Skip to main content
MediaBeacon University


Metaforms are MediaBeacon's main interface for displaying metadata.

They can display a whole schema of fields, a set of fields from disparate schemas, or have a special display for other types of data.

Data Display and Editing Metadata in Metaforms

To view the values in a metaform, click the named tab, which will open the list of fields. The first time a form is opened, fields that contain no data may be hidden. To display all the fields, click the "Show Empty Fields" button, which reveals all fields in the metaform.

metadata-metaforms-hiddenfields.png metadata-metaforms-shownfields.png

Field Types

MediaBeacon's metaforms can use a wide variety of different field types, many of which check the type of data is entered before it's written into an asset.

Some field types will validate entered data, and alerts the user if the data is incorrect. Validating fields are indicated below with an asterisk (*).

Basic Field Types


  1. String: Contains any text string of data, but does not record line breaks.
  2. Date*: Contains dates in the "YYYY-MM-DD" (ISO 8601) format. These fields are indicated by a greyed out "YYYY-MM-DD" and field action button, on the right. Dates may be entered manually, or by clicking the field action button to use a calendar picker.
  3. Text Area: A string field that accepts line breaks, and expands vertically to show all the data recorded.
  4. Checkbox: This type of field displays a checkbox, which is checked or unchecked.
  5. Email*: Ensures that the string entered contains an "@" symbol.

Numeric Field Types


  1. Phone*: Contains data consisting of ten numeric characters, dashes or periods allowed.
  2. Integer*: This field type allows a positive integer of up to ten digits, with a maximum value of 2,147,483,647 (the maximum size of a 32-bit signed integer).
  3. Positive Integer*: As above, but the value may be negative.
  4. Real Number*: These fields allows decimal values of up to ten digits.
  5. Positive Real Number*: These fields allows positive decimal values of up to ten digits.
  6. Large Number*: This field type contains positive integers of up to 19 characters with a maximum value of 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 (the maximum size of a 64-bit signed integer).
  7. Asset Reference*: This field checks that the entered value corresponds to an extant Asset ID. When written, the value is displayed as a hyperlink, which opens the Asset View of that asset in another browser tab.

Web Data and Code Field Types


  1. URL*: This field checks that the entered value is a valid hyperlink, and once written, is displayed as a clickable link. Note: URL resolvability is not checked, just the format.
  2. Advanced HTML: Allows input of HTML code, showing a rendering of the code above the field.
  3. Simple HTML: This field allows HTML code to be entered using a WYSIWYG rich text interface.
  4. Code: This field type displays javascript code with color-hinting.

Controlled Vocabulary Field Types


  1. Force Dictionary*: This field type allows only a value from a predefined list as a valid value.
    1. Clicking on a dictionary field's Dictionary Lookup button displays a dropdown menu of allowed values.
    2. The user may also type in part (or all) of a value's name and the dictionary list will be shown, automatically filtering the values.
    3. The user may click the value or use the up / down arrow keys and the return / enter key to enter the full value.
    4. If a value is entered that is not in the dictionary, any metadata edits on the current metaform cannot be saved until corrected.
  2. Suggest Dictionary: Similar to force dictionary fields, these fields will accept any value, but still allow users to choose a predefined value.
  3. Force Dictionary Hierarchical: A force dictionary field may be configured to use a hierarchical dictionary.
    1. This data structure places a set of values in a taxonomic structure, geographic data being a good example, having larger regions as containers, or supersets of values:
      1. "Continent", "Country", "State", "City"
      2. North America:United States:Minnesota:Minneapolis
      3. North America:Canada:Ontario:Toronto
      4. South America:Brazil:Santa Catarina:Florianópolis
    2. When an asset is tagged with "Minneapolis", it implicitly will contain the other values in the chain of containing elements, so that asset would be found in any search for those superset terms.
    3. When filling out a hierarchical dictionary field, the pulldown list will contain concatenated terms, separated by colons, as seen above. The typeahead filtering will return any entry that contains the typed string. For example "polis" would return the first and third strings.
      metadata-metaforms-fields-crtlvocab-fdhpulldown.png metadata-metaforms-fields-crtlvocab-fdhpulldown-filter.png
  4. Force Dictionary Hierarchical Cascade: A hierarchical dictionary field may be displayed as a cascade element:
    1. Each value on a given level of the dictionary will be shown together in a pulldown menu,
    2. Once a value is chosen, it will be displayed to the upper right of the field, and the pulldown menu now displays the immediate child values of the chosen parent value.

Multivalue Data Field Types


Multi-Value (aka Comma Separated Value) fields allow multiple discrete values to be entered in one field. These values are entered as separate terms by pressing the comma key between strings.

Individual values may contain spaces, and even commas, but these must be keyed in with a preceding backslash: "Lastname\, Firstname" = "Lastname, Firstname".

  1. Comma Separated Values: This field type (as seen above) can be set for:
    1. Basic Field Types: String, Email
    2. All Numeric Field Types
    3. Controlled Vocabulary: Force, Suggest fields
  2. Comma Separated Dates: Dates only
  3. Comma Separated Textarea: Allows comma separated text and line breaks
  4. Comma Separated Hierarchical: Allows multiple hierarchical sets to be entered.
  5. Comma Separated Hierarchical Cascade: Combines Comma separated values and the Cascade display style for hierarchical dictionary fields.

Complex Field Types

  1. Starred Rating: This field type displays a set of five stars to denote a rating.
  2. Data Block: Provides a way to make entire metaforms into multivalue structures, instead of just individual fields.
    1. The "Add Block" button adds a spindown tab labeled for the predefined metaform and adds a numeric value to the name to denote what order the instances were added.
    2. Each of these metaform instances will perform as though they were on separate assets, storing different values in each instance of a given field. When referenced for search, values in an asset’s data block will return that asset.
    3. A common use of this structure is to record multiple fields of metadata for recurring events, such as each time an asset is printed. In this case, useful fields might be the date of printing, the run length and the colors of ink used.

Other Field Settings

These settings may be applied to any other field type:

  1. Required Fields: Also known as "Not Empty", any field may be set to require a value. If no value is provided, the metaform as a whole will not save any data until the required fields are filled.
  2. View-Only: These fields may be of any other type and will be greyed out, indicating that the data may not be edited using this metaform.
  3. Default Text: A field may be configured to autofill a given value when the metaform is displayed.

Keyboard Commands in Metaforms

  • Tab: moves the cursor to the next field.
  • Shift-tab: moves the cursor the previous field.
  • Return or Enter will save all edits in the current metaform.

Saving Metadata Edits

When data has been entered, the "Cancel" and "Save" buttons will be shown at the bottom of the Info panel.

Special Metaforms

Some metaforms have a non-standard display for clarity or to handle non-xmp metadata.

  • General: Displays some basic information about the asset
    • ID Number (aka Asset ID or Record ID)
  • Discussion: Displays the Comments and Annotations for the given asset.
  • Document Report: Displays additional information from InDesign and Illustrator documents, including information about other assets that are placed images within these files.
  • Used in Assets: Displays other assets within which the given asset is a placed file.
  • Asset Links: Displays information about MediaBeacon's inter-asset linking function. Note: this is not related to placed files. See the [Asset Links] section for more information.
  • Automatic Versions: Displays automatic versions of files as defined by Adobe XMP Media Management Properties.
  • Managed Versions: Displays versions of assets that have been made via the Versioning or Check Out functionality.

Video Transcodes: Displays all the transcodes in the system for a given video asset.

  • Was this article helpful?