Autocomplete on Metadata tab?

Would it be possible to make the metadata tabs autocomplete with a drop-down? … most of the research I added were letters/correspondence between the same group of people, or press clippings from a number of media outlets and I longed for that option!


Yes, we’re planning to add auto-complete to the metadata panel.

We are considering some options so feel free to let us know your preferences.

  • Complete values using data from all other fields in the project
  • Use data only from the given field in the project (e.g., use only dc:creator values in a dc:creator field)

That’s great to hear! Tropy is just phenomenal. I’d never have been able to organize my project without it.

My preference would be to use data only from the given field in the project. I think the former would bring in too much extraneous information, but that’s just the way I have set my research up. Others may want data from all fields.


Hi Inukshuk & Karen -

I’d love to weigh in on this too - as autocomplete options would also help me a lot, especially with names.

I’d like options just from the field. The way the “tags” option works right now. That way if I write “Inuk…” it gives me the option of autocompleting “Inukshuk” - and insures that I don’t enter your name one time as Inukshuk and another time as “Inukshuc” (because in the documents that I have your name is spelled three different ways - and I have to choose one and be consistent with it).

For tags, I think that it would actually be helpful if the autocomplete picked up the word anywhere in the tag, not just at the beginning. For example, I have a tag “Importance of Speed” …but let’s say I forget that I wrote “importance of …” and think oh, this should be tagged “Speed” - When I write “spe…” the system would pull up “importance of speed” - and prevent me from making duplicate tags about speed.

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I’ll chime in on this too. If the choice is between the one relevant field vs. all fields, I’d choose just the one. But in a perfect world, I could see the usefulness of, for example, having a single list of names that draws from all name-related fields (i.e. Creator and Audience fields), but not from other non-relevant fields (Type, Collection, Box, Folder, etc.). However, I’m guessing that would be more trouble than it’s worth.

Version 1.2 is really excellent, by the way. There are only two features I still need in Tropy to make it a fully functional tool for my work. First is this autocomplete feature in metadata fields (the time required for data entry is just too steep right now to be feasible). Second is the advanced search capacity you have mentioned (assuming this will allow us to search/filter out items based on criteria for multiple metadata fields and tags simultaneously).

My first book was written using a spit-and-duct-tape Tropy-like database I created over a decade ago. It was these two features that, despite its many other flaws, made it an indispensable tool. I literally could not have written the book without it. I have more thoughts on search functionality that I could put in a separate thread if you-all are interested in that sort of feedback.

Oh, I completely second that. That would be fantastic! :grinning:

@tgloege is absolutely right, there is a third option to use all values of the same ‘type’ as the source for completion; this is actually my preferred approach, which I omitted because types, while already part of the data model, are not yet exposed by Tropy’s UI. Once we add more types (e.g., names) they will likely come with dedicated widgets (e.g., to arrange order, if there are multiple names, specify family/given name etc.) – completions may not be applicable to every widget (or may have to be implemented in different ways).

Do you mean, for example, in correspondence, that names could pull from ‘tabs’, as well as other correspondence data already entered in metadata? (Sorry, I’m not particularly techie!) If I understand it correctly, that would totally work.

Fantastic! Any updates on this?
I’m in favor of “Use data only from the given field in the project”. My metadata value fields are very long and often similar to each other (e.g. document titles with similar titles to those as the series that they belong to) and I would like to avoid mishaps.

We’re planning to include this in the next release sometime in August hopefully.

Awesome, I hope it’ll work out! Thanks!

Can autocomplete actually autocomplete it in the entry field, rather than just giving a choice below the field that has to be clicked?

You need to select the completion (e.g., press arrow down then Enter). Otherwise it would be hard or impossible to create new input which partially matches existing input, for instance, if you want to input the same text but with different casing.

But it could work when enough letters are typed that no previous entry matches.

The problem is actually the other way around: if you want to create a new word that does not exist yet and which does match an existing entry. For example, there is a match ‘Albatross’ and you want to enter the word ‘alba’ – if we expanded by default, ‘alba’ would always complete to ‘Albatross’ and you could not create a new tag with that name from the tag adder widget. Even if we allowed to to go back to the original input, it would still mean that adding new words which match something that already exists becomes tedious, so we switched to not complete your input by default (we originally did complete by default, actually, but then were alerted to this issue).

I see. It’s obvious now that you say it.
I rescind my suggestion.