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How Can I Quickly Assign One or More Tags To One or More Files?

Labels vs Tags: Is there a difference between Labels and Tags in Mac OS?

I would like to have a keyboard shortcut or a shortcut created in the Shortcut app that allows me to add a tag or tags to a single file or a group of files.

Is it possible to write a Shortcut to assign tags to a single file or a group of files? Does the Shortcut app have this capability?

If the Shortcuts app cannot do this, is there a better approach? Applescript, Keyboard Maestro, Alfred, Raycast, etc.

Like many people, I have thousands of files that I’d like to organize better using tags and an application such as Hazel to move files to folders based on their tags. So, the first step is to tag them. I’m looking for a fast way to tag a LOT of files.

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Can I Quickly Assign One or More Tags To One or More Files?”

    2 years ago

    Labels is the old term where you could apply a limited set of colors to a file as a label. Tags replaced that many years ago. You still get the default "labels" as your starter set of tags, but you can expand to include as many tags as you want now.

    I have no idea why Shortcuts embraced "labels" when tags replaced it so long ago. Doesn't make any sense.

    So it looks like all you can do with a Shortcut is to apply one of the original color labels as a tag to a file. There is no action for applying any tag you want. Frustrating.

    One workaround is to write a complex bit of AppleScript, JavaScript or a shell script to assign a tag, and put that into your Shortcut. A quick search shows it is not straightforward to do this though.

    But, it sounds like from your description that you don't need a Shortcut at all. Why not just apply the tags in the Finder? Just select the files you want to tag, and then go to File, Tags... and assign the same tag to all of those files. Or, select a color above Tags... to just use one of the defaults there, customizable in Finder, Preferences, Tags.

    2 years ago

    Gary: You're right. It will be just as easy to select the files and tag them as you described in the finder. I was over-complicating the process.

    Thanks for such a fast reply.

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