I created several custom fields & groups but I am not seeing all of them when I try to import my contacts.

Like I have a few custom sets/groups and custom fields within each. But only one set is showing when I import my contacts & try to match them up to the fields. I have checked the settings, and everything is the same. Any ideas?

Update: I found the "import multi-value custom data" part of the import contacts ... almost impossible for anyone to find without spending too much time looking through this forum.

HOWEVER when I import it does its normal "column names", "import data (row 1)", "import data (row 2)" thing.... problem is, its putting half of my row 1 in row 2 and not importing all of row one. If that makes sense? In fact not all the column names are in there either. And YES I did check the CSV before uploading & after the error. There is nothing wrong with it. When I imported that same doc for the main import contacts screen it worked fine.

Any ideas? Thanks in advanced!

Update: I decided to upload the multi-value's in smaller chunks to match the specific custom data field that I created. The custom data is broken down into one custom field with a bunch of options in the checkbox setting. When I go to upload the content pertaining to just that, I will go through everything and just set it to the base custom field (since I cannot choose the options). When I do that it processes & then throws out a "DB Error: constraint violation" .

Any ideas, anyone?

  • 2
    Multi-record and a field with multiple options are not the same thing in case that is causing confusion. Ie if you have a field that has the options Apple, Orange, Banana - and you want to import data to that field, then you need a single cell with the values in that cell, ie for Contact A it might be 'Apple, Orange', and for Contact B it might be 'Apple, Banana' and Contact C might be just 'Orange'. If you have a field that allows for multiple 'records' then that is a different scenario. just not sure which you have.
    – petednz - fuzion
    Jan 14, 2016 at 22:16
  • 1
    If you're receiving a "DB Error: constraint violation", that means there's a more detailed error you're not seeing. In CiviCRM, please go to Administer menu > System Settings > Debugging and Error Handling, select "Yes" to both "Enable Debugging" and "Display Backtrace", and press "Save". Repeat the problem that caused your error, and you'll see much a much more detailed error. Please update this question with the expanded error and backtrace - and don't forget to disable debugging/backtrace when you're done! Jan 15, 2016 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


You can check in custom field settings if "Is this Field Searchable?" is enabled. I think it is necessary to mark it, to appear in the import selectable fields.

  • they are all marked as searchable :) Dec 14, 2015 at 22:13

I would double-check that the none of the custom data that you are importing exceeds the length constraint set for those custom fields, and raise that constraint if necessary for the long fields.

I believe default is 255 characters for most, and I believe that includes all options for multi-value sets smashed together, not just 255 characters per option.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.