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Changing a field type without losing data

  1. lindaeve

    I built my first form and began inputting data to populate a Wordpress page with the "Directory" plugin. I realized after inputting about 20 entries that some of the fields which were "paragraph text" should really have been "single line text". However, I cannot see a way to change it without adding a whole new field and deleting the old one. If I delete a field, all the data I have input gets deleted as well. I tried exporting the form and changing the "field type" in the xml file, then importing it again. But that only brings in the structure, not the data. If I export the entries, I cannot then import those same entries to a new table.

    So, long story short, I want to be able to easily change a field type without losing the data already collected for that field. Any way to do this?


    Posted 9 years ago on Tuesday June 26, 2012 | Permalink
  2. David Peralty

    There currently isn't any way to do this. We have plans to work on this issue in a future release, but it is complicated due to how data is stored and presented within the database. Allowing someone to convert a field to another type changes how field data is managed and stored.

    You could style your paragraph field to look like a single line text field. You could make the text area field hidden and put a new field in, thus the data from the old fields won't be gone, but it won't ever match up in an export, so some data massaging will be required.

    Posted 9 years ago on Tuesday June 26, 2012 | Permalink
  3. I've got a similar issue. I form on my site and have a single line text field for a website url. I'm seeing that I could have used the website field in the first place, and then the notifications and all could be clickable links rather than just text I need to copy and paste. I've played with a couple ways to try and add this functionality. Changing the field type would be ideal for something like this. I see that adding the field and removing the old one would not be wise as I don't want to loose all the urls entered in as text data. The best option I can think of is keeping the old field and just hiding it (so the data isn't deleted) and replacing it with the new one (although not ideal, it seems to be a workaround even if it's hackish)

    Any update on the schedule to release this feature? Or any workarounds that are feasible? I'm comfortable editing database or whatever. Thanks!

    Posted 9 years ago on Wednesday September 19, 2012 | Permalink
  4. Hiding the old field and adding a new one is the way to go if you don't want to lose the old data. I don't know of any other workaround.

    Posted 9 years ago on Wednesday September 19, 2012 | Permalink