Custom Fields or Labels

JIRA newbie, very very new.

We have about 20 projects and we develop them in response to requests from a range of customers.

For each issue created we want to have the customer or customers who requested it or are having it applied to their site listed so we can search for them in future.

Obviously this could be done with either labels or a custom field, but as the list of customers will be fairly static, I'm leaning towards a custom field of a multi select list box so more than one customer can be selected for each issue.

Is that the correct approach?

If so, is it possible to create the custom field and apply it to the create issue form of all projects or do I have to add it to each one individually.


Thanks in advance


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Labels vs multi-select

It really depends on what works best for your users, and how important it is that you have control over the values that people pick.

If you have a limited set of values that won't change often, and you want to restrict what people can pick, then a multi-select custom field is suitable.

In my personal opinion, selecting values in a multi-select is a bit fiddly for end user, especially if they want to select more than one value. The field also takes up quite a bit of screen space if you have lots of options.

Note that you can add a custom field of type "labels", i.e. you don't have to use the generic system labels field. You can have a custom field called "Customers", which works using labels. I think the auto-complete input method used by a labels field like this is much nicer than multi-select.

Of course, labels are designed to allow users can add whatever values/items they want, so if you need this to be restricted then a labels type field might not be the right choice.

In practice, if you have a clearly named labels custom field, you might find the creation of unwanted labels (mis-spellings, upper/lowercase differences) is rare, because the auto-complete functionality in labels naturally helps users pick the right values. If you are prepared to put in a bit of effort to guide users to pick the values you want, rather than creating new ones, it can work OK. You can also use filters to monitor and cleanse data to keep things tidy. Depends on the scale of use.

As an aside, there is an open feature request for the auto-complete 'renderer' (i.e. the labels style interface) to be available for multi-select fields. In the comments on the issue, there is mention of this being available as a 'dark feature' for JIRA server (see the issue comments for details):

Creating custom fields

After you create a custom field, JIRA asks you to tick which screens the field should appear on. So you can quite quickly/easily apply it to the create issue screen(s) for all the projects/issue types you want (so long as you know which are used by your projects). You may to do some editing of individual screens if you want to change the field order, though.

Hope this helps a bit.


Thanks Sam,

Sounds like I was on the right track and will use a custom field. Users are more than capable of doing multi select and there is only a small team that actually create the issues and will need to asign what customer it is.


I shall create it on Monday and check out assigning it to all the create pages. Somehow I missed that when i played around earlier, but in my defence I got called onto something else LOL



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