I'm new to EE and trying to learn how to use Channels and Categories.

I've created a Channel, then created Channel Fields, then associated the two. I am able to add entries to that channel just fine.

I then created a Categories Group, then created 1 category under that group. Afterwards, I created 3 category fields. They are all Select List field types. The 1 category I created seems to be associated with the 3 category fields automatically.

Then I went into my Channel, under "Edit Group Assignments" and associated the Categories Group.

When I try to add a new Channel entry, the Categories tab has a checkbox for the Category I associated with the Channel. How do I select the appropriate values from my Select List and associate with with my Channel entry?

These Select List fields used to be a custom channel field, but because I am trying to "group by" these fields, it seems like I should be using categories.

2 Answers 2


It seems as though you're creating custom fields for categories, when what you need is simply more custom fields for your channel. Category custom fields are for holding information about that category, not about individual channel entries. When you associate an entry with a category in EE, you are associating it with the singular, canonical values of that category.

Maybe this illustration will help clarify categories in EE:

You might have a Category Group called "Fruit". In it, you have categories for Apples, Mangos, Grapes, Oranges, etc.

Then you might add a custom field for that Category Group called "Sugar Content". Now when you go to edit or create a category (Apple, Orange, etc), you have a new field called "Sugar Content" (alongside Category Name, Category URL Title, Category Description, and Category Image). So you enter the amount of sugar once for each of your fruits.

Then, you might associate your "Fruits" Category Group with a "Recipes" channel, and every time you you enter a new recipe, you assign it to one or more categories in your Fruits category group. You don't edit the "Sugar Content" custom category field when you're adding or editing your Recipe, because the amount of sugar in each fruit doesn't change per-entry - it's constant.

Maybe that helps?


I think you've misunderstood how these custom category fields work. Each category can have unique values for those fields, but not each entry in a channel.

If you need unique values per entry in a channel, you'll want to use channel custom fields. Perhaps check the Playa add-on.

This will allow you to associate one entry with multiple values.

  • Perhaps I misunderstood. My original question that lead me to this: expressionengine.stackexchange.com/questions/1013/…. Should I make 3 Category Groups? Then check whichever is applicable per entry? Two of my Select List are just yes/no options, so that would mean 4 Category Groups for those??? Then my other Select List has 14 options, so another 14 Category Groups? I'm definitely confused on how to use categories. Dec 3, 2012 at 23:28

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