Adding custom fields

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You can create a custom field to collect information that isn’t available in the default system fields. Before you start, read our tips on creating custom fields, so your Jira instance isn’t cluttered with too many fields.

Custom fields are always optional fields. This means that you can create a new custom field without making changes to existing issues. The existing issues will contain no value for the new custom field, even if a default value is defined for it.

For all of the following procedures, you must be logged in as a user with the Jira administrators global permission.

Tips for creating custom fields

Here are some tips on creating and managing custom fields:

Limit the number of custom fields

Pay attention to how many custom fields you define in Jira. A thousand or more is a large number and may affect Jira's performance. Check out more about the issue in

Combine field content

If you just want to make sure that a user remembers to enter some information into the field, consider a multi-line custom text field with a text template as a default value. The Atlassian Marketplace has apps that provide such functionality.

Avoid duplicating fields’ names

You shouldn’t create new custom fields with the same names as the existing custom fields. Always check to see whether a custom field with the same name already exists before you create it. 

If you create custom fields with the same names, it’ll be confusing for users to choose the correct field in JQL searches. 

Also, don't create custom fields with the same name as the default Jira fields. For example, having two "Status" fields (a default and a custom one) will cause inconveniences in search or issue management. 

Make names as generic as possible

Give custom fields non-specific names that can be reused in other places later. For example, instead of naming a field "Marketing Objective", name the field "Objective", and write a description in the field configuration that lists the Jira projects where the field is used.

Creating a new custom field

On this page:

To create a custom field:

  1. In the upper-right corner of the screen, select Administration  > Issues.

  2. Under Fields (the left-side panel), select Custom fields.

  3. Select Add custom field.

  4. In the Select a field type modal dialog, select All to make sure you can see all available field types.

  5. Select the field type and select Next. For example, let’s select the Checkboxes field type.

  6. Configure the field by entering its name, description, and options if required. Select Next.

    You’ll see the Name as the custom field's title when entering and retrieving information on issues. You’ll see the Description beneath the field when creating new issues and editing existing issues, but not when browsing issues.

  7. Configure the context for the field.

    What are contexts?

    Custom field contexts are different configurations of the same field. By configuring multiple contexts, you can use different default values and options for different projects or make the field applicable only to chosen issue types or projects. It’s generally a performance-wise idea to limit the application of a custom field to the projects that will actually use it. You can configure the context later.

    Learn how to do it in Configuring custom field contexts.

  8. Select projects where the custom field must be applied.

  9. Select Create.

Now, you can associate the new custom field with issue screens and then add the field to your issues. Learn more

Associating a custom field with an issue screen

After you create a custom field, you’ll be brought to the Screens page. Learn more about screens

Here, you can choose on which issue screens your custom fields should be displayed. For example, on the Default screen or Resolve issue screen.

To associate the field with the screens, select the checkboxes next to the desired screens and select Update

The custom field will be available on all issue screens for which you’ve enabled it. If you don’t select any screen here, you won’t see the custom field when creating or editing an issue.

Editing existing associations

You can always edit the associations between the custom field and selected screens. To do this:

  1. In the upper-right corner of the screen, select Administration  > Issues.

  2. Under Fields (the left-side panel), select Field configurations.

  3. Select the field configuration.

  4. Find your custom field in the list and select Screens.

  5. Change the associations and select Update.

You can also add custom fields into existing issues regardless of the associations with screens.

Adding a custom field directly to an issue

Even if your custom field isn’t associated with an issue screen, you can still add this field to existing issues of a particular type. Before doing this, ensure you’ve enabled the field for the desired issue type

To add a field to an issue:

  1. Open an issue.

  2. Select Admin > Add field. In the dropdown, select the field you want to see in the issue view.

  3. Select Edit field to set a value for the field immediately.
  4. Select Submit.

For all of the following procedures, you must be logged in as a user with the Jira administrators global permission.

You’ll see the custom field either in the Details block or in the Edit issue screen. If the field isn’t editable, learn how to change that.

The association with the corresponding issue screens will be generated automatically.

The field will become available in all issues of all types for which you’ve enabled it. For example, your field is enabled only for bugs. So, as soon as you add it to one bug, the field will appear in all bugs either of specific projects or across your instance, depending on the context you’ve configured for the field. 

Enabling the field in the board or backlog view

You can add the field from the Jira administration menu. See Configuring a screen's tabs and fields for instructions.

Alternatively, you can do this directly from the issue. As an example, let’s enable the “Issue labels” custom field that we added in the previous section:

  1. Go to the board or backlog view and edit any existing issue.

  2. In the upper-right corner, select Configure fields > Where is my field? to open the field helper.

  3. Enter the name of your custom field. In this case, “Issue label”.

  4. You’ll see the field’s status and details on why your field isn’t displayed and how to update the field’s configuration.

  5. Update the field’s configuration for the Project and issue type scope from the Issue label configuration page. Check out Configuring custom field contexts for details.

  6. Update Field Screen configuration from the OP: Scrum Bug Screen Screen configuration page. See Making the added field editable in the issue view section from Configuring the issue view for details.

Changing issue types where custom fields are added

You can always change the issue types for which you’ve added custom fields. For example, the field can be added only to bugs, but you want to add it to issues of all types.

To change issue types:

  1. In the upper-right corner of the screen, select Administration  > Issues.

  2. Under Fields (the left-side panel), select Custom fields.

  3. Find the field in the list and select Configure in Actions.

  4. On the page with configurations, select Edit configuration.

  5. Go to Choose applicable issue types and select Any issue type

Learn more about how to edit custom fields

You can add the field to issues of all types. The association with the corresponding issue screens will be generated automatically.

Next steps

If you want to change the field’s context, see Configuring a custom field

You can also find more custom fields from apps on the Atlassian Marketplace (for example, the Jira Toolkit). 

To build your own custom field types, see this tutorial from the Jira Developer Documentation.

tip/resting Created with Sketch.

To discover more opportunities of using custom fields in Jira, try one of the apps from the Atlassian Marketplace:  

Last modified on Oct 8, 2022

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