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How do we add a default value for a system field (description)?


We would like to have a pre-populated description field for some of our issue types,
How can this be done?
We have ScriptRunner if that helps

Added clarification: We need the value to be prepopulated on the Create screen so the creator can edit it, not After the creation.

3 answers

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Hi @Nizan Freedman 

Does the pre-population need to be on the Create screen (i.e pre-issue creation)? Or populated during/after creation?

I would consider the need for pre-population as part of this process. For example if it's a Story Template, you could end up with lots of Stories with just the template in them!

Ensure this requirement isn't going to leave you with unnecessary data. And, if the pre-populated text requires additional modification from your users to make it useful, that they're all aware of the upcoming enhancement.


For pre-issue creation, there is no easy solution on Cloud. For templating, there are apps - such as Issue Templates for Jira - which might help.

Or, there is a workaround I've seen before - similar to this answer.

In summary you would:

  • Create a custom field called "Description". Please it on the Create Screen, removing the system default "Description" field.
  • Hide the custom field on Edit/View Screens, keeping the standard "Description" field.
  • Ensure the fields are setup correctly on the Issue Layout
  • Set a default value for the custom field, for pre-creation
  • Duplicate the data from the custom field to the system default field during creation, using either a post-function or an automation rule (my preference).


For post-issue creation, i.e populating data into "Description" after the create button has been pressed, you could just use an Automation Rule

The rule could trigger when an issue is created, and the action would be to set text into Description.


If you need help with either of these approaches, please let me know - I'd be happy to provide more detailed instructions :)

For pre-issue creation especially, there are a few moving parts to navigate, especially for the new issue view!


Thanks @Stephen Wright _Elabor8_  for the detailed answer!
Yes, pre issue creation indeed.

I understand your proposed workaround and I have my partial dislike to it due to the fact we are "faking" the actual description and need to maintain automation around changes to it.... but I understand that might be the only way....

Hi @Nizan Freedman 

True - but if setup correctly, it's not substantially different from a user-perspective.

What is the need driving the pre-population of the Description field? There might be an alternative I can suggest? :)



Can we have Contexts and Default Values option for other fields in System Field Section other than Description.? Like Security Level,Created and Updated so that i can use the fields in Import process?

Thanks @Niranjan 

In the cloud Script runner, there is no behaviours option AFAIK. Can you please correct me and point to such a documentation?

Sorry, just realized that it is cloud versions. You are correct. Cloud versions do not have behaviors functionality. You may consider javascript/html code in the field configuration.

Sorry for us, but javascript in the field configuration is disabled in Jira Cloud.
In my case want to set a prevalue for the summary field but for that I haven't found a sollution jet.
What I want to do is get a default value in my summery field so on creation jira doesn't complain about the summary field has no value. As a postfunction of create, I set the value of the summary to the value of the concatenation of two other obligatory fields in the Issue so uniqeness of the summary field is no issue. 
In Jira Server this was possible by putting:

<script type="text/javascript">
if (document.getElementById("summary").value == "") {
document.getElementById("summary").value = concat((document.getElementById("AB Nummer"))," ",(document.getElementById("Kunde"))) ;

in the Description of the summary field, but this doesn't work anymore in cloud.

So if anyone has a solution for this, I would be delighted.

Hi Nizan,

A simple way is to add a Post Function in the Workflow of your issue type  in the first transition , and Set field value (of any system field) to the value you need.

It will work on a per workflow basis, it is simple to implement.


Yaniv (Methoda) 

Thanks @yaniv_shoshani 

Added a clarification - We need it on Create, before the creation ends...

Like Janco Hoekstra likes this

the system field Comments is not visible to set.

it is not possible to set it please?

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