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Create an ad unit

Introduction to ad units (1:57)

In DFP, the ad unit is the basic unit of inventory. You can group one or more ad slots as an ad unit, which is one block of inventory that can be targeted by line items.

This article covers how to:

New ad units must received traffic on your site for at least 28 days before inventory forecasts are optimized.

Create a single ad unit

  1. In the "Ad units" section of the Inventory tab, click New ad unit.
  2. Enter a Code to identify the ad unit in Google Publisher Tags. Once created, the ad unit code cannot be edited so define a code that is easy to identify. For example, News_International_BoxATF or Leaderboard_BTF.
    Ad unit codes can be up to 100 characters in length and are not case-sensitive.

    Only letters, numbers, underscores, hyphens, periods, asterisks, forward slashes, backslashes, exclamations, left angle brackets, right angle brackets, colons and parentheses are allowed.

  3. Enter a Name for the ad unit, used in targeting and reports. You can change the name at any time. As with the code, publishers typically use naming conventions that give information about the ad unit's location and size.
  4. Enter a description for the ad unit, if needed, up to 4,000 characters in length. 
  5. Set the Sizes to be associated with this ad unit to help DFP filter the list of ad units for traffickers.
    • Select Fixed size to define a list of sizes for creatives you expect this ad unit to serve. Include the Out-of-page size for creatives that don’t fit in a traditional banner space or browser window, including pop-ups, floating line items, and interstitials.
    • Select Smart Banner if the ad unit is for a mobile app and you want the ad unit to have a fixed height but fill the width of the screen. Learn more
    To add a new ad unit size to your network, simply create a new ad unit and give it the new size, or set the new size for an existing ad unit.
  6. Define a target window, which sets the target attribute of the ad's click-through link to tell the browser where to open the ad's landing page.
    • _top: The landing page will load in the full body of the window, breaking out of any framesets.
    • _blank: The landing page will open in a new, unnamed window.
    This selection follows the default target window set in the "Network settings" section of the Inventory tab. If the ad unit is in an app, the target window is ignored. For Android and iOS apps, ads load in a new, unnamed browser window.
  7. Add optional features and settings to the ad unit as needed.
    • Placements: Click include next to one or more placement names to associate your new ad unit.

    • AdSense inventory settings: If AdSense is enabled to compete for this inventory, DFP displays "Enabled." Click the "override" link to choose your own AdSense properties or continue using your network's default AdSense inventory settings.

    • Ad unit frequency caps: Click Add a labeling rule to limit the number of impressions displayed to users for creatives that share the defined labels. Learn more

    • Refresh rate: For mobile app inventory, set a refresh rate to determine how often a new ad impression is generated. If you select Refresh rate in seconds, DFP will auto-populate a value of 60, which you can change to 30 - 120 seconds. Learn more

  8. Click Save.

Create multiple ad units from a spreadsheet

You can create multiple ad units at one time by uploading a CSV file into DoubleClick for Publishers. If you need to update existing ad units or create more than 1,000 ad units at one time, use the DFP API.

  1. In the "Ad units" section of the Inventory tab, click Bulk upload new ad units.
  2. Click Download sample CSV file to download a file that you can use to define your ad units. Open the CSV file and make changes based on the examples and the descriptions in the tables below. When you're done, save the CSV file using your file editor.
    The sample CSV file contains fields and examples relevant to your network. Don't change the column order or the column headings. Any rows that begin with the pound (#) character are ignored when you upload the file.

    Remove semicolon (;) from your file editor's list of delimiter or separator characters to ensure the sample file renders columns and values correctly.

  3. Click Choose File to find the CSV file you saved in step 2.
  4. Click Upload and validate to verify that the ad unit settings are correct. If you identify an issue with any of the ad units defined in your CSV file, click Back to re-upload a corrected CSV file.
  5. Click Confirm upload to create all of the ad units from your CSV file.

Columns in the sample CSV file

As of April 2016, "Target platform" and "Mobile platform" are deprecated as inventory settings and no longer available as bulk upload criteria. Do not include these columns in your bulk upload files.

The values for each column must follow the same formatting rules as when you create a single ad unit. The "#Code" and "Name" columns are required, but all other values are optional. Refer to the previous section for the definitions of each ad unit setting.

Column Description


Ad unit code.

Example: News_International_BoxATF


Ad unit name.

Example: International News Section (Box Above the Fold)


List of ad unit sizes, in pixels, entered in WIDTHxHEIGHT format, separated by semicolon. For "Out-of-page," use out-of-page. Other acceptable values include fluid and custom rendering.

Use a standard AdSense ad unit size to enable an ad unit for AdSense. Otherwise, any size is acceptable.

Example: 728x90;300x250;out-of-page

Description Free-form ad unit description.

List of placement names to be associated with this an ad unit, separated by semicolon. If a placement name does not currently exist in your network, DFP will automatically create a new placement and associate your ad unit.

Example: My first placement;All news pages

Target window

The target window setting for an ad unit. Acceptable values include: _top or _blank. If not defined, the value defaults to your network's default AdSense inventory settings.

Example: _blank


List of label IDs to be associated with this an ad unit, separated by semicolon.

Example: 14225;54848;55658


The following columns are included in the CSV file if your DFP account is linked to an AdSense account. If left blank, the default AdSense inventory settings for your network are used. 

Column Description
Enabled for AdSense

Enter yes or no to choose whether AdSense is eligible to compete for an ad unit's inventory.

Border color

Use hexidecimal (six-character) color code, without a pound sign.

Example: FFFFFF

Title color
Background color
Text color
URL color
Ad type

The types of AdSense allowed, separated by comma. Acceptable values include: text or image or text,image.

Example: text,image


Download a list of all ad units

To download a list of all ad units, click Download ad units in the "Ad units" section of the Inventory tab.

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