An Attribute is a characteristic or feature which helps describe an item. For instance, color and fabric help describe clothing, material and era help identify antiques. Attributes are assigned to Categories (“Overview of Categories, Tax Codes, and Product Lines” help article), and each Category may have one or more Attributes assigned to it. Attributes are entered in the Attribute Panel which is located in the Item Entry screen.
Attributes are not required: general information describing items may be entered into the Description field instead. There are, however, significant benefits to using Attributes, particularly faster and more consistent data entry.
Item Entry is faster and more consistent when Attributes are used because Attribute Values auto-fill when they are entered. For example, instead of typing the Attribute Value cotton it is only necessary to type co or cot. A couple of keystrokes may seem minor, but when added up can make quite a difference. As time goes on, users become better and better at using these shortcuts. Poor typists find Auto-fill especially helpful.
Consistent data entry makes reports more effective, particularly the Wish List, Lost Tag, Sales and Inventory reports. Consistency makes it easier to generate useful information, find items on the floor, and manage business in general.
Liberty comes with 1-3 Attributes already set up for most Categories. In addition there are several dozen Attribute Types already set up in the Attribute Editor, and anywhere from 10-100 Attribute Values for each Attribute Type.
Think of Attribute Value as a subset of Attribute Type (similar to Category 3 being a subset of Category 2). For instance, Color is an Attribute Type, and has the Attribute Values of red, green, blue, brown, beige, etc. Another example: Attribute Values for the Attribute Type Gemstone include diamond, ruby and emerald.
Attribute Types and Values may be changed as needed. Once used, Attribute Types and Values may not be deleted but can be merged into another value.