Please let custom date metadata be empty

Hi, please see here: Custom metadata date default

Apparently there’s no way to have a blank or NA custom metadata date field. Having a default date value forced on us really limits the usefulness of date metadata. Please let me know if you need examples of why. Beyond the particulars, it just seems like good practice to have the option of entering NA or nothing if there’s nothing to put there. Instead, we get a default value which is almost certainly wrong.


1 Like

Sure, provide examples as to why, noting this may not be simply adjustable when using the Date data type.

Oh well that’s discouraging. So I won’t waste a lot of words here with specific examples. Problems will arise anytime you have a date field that in some cases needs to be blank–like end date, date deceased, publication date, etc. Queries and smart groups will capture records they shouldn’t capture. And it seems odd to have a database that forces wrong data into a field by default. Either way, thanks for the consideration.

Hi, i’ve the same question, but regarding query prospective…
how can i create a smart group for items with empty metadata?
using custom metadata operator “is” i’m forced to choose a value, and empty value is not permitted.
i’m missing something?

There’s no such condition yet. What kind of custom metadata do you use in this case?

e.g. i’ve a custom metadata - “category” a set, i would to be able to create a smart group for items with empty values (stil not assigned).

In case of sets it’s not possible currently.


could i also ask if nested conditions are planned in smart group/rules?

They are already possible, just Alt-click on the + button in the editor.

perfect!, i didn’t read the documentation! :grinning:


Re: the default value of the custom metadata date field - I am running into the same difficulties described above by AllenJM. Is it possible to at least choose the default date that is selected? Right now, the default is 12/31/2000, which is similar enough to dates I actually want to set to create a lot of confusion and difficulty sorting real data from fake data. If I could set it, I could make it something obviously fake, like 1/1/0000.

I recognize that leaving the default date blank may not be feasible. If we cannot set the default date value, what is the best workaround? I don’t want to set a date for every file, and I might need to actually use the date 12/31/2000 legitimately someday. Thanks for your help.

You can use a Single-Line Text attribute and enter the date in whatever format suits you.

Excellent point! That is a great idea. I am having a ‘duh’ moment. Thank you.

You’re welcome.

Sure, you can enter date as text, but then you can’t build queries based on dates that rely on greater than, less than, etc. Right?

That is correct.

I’d like to be a plus 1 for having the ability to have the dates be blank in custom meta data. I have several different dates for custom meta data and they all don’t apply to all documents. For example, I have a field marked faxed to indicate the date I faxed the document but since I don’t fax all documents I have no way of pulling all of the documents that I have faxed. At the very least, let us set a default date so at least we can ignore any records with a certain date.

Custom metadata with a Date data type defaults to 12/31/2000.

Actually it should be the 1.1.2001 and it’s not an internal default, it’s just the dummy value displayed by the date control in case of no date yet. Which version of macOS do you use?

Sorry to intrude on this discussion but it’s particularly interesting for me to clarify one particular point.

Are you saying that:

  • when a custom metadata date field has been set in preferences; and
  • the item list in column view is set to display the custom metadata date field

then if a particular record has no custom metatadata date a default date should display in that date field in the item list?

If so, and fortunately, that’s not happening for me. I would much prefer the blank that I now see when no date is set for that field.

Perhaps I’m misunderstanding something: apologies if that’s the case.