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Field Types

All fields in dataview have a type, which determines how dataview will render, sort, and operate on that field. Read more about how to create fields on "Adding metadata" and which information you have automatically available on metadata on pages and metadata on tasks and lists.

Why does the type matter?

Dataview provides functions you can use to modify your metadata and allows you to write all sorts of complex queries. Specific functions need specific data types to work correctly. That means the data type of your field determines which functions you can use on these fields and how the functions behave. Furthermore, depending on the type, the output dataview renders can be different.

Most of the time you do not need to worry too much about the type of your fields, but if you want to perform calculations and other magical operations on your data, you should be aware of them.

Different rendering based on type

If you have this file:

date1:: 2021-02-26T15:15
date2:: 2021-04-17 18:00

TABLE date1, date2
WHERE file = this.file

You'll see the following output (depending on your Date + Time Format Setting for dataview):

File (1) date1 date2
Untitled 2 3:15 PM - February 26, 2021 2021-04-17 18:00

date1 is recognized as a Date while date2 is a normal Text to dataview, that's why date1 is parsed differently for you. Find out more on Dates below.

Available Field Types

Dataview knows several field types to cover common use cases.


The default catch-all. If a field doesn't match a more specific type, it is plain text.

Example:: This is some normal text.

Multiline text

Multiline text as a value is only possible via YAML Frontmatter and the pipe operator:

poem: |
  Because I could not stop for Death,
  He kindly stopped for me;
  The carriage held but just ourselves
  And Immortality.
author: "[[Emily Dickinson]]"
title: "Because I could not stop for Death"
For inline fields, a line break means the end of the value.


Numbers like '6' and '3.6'.

Example:: 6
Example:: 2.4
Example:: -80

In YAML Frontmatter, you write a number without surrounding quotes:

rating: 8
description: "A nice little horror movie"


Boolean only knows two values: true or false, as the programming concept.

Example:: true
Example:: false


Text that matches the ISO8601 notation will be automatically transformed into a date object. ISO8601 follows the format YYYY-MM[-DDTHH:mm:ss.nnn+ZZ]. Everything after the month is optional.

Example:: 2021-04 
Example:: 2021-04-18
Example:: 2021-04-18T04:19:35.000
Example:: 2021-04-18T04:19:35.000+06:30

When querying for these dates, you can access properties that give you a certain portion of your date back:

  • field.year
  • field.month
  • field.weekyear
  • field.week
  • field.weekday
  • field.hour
  • field.minute
  • field.second
  • field.millisecond

For example, if you're interested in which month your date lies, you can access it via datefield.month:

birthday:: 2001-06-11

LIST birthday
WHERE birthday.month = date(now).month

gives you back all birthdays happening this month. Curious about date(now)? Read more about it under literals.

Displaying of date objects

Dataview renders date objects in a human readable format, i.e. 3:15 PM - February 26, 2021. You can adjust how this format looks like in Dataview's Setting under "General" with "Date Format" and "Date + Time Format". If you want to adjust the format in a specific query only, use the dateformat function.


Durations are text of the form <time> <unit>, like 6 hours or 4 minutes. Common English abbreviations like 6hrs or 2m are accepted. You can specify multiple units in one field, i.e. 6hr 4min, optionally with comma separator: 6 hours, 4 minutes

Example:: 7 hours
Example:: 16days
Example:: 4min
Example:: 6hr7min
Example:: 9 years, 8 months, 4 days, 16 hours, 2 minutes
Example:: 9 yrs 8 min

Find the complete list of values that are recognized as a duration on literals.

Calculations with dates and durations

Date and Duration types are compatible with each other. This means you can, for example, add durations to a date to produce a new date:

departure:: 2022-10-07T15:15
length of travel:: 1 day, 3 hours

**Arrival**: `= this.departure + this.length-of-travel`

and you get back a duration when calculating with dates:

release-date:: 2023-02-14T12:00

`= this.release-date - date(now)` until release!!

Curious about date(now)? Read more about it under literals.

Obsidian links like [[Page]] or [[Page|Page Display]].

Example:: [[A Page]]
Example:: [[Some Other Page|Render Text]]

Links in YAML Frontmatter

If you reference a link in frontmatter, you need to quote it, as so: key: "[[Link]]". This is default Obsidian-supported behavior. Unquoted links lead to a invalid YAML frontmatter that cannot be parsed anymore.

parent: "[[parentPage]]"
Please be aware that this is only a link for dataview, but not for Obsidian anymore - that means it won't show up in the outgoing links, won't be displayed on graph view and won't be updated on i.e. a rename.


Lists are multi-value fields. In YAML, these are defined as normal YAML lists:

key3: [one, two, three]
 - four
 - five
 - six

In inline fields, they are comma-separated lists values:

Example1:: 1, 2, 3
Example2:: "yes", "or", "no"

Please be aware that in Inline fields, you need to wrap text values into quotes to be recognized as a list (see Example2). yes, or, no is recognized as plain text.

Duplicated metadata keys in the same file lead to lists

If you're using a metadata key twice or more in the same note, dataview will collect all values and give you a list. For example

grocery:: flour
grocery:: soap

LIST grocery
WHERE file = this.file
will give you a list out of flour and soap back.

Arrays are lists

In some places of this documentation, you'll read the term "array". Array is the term for lists in Javascript - Lists and Arrays are the same. A function that needs an array as argument needs a list as argument.


Objects are a map of multiple fields under one parent field. These can only be defined in YAML frontmatter, using the YAML object syntax:

  key1: "Val"
  key2: 3
    - "List1"
    - "List2"
    - "List3"

In queries, you can then access these child values via obj.key1 etc:

TABLE obj.key1, obj.key2, obj.key3
WHERE file = this.file