Beginner’s Guide on Magento Product Attribute Sets

Those who are new with Magento come up with a great bunch of questions. We start our FAQ section with introducing to you a Beginner’s Guide on Magento Product Attribute Sets. Read on to get all the details about their types and modification.

What is Magento Product Attribute?

Magento provides you with a flexible functionality to set properties to each product in a catalog. Using Magento product attributes you can set such product features as color, size, width, height, etc. Generally any information that makes the product unique can be displayed using product attributes. Based on the catalog and product structure, it is possible to use one of the following attribute types:

1. Text Field

2. Text Area

3. Date

4. Yes/No

5. Multiple Select

6. Dropdown

7. Price

8. Media Image

9. Fixed Product Tax

By default Magento provides a list of 66 product attributes. It is possible to change properties of existing attributes, except “Catalog Input Type for Store Owner” option. If there is a necessity to change this option, a new product attribute should be created. Magento product attributes can be used not only to show the individual characteristics but as a tool for navigation to filter products in the catalog. It should be noted that only the following attributes can be used in layered navigation: Multiple Select, Dropdown and Price.

What is Magento attribute set?

Attribute set is a list of certain individual Magento product attributes, which fully describe all product’s characteristics. Attribute set is used during every new product creation. This step lets one add all import information about the product in one step. By default, Magento includes 14 attribute sets. Every single set is a combination of specific attributes.

Let’s review an example of an attribute set which is installed together with Magento named “Cell Phones”.

To access Magento attribute set grid, follow the path: Catalog >> Attributes >> Manage Attribute Sets

Here is a list of existing attribute sets:

Attribute sets grid

When clicking to any Magento attribute set a configuration page is opened:

Attribute set configuration

The configuration page is divided into 3 sections:

1. Set Name – for internal use

2. Attribute Groups – a combination of attributes that are related to each other. For example, group “Prices” combines all attributes related to product prices, such as “price”, “special prices”, “cost”, etc.

3. Unassigned attributes – attributes which are not used in a current set but can be included by drag-and-drop from “Unassigned attributes” column to any group”

As mentioned above, it is possible to move an attribute from unassigned to a group. If there is no any group suitable for the set, it is possible to add a new by clicking “Add New” button. A new group will be appear at the bottom of the list.

If an attribute should be removed from a set, it can be done the same way as adding in reverse, it means by moving the attribute from “Group” to “Unassigned” column.

How to combine product attributes into Magento attribute set?

As we have already mentioned above, product attributes allow to set individual characteristics for product. It is very convenient to divide products into groups and create Magento attribute set, which will contain all necessary attributes related to products.

Let’s check how a new attribute set can be created, following the path from paragraph above, visit attribute sets’ grid and click “Add New Set”:

Create new attribute set

The first step requires selecting a template based on which a new attribute set will be created. It means that all attributes with the same “Groups” structure will be included into a new set. Based on the way Magento was installed, a starting available attribute sets will be installed. For example, if sample data was installed during Magento installation, such sets as Camera, Cell Phones, CPU, etc. will also be installed. When a new set was created an admin can change the list of attribute in a usual way.

How to change Magento product attribute set if a product has been already created?

Native Magento functionality doesn’t allow to change the attribute set when the product has been created. That’s why it is necessary to plan product structure correctly to avoid possible issues related to attribute set. It is possible only to add or delete attributes inside the set, but it is impossible to fully change Magento attribute set from “Set 1” to “Set 2”. Nevertheless, there is a way to replace the set for simple products.  By adding a new Magento mass action “Change Attribute Set” which is being installed together will Mass Product Actions. In addition to all new actions such as Update Price, Assign/Remove Category, creation of product relations, the extension provides an easy way to swap Magento attribute set.

Mass product actions

This action can be done right from the product grid and can be applied to as many simple products as you need.

Following just a few simple steps product set will be changed, let’s check it:

1. Catalog >> Manage Products >> Select “Simple Product” (to which the action will be applied).

2. Open action drop-down and find a new “Change Attribute Set” action.

3. When the action will be changed, a new drop-down with the list of all existing sets will be appeared and any set can be selected.

4. By clicking to “Submit” button the action will be done.