Using Temporary Finder Tags To Gather Files

Tags are useful for many things. One idea is to use them to flag files to gather them together for a single use without moving the files from the folders where they reside. For instance, you may want to gather together files to send to someone or save a copy to an archive.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Using Temporary Finder Tags To Gather Files.

Let's say you want to gather together a bunch of files. But you don't want to move them. So you have all these files in all these folders and you want to gather them together. Maybe you want to archive them. Maybe you want to send them to a colleague. But you want to leave your organizational structure intact. So moving them into a special folder isn't going to work.

Well, you can do something where you can mark them so that you can then use them for something temporarily. To do this I'm going to use Tags. Now Tags are a great tool in the Finder you can use for a variety of purposes. A lot of people use them to categorize files to make them easier to find. Things like that. But you can use one temporarily to just mark them for a single purpose.

So to tag something you're going to select it and you Control click on it and then select one of the most recently used tags here. I'm going to use orange. Just one of the defaults here because I know I haven't used that for anything else. You can create a new one if you really wanted to and tag it with that. You can also go and click this tag button that by default is in the Toolbar and then select orange.

So now I'm going to select a bunch of other files that I'm going to use. So I'm going to use this one. Select orange and hit Return. Maybe this one as well and make that orange. Let me go back up and go into another folder. Maybe this one also I need to send along. Let's go into this folder here and select this one. Maybe one more file in the docs folder here we'll go down into this and select this file. So they're in a variety of locations. We've got a bunch of things labeled with this tag, this orange tag.

Now how to view them. So I want to view them so I can do something with them because they are all in their original locations. They are just tagged with this. The easiest way to do that is in the sidebar here. Look for Tags. You may have to Show it. Click Show. If you don't see this here you go to Finder, Preferences, Sidebar, and then make sure Tags is turned on. If I click on the Tag it's going to show me all of the files that I've tagged with that. So now I have them all in one place even though they are really still in their original folders. This is kind of like doing a search for all of the things I've tagged orange.

Now I can select them all, you know Command A to select them all, and I can email them, I can drag and drop them somewhere, do what I want with them. It makes it really easy to do that without moving them. When I'm done with them and I'm sure I don't need this for anything else, I've sent them off to somebody. My temporary use of the tag is done. I can actually untag them here. So I can click here and get rid of the orange tag. You can see they are all going to disappear there because there's nothing labeled orange anymore.

Now they're just back the way the were. Labeled without the orange and keeping any tags they may have had before. So it's a really handy thing to be able to use Tags for that purpose just for a temporary gathering of files.

Comments: 7 Responses to “Using Temporary Finder Tags To Gather Files”

    Peter Hall
    10 months ago

    That was a great video. It would be nice if you could tag files say Orange Quilt Show, or green Golf Outing or yellow Grandkids.

    10 months ago

    Peter: You can. In Finder, Preferences, Tags, you can add more and rename existing tags. I’ll do a new general video on using Tags soon.

    10 months ago

    As always, a great video! Thanks

    Bert Mullemeister
    10 months ago

    Hi I have “lost” my tags n my iMac 5K …and all the colours except a Green one (Yes I did not hide them)
    Tried various things to get them back, but unsuccessful
    Hope you have a solution

    10 months ago

    Bert: Did you simply try adding new ones? Just add a new one and see what happens.

    10 months ago

    This was great. As a new Apple user, I need all the help I can get. It really is simple. Thank you 🙂

    10 months ago

    Fantastic! Never knew about using the tag function in this way. Very useful!

Comments Closed.