Magento Product Attributes

All products in Magento have attributes assigned to them. These attributes describe specific characteristics of a product, such as color, size, brand, SKU, etc.

Understanding attributes lets you optimize product performance in a customer and search engine-friendly way. For example, Magento automatically displays products according to their attributes in the ‘Shop By’ section, which helps customers filter products in the catalog.

Magento system attributes

Magento has 2 types of product attributes:

  • System (default) attributes
  • Custom attributes

System Attributes are required by the store (for a proper functioning) and can’t be deleted. This type includes Name, SKU, Price, URL, Image, Short/Long Descriptions, etc. By default Magento provides you with the list of 42 attributes. You can find them in Catalog - Attributes - Manage Attributes.

Custom Attributes are specific and created by a store admin for particular products. Magento allows adding an unlimited number of attributes.

Specifying Custom Attributes

Attribute Properties section

When setting up a new product attribute, first you need to understand its properties, as some of them can’t be changed once they have been selected. Attribute Code is the name of the attribute. Doesn’t appear on the front-end. Can’t be changed once you have specified it!
The Scope indicates where an attribute can be used:

  • Store View - the attribute value can differ in all websites/store views (eg. you can set green color to a product in one store view, and red color to another.)
  • Website - the attribute value can vary for different websites.
  • Global - the attribute value must be the same for all websites/store views.

In order to make the process of creating attributes easier, Magento offers Catalog Input Type for Store Owners. It determines the type of data that can be entered and the format of the field.

9 types of the fieldare allowed (can’t be changed when specified):

1. Text Field - a single line field for text (is used for name, SKU, etc). 2. Text Area - is used for a larger amount of text data (product description, explanation).
3. Date - allows using a date as an attribute. Can be typed directly into the field or selected from the calendar.
4. Yes/No - displays a dropdown with pre-defined ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ options (eg. waterproof).
5. Multiple Select - displays a dropdown with more than one option for selection.
6. Dropdown - displays a dropdown with one option to be selected.
7. Price - allows you to create price fields, additional to the predefined attributes
(price,special price, tier price and cost). The currency is determined by the system configuration.
8. Media Image - default Magento has a Base Image, Small Image and a Thumbnail.
With this input type you can add more images, like a product logo or care instructions.
9. Fixed Product Type - allows adding a fixed tax to a product.

Magento attributes properties

Default Value allows creating a preset value for the products with this attribute. When you add a new product this option will prepopulate a default attribute value for it.

Unique Value prevent duplicate values. Comes helpful for such attributes like SKU, where you may want a unique value for each SKU.

Values Required - a value has to be entered in the field before saving.

Input Validation for Store Owner applicable to the text input type only. Allows the following data to be entered

  • Decimal Number
  • Integer Number
  • Email
  • URL
  • Letters
  • Letters or Numbers

For example, if you select letters, only letters can be added to a product as a value for the attribute. All other types won’t be allowed.

Apply to allows applying an attribute to all product types or one of the six.

Frontend Properties section

Frontend Properties section allows you to specify how attributes will be used in search, sorting, product compatibility, layered navigation and price rules.
Here is what each setting does:

Magento front end properties

Use in Quick Search allows an attribute to be searchable.

Use in Advanced Search allows searching a product more specifically via SKU, description or other filters.

Comparable on Front-end makes an attribute visible when a customer adds a product to the Compare list.

Use in Layered Navigation allows customers to filter products by size, color, price or another attribute in the ‘Shop By’ section of a category page (depending on the store theme design).

Use in Search Results Layered Navigation allows filtering products via attributes when searching.

Use Promo Rule Conditions allows creating promos. For example, you may create a promotion for all the small size products.

If an attribute is used for Layered Navigation, you can specify its Position - in the ‘Shop By’ section of the category filtering.To format the attribute value with HTML tags allow HTML Tags on the Frontend.
To display attributes and their values on the product pages you need to enable Visible on Product View Page on Front-end setting.
Used in Product Listing shows an attribute on the category page in the product listing.
To included an attribute as a ‘Sort By’ option, enable Used for Sorting in Product Listing.

Managing Labels/Options section.

Manage label options in Magento

In Manage Titles section, under the Admin settings, enter a name of an attribute (visible in the Admin Panel & on the front-end).

Under the Default Store View enter translated names for each store view. If you leave it blank, the system will use the admin name.

Manage Options section is a must for dropdown/multi select attributes. Admin and Default Store View setting work the same as in the Manage Titles section. In the Position box set the sort order of the options.

See also Magento 2 product attributes

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