Wild Apricot and “Details to Show”

When you import or create contacts or members using Wild Apricot, you should pay attention to the properties of the fields you are using.  Permissions for those fields can be difficult to change for records once created, so if you are doing a large import of members or contacts, make sure that you have the field types and field visibility visibility permissions set as you think they need to be.
However, mistakes can happen, and you may load a few thousand records into the database with a field improperly set in terms of permissions.  You cannot simply change the field’s permissions after the fact, because all of those records already imported have the permission for the field as it was when you imported.  This particularly becomes an issue for any fields you may want to be visible for purposes of the directory search.
I wouldn’t bother doing an export of the “Details to Show” field in order to change the permissions for all records by then reimporting.  Not unless you absolutely have to – as you will if you do this in one of the preset and required fields that Wild Apricot establishes for contact records.
From our experience, the import/export process of “Details to Show” is a frustrating experience as both the editing process and the importing process really are not well documented nor are they very consistent in actually working.  But there is a workaround.
Instead, it is easier to do this:
Export the fields you want (WITH THE ID AND EMAIL NUMBER) for the records you want and save that file.
Add new field names – the same as the old field names with a difference, such as month-year appended to the end (for example, Biography 01-16), that will actually be the field you use for your purposes, and make sure you set the field qualities and accessibility as you want it.
Import the saved file back and have the intended data go into the new fields.
If you have any reports that used the old fields, simply repoint them to the new fields.
This is far easier than using the export/import of the “Details to Show” field.  Hopefully there will be a time when Wild Apricot cleans up this ability of setting permissions of fields for already created records.  But for the time being, this should be sufficient.
(And hey, Wild Apricot, still like you a lot but really hope this gets resolved in 2016.)