An Introduction To Mac Finder Tags

You can use Finder tags as a way to organize your files on your Mac and throughout iCloud Drive. Tags are more dynamic than folders since a file can only be in one folder, but can have many tags applied.

Comments: 28 Responses to “An Introduction To Mac Finder Tags”

    JAMES OLIVER
    10 months ago

    You are the master of explaining the Mac. Never saw the point of tags until this video.

    David Tattersall
    10 months ago

    Brilliant video Gary, previously I had not understood how tags worked. Just spent an fruitful hour tagging all my files so that I can now find specfic files with ease, many thanks for the effort you put into the videos.

    Jonas
    10 months ago

    Thanks for the Video Gary. I believe now I'm ready for some tags organisation power.

    Peter
    10 months ago

    Excellent content, as always, delivered with clarity and concision. Also currently enjoying your Mac Pages online course. Check out Gary's courses, folks. They're top-notch, reasonably priced and absolutely worth the money.

    Arthur
    10 months ago

    I have a Client folder with aliases pointing to associated client files. How does this compare to the use of tags?

    T Edward
    10 months ago

    If you’re using files in multiple projects, “Folders will fail you…“ unless you use aliases, a.k.a. shortcuts. But this might be a more elegant solution. Thanks!

    10 months ago

    Arthur: Aliases are little harder to maintain. For instance, if you are looking at the original file, there's no way to know if you created an alias to it or where that alias may be.

    Bent, Denmark
    10 months ago

    Combining Smart Folders and Tags is very handy. Like Tags, Smart Folders are so easy to construct and change. Recently Gary made a video on Smart Folders. I combined the two videos, and the result is amazing.

    nick
    10 months ago

    Gary: might have missed it, but is there a way to tag a folder and have all the sub-folders and files within it also become tagged? thx

    10 months ago

    nick: Not just by tagging the folder, but you can select multiple things like I show in the video and tag them all at once. So use List view and you can tag all sorts of things at once.

    Kathy
    10 months ago

    Hi Gary, If I open a certain tagged pages file from 'tags' in finder, I can't change the thumbnail page order unless I access the file directly from my docs. Any other changes are fine except reordering thumbnails in sidebar of pages doc. If I access it from docs, I am able to reorder the pages. Also, again by clicking the tag in finder window & same pages doc, by clicking the path bar destination file, then I can reorder the pages. Not sure what I'm doing wrong,or if this is expected? thanks!!

    10 months ago

    Kathy: Not sure what you are dealing with there. Are you opening the file in Pages, or just previewing it in the Finder or using Quick Look. Pages doesn't care how you open the file. But make sure you are opening it.

    Kathy
    10 months ago

    Hi Gary, When I open finder, in my tags, I click the tag that corresponds & leads me to that particular pages file, then I double click to open the file from there. That's where I can't re-order the thumbnails. Strange though that if I only high- light the file & then double click the file in the path bar, (directly to the file location), it will allow me to reorder the thumbnails that way. Seems odd doesn't it. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you so much Gary

    10 months ago

    Kathy: I'm missing something here I can't see. It shouldn't matter how you open the file. That wouldn't change how Pages behaves. You'll need to have someone take a look at what you are doing. Maybe call Apple Support.

    Jasper
    10 months ago

    Besides organisation, it’s useful to have tags for temporary reasons. E.g., I use one, #meetings, so that I can talk through items that I need in a meeting/presentation without wasting time searching, or showing confidential/sensitive items to the wrong people. Another is #!, which I use on items that I’m going to use in the next few days, just to help to get started in the morning.

    Nick W
    10 months ago

    Can tags be added to each to increase specificity? Ie Taxes. +. 2021. + Donations would only bring up files that had those three tags. Or Taxes 2021 Donations would bring up all files that had any of those tags. Thanks!

    Jim Cliff
    10 months ago

    Gary, since watching your video on tags and why to use them I have become a fan of tags. However, I seem to be missing something because I have several file types that I can not apply tags. In particular, those files with the extension of .afphoto, the file extension for Affinity Photo app. Are there file types that will not accept tags?

    10 months ago

    Jim: I have a few of those and I was able to apply tags as normal. Perhaps there is some other factor. Are they on another drive or in some sort of cloud system?

    Jim Cliff
    10 months ago

    Thanks for the reply. Don't know what the problem was/is but I made a duplicate of the files in question and the Affinity files accepted tags with no problem. Shall remain a mystery as to why.

    Jane
    9 months ago

    Thanks Gary. Related to this is, how do I get those bright tag colours I see on your video? Mine are all very dull and I can hardly tell the difference between red, orange and yellow. Also, the yellow minimise button at the top left of each window is brown. Otherwise all my colours, e.g. apps in the dock, are perfect. I am using Ventura on a 2021 14" MacBook. Thanks.

    9 months ago

    Jane: Perhaps you have some setting in System Settings, Accessibility, Display switched on that mutes colors?

    Jane
    9 months ago

    Thanks for that suggestion, Gary. Yes, I found the tag colours became much brighter when I turned off 'Increase contrast'. However, other things such as menu bars and sidebars are now too pale for my liking. Swings and roundabouts, I guess!

    Darren Gosnell
    9 months ago

    I use this extensively to sort both files and docs - its great.
    But when I click on a file in Finder (tagged or untagged from anywhere) and do a COPY, then click on my tagged in the sidebar, im presented with my Tagged Folders I choose one, but Im unable to use the PASTE function (as in it does not exist), until I actually choose 'open the enclosing folder' ... only then I can Paste. Weird

    9 months ago

    Darren: When you click on the Tag in the sidebar, you are then switching to a list of files with that tag. It isn't a location, it is a list, like search results. So there is no place to paste into. You need to go to a folder, which IS a location, to paste.

    Darren Gosnell
    9 months ago

    thx for your prompt reply Gary. I realise that, howver when the list of tagged folders in presented (in finder - not the side bar) I click on one, then try and paste but you cant.

    9 months ago

    Darren: Confused about what you are doing then. If you tag folders and then view the list of tagged items, you just can't paste there. Select a folder in that list doesn't change that because you are still viewing the list, not IN that selected folder.

    Darren Gosnell
    9 months ago

    Thx Gary, I'll try and step through it - In my SideBar I have a tellow Tag called Financial. I have four folders that in various ways related to Finances. If I click on that Yellow Financial Tag in the SideBar I am presented with the Finder window with all my four folders that are Financial, all good. One of them is Bills.If I now double that Bill folder to view the (they are untagged as it happens) file (bills) in that folder. This is where I now want to paste a file but simply cannot.

    9 months ago

    Darren: OK, I tried that step-by-step and it worked for me. So I'm not sure what the issue could be, sorry.

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