Bulk Edit

You can bulk edit in two different ways:

Bulk edit mode is available on most pages, while multi-edit is available on work item summary pages. Bulk edit mode is preferred as it is capable of editing more fields, and can also bulk parent and associate related work items . You can edit up to 500 work items at a time.

Note: If two users edit the same story and one user is in bulk edit mode, the bulk edit user's work will overwrite the other user's changes. For example, if User1 bulk edits stories A, B and C, and User2 edits the description of story B, when User1 finishes editing, User2's description will be overwritten with the original description of story B. However, the changes will still be accessible in User2's history.

Bulk Edit Mode

Use bulk edit mode to edit multiple field values. There are two ways of accessing bulk edit mode, depending on the page:

Note: Your ability to bulk edit for a work item is dependent upon the user permissions you have been assigned for the workspace or project . Also, if f you select different work item types on the Backlog page, only fields shared between the items can be edited in bulk.

Inline Gear Menu

To enter bulk edit mode:
  1. Select more than one work item by placing a check mark in the checkbox on each row. The inline gear menu will switch to bulk actions mode bulk.
  2. Select the inline bulk actions gear menu and select Edit.
    Bulk Actions gear menu.
  3. Select the fields that you want to edit and select a new value in each field.
    Bulk Edit
  4. Select Apply to edit the selected work items.

Unsupported Fields

You can edit most fields from pages that support bulk edit mode, including custom fields. However, some standard fields and types of custom fields cannot be edited in bulk. The following table lists fields that do not display in the bulk edit chooser:

Work item type Fields
All work items
  • Rich text fields (Description, Notes)
  • Rank
  • FormattedID
Custom fields
  • Text fields
  • Web link fields
  • Multi-value drop-down list
  • Project
  • Task Index
Test cases
  • Rich text fields (Expected Result, Validation Input)
  • Test Case Result
Portfolio items
  • Type

Bulk Parent and Associate Work Items

You can add or change the parent of a group of user stories, or associate a group of tasks, defects, or test cases to related work items in a single step.

To bulk edit the parent or association of a work item:
  1. Select more than one work item using the checkboxes on each row.
    The gear menu switches to bulk edit mode. bulk
  2. Select the gear icon and select Choose Parent or Choose Work Product (option will depend on work item selected).
  3. On the pop-up chooser, use the search and filtering options to locate the work item you want to associate or set as the parent.
    Parent chooser
  4. Select the work item and select Choose.
  • If you select multiple work item types, the parent or association option will not be present.
  • Defect suites and test sets cannot be associated to other work items.

Pencil Icon

The pencil icon is activated on select pages (Quality Management, Work Views, QDP collections) when multiple work items are selected.

Work Views with multiple items selected activates pencil icon

If the field can have multiple values, the Value drop-down list displays the following information:

  • Values that occur in all of the selected work items are marked with a check.

    Bulk edit work items with multi-value field

  • Values that occur in some of the selected work items, but not all, are marked indeterminate (minus sign).
  • Values that are available but not used in any of the selected work items have an empty checkbox.

    Bulk edit work items with multi-value field

For indeterminate items, selecting the minus sign removes that value from any work item selected for bulk edit. Selecting it a second time applies it to all of the work items selected for bulk edit. Select Cancel to undo changes to indeterminate items.

Multi-Edit on Summary Pages

To quickly set or change the field values of multiple work items of a single type (such as user story , defect, defect suite) at one time, use the multi-edit view on any work item summary page.

  • Your multi-edit view reflects all fields displayed in your view. If you create a custom view, you will be able to edit all fields displayed in your custom view.
  • If drag-and-drop ranking is activated for your workspace, the Rank field is not available for editing in the multi-edit view.

Change Multiple Item Values

Follow these steps:
  1. From Actions, select Multi-Edit.
    Multi-Edit in Actions menu
  2. All work items display multiple fields available for editing.
    Multi-edit on User Stories page
  3. Select the drop-down arrow or the magnifying glass icon where available and select the desired value for each of the fields. Enter new textual information for fields with a text box.
  4. Select Save.

Change Multiple Items to the Same Column Value

To change multiple items to the same column value in a single edit:
  1. From Actions, select Multi-Edit.
  2. Select each row's checkbox to specify which work items to change by the edit action. By default, all checkboxes are selected.
  3. Select a value from the Change Column drop-down list.
  4. Select or enter a value from the To drop-down list.
  5. Select Apply.
  6. Select Save.
    Your edits are saved to the database.
Note: If your administrator has required a work item field after the work item was created and the required field does not appear on the multi-edit rows, the requirement will not be enforced with the multi-edit.


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