4. Import Categories


Import categories process:

Includes the following actions:

When you import categories to PrestaShop pay attention to each Wizard's page. Import is a rather complicated procedure and it may be destructive if performed incorrectly. 

Create database backup before importing PrestaShop categories especially if you do it the first time!

Prepare the file to import

Example of file to import

First of all, prepare a .csv file for Import. Make sure it contains all necessary fields and all data you are going to import is listed in the table.

You should have the following data in your file to import as:

category ID or /and category name  - at least one of such field should to be in the file to import to be able to use it as an identifier for imported data.

parent category - the category to which the appropriate category is linked

category position - the order of the categories in the category tree

active - the status of the category activity; '1' - active, '0' - inactive

date_add - the period of the category creation

date_upd - the date of the last updates

category description - text, which helps to get more details on the category(ies)

link_rewrite - the end of the URL path(s) of the category(ies) which will be generated for preview category(ies) on the Front-End etc.

Launch import wizard

 1. To start Import/Export you need to click on the button which starts the Import/Export PrestaShop Categories Wizard in the top of Store Manager:

Import/export categories

    or you can find 'Import/Export Categories' option in the Categories' toolbar:

    2. Select "Import" in the PrestaShop Categories Import/Export Wizard and click on the "Next >" button to continue.


Select file

   Enter the .csv file you need to import or browse button    to select one.

Preview import 

Source file preview shows a part of the .csv file selected to import. There are no options to set, but you should pay some attention to this page. 

What's so important to look for on this page is fields delimiter and quote character, if some are used.

If you carefully check the very first line of the example, you'll notice that some words enclosed in quotes (") and are separated by comma (,) symbol. That are two important options you have to pay attention to - you will have to 

setup these settings on next page. Usually, it is enough to see the first line, no need to investigate entire file.

Select fields delimiter...

Select fields delimiter and quote character page contains some important settings. If you specify wrong values, PrestaShop category import may not work.

The first option is delimiter character. Most popular delimiters are the comma (,), semicolon (;) and tab character ( ) however other symbols can be used as well.

Note: CSV file contains data in a row-column format and delimiter character is used to separate one column from another. If you specify incorrect delimiter, file will not be parsed properly and PrestaShop  categories will not be 


Quote, string values delimiter will be used to separate strings in a .csv file. This delimiter can be disabled if none are used. On previous sample page, we have noticed that comma symbol was used as delimiter and values were quoted with " symbol. Specify two first settings as shown above.

The third setting is PrestaShop category delimiter. This is not native .csv setting, it is used only in Store Manager. As you know categories are organized in a form of tree, where parent category can contain one or more

subcategories, and subcategory can contain one or more other categories. Category delimiter character is used to separate category names and specify full category tree path for given category. Category path is very similar to 

directory path used to specify full file name in Windows, where every directory separated by backslash (\) character like this one C:\Program Files\eMagicOne\Store Manager for PrestaShop\.

As for example PrestaShop  category path for "Sample Subcategory" (see image below) will be Hardware|Graphics Cards|Sample Subcategory. Pipe (|) character was used as separator.

Categories tree

Images - Default images path is the place where store manager will look for images when importing PrestaShop categories - image names specified in .csv file whereas image files stored here. 

When store manager is unable to find an image it will not import image information to a category and will remove existing image information if any.

Base formats and separators

Parameters on the Base Formats and Separators page are used to convert text values from .csv file to numerical and date values. You can just set default formats with appropriate button.

Assign CSV columns to Database fields

The next page allows you to Link columns from .csv file to appropriate database fields.

Link columns from .csv file to appropriate database fields. The left pane "Database Fields" shows the list of fields in your database that can receive import data.

The topmost option on this page is First row in .csv file contains field names but not values. Obviously it should be unchecked if first row of .csv file contains data, otherwise check this option.

Next option is Identify categories by. Import will search for PrestaShop category using selected identify method. The category will be modified if found, if not - new category will be added.

Source .csv file can contain multiple records with identical Name values. All these PrestaShop categories will be considered as one - currently imported to PrestaShop categories will overwrite previously imported with the same 

key field values. Note that sometimes one of key fields may be blank. Obviously blank fields contain the same value for all records. It is required to assign .csv columns to key fields.

Database Fields contains such columns:

  • Name - contains database field name. Some values in this column contain actual field name, whereas other are "translated". Anyway these names are clear enough to figure out how to use them.
  • # - the number of the column in .csv file corresponding to this field - the link between database field and .csv column.
  • Set Null - indicates that this field should not contain any data but should be set to Null. You can either specify column name or check this option, but not both of them at the same time.
  • Set Default - used to set some default value to a field, similar to Set Null, but in this case some value can be assigned to a field.
  • Default - enter the value assigned to a field.

To assign .csv column to database field you should select a field at the left pane and then click a column at the right pane.

[Auto Fill...] button - try to set correspondence automatically for all fields. Will work only if .csv column name is the same as database field name ("translated").
[Clear] button - clear all "csv col" values at the left pane
Click "Next" if you're done.

Preview import data

PrestaShop Categories were not imported to your PrestaShop database yet. On Import Preview page you can see how .csv file was processed using import settings, which you specified at previous steps.

Check whether all columns that you want to be imported are filled with data: some of them may be blank. This means that either you haven't assigned .csv column or it is empty in source (.csv) file. 

Columns that were not assigned will not be imported whereas empty values will overwrite existing.

Import options

 You can choose one of import methods.

Attention! Import process will start, when you press "Import" button! If all settings are made correct then continue the procedure, otherwise press "Back" button and check settings once more!

Summary results 

In the last window of PrestaShop Import Categories Wizard will be shown if any errors occurred during import process.

Most frequent import errors are date, time and number conversion issues, caused by improper format settings (specified at previous page) or improperly assigned column (i.e. if you assign column containing PrestaShop category 

ID to parent_category database field). Date/time conversion errors might be ignored whereas other errors like this one (Could not find image:image_name.gif) better to be fixed.

Check PrestaShop Category Management section to find more about category editing.

The following video tutorial shows the passing of the main import categories' steps in practice: