’s say we want to add an Author’s section under each blog post on the Blog post template page. We can do that by adding a collection list and connecting it to the Authors multi-reference field.

Now, what if we add a heading to this section? We want the heading to appear only when there are authors set in the multi-reference field. So we need to set a condition on the heading like this:

  1. Select the heading
  2. Add a condition under the conditional visibility section in the settings panel
  3. Select your multi-reference field, Authors (multi-reference), in the first dropdown
  4. Choose Is set in the second dropdown
  5. Save

Common questions

Why can't I add a reference field?

You get a limited number of references per Collection depending on the type of account plan you're on, or the type of Site plan you've purchased for your project.

All free or paid account plans can have up to 5 references per Collection per unhosted project. Projects with a CMS or Standard Ecommerce site plan can also have up to 5 references per Collection. Projects with a Business, Plus, or Advanced Ecommerce site plan can have up to 10 references per Collection.

Why isn't there filtering and sorting options for Collection lists connected to a multi-reference field?

There’s no filtering and sorting options for this Collection list because it automatically shows the referenced items for that page in the order that you've selected them within the multi-reference field.

Why can't I show multi-reference field data in a Collection list?

At the moment, you can show multi-reference field values only on a Collection page, and not within a Collection list. Support for nested Collection lists is planned. Vote for and subscribe to status updates of this feature request.