File tagging with OS X?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Magrathea, May 5, 2010.

  1. Magrathea macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    #1
    I'm in the process of organizing my "Documents" directory and all the subdirectories within it and have decided that the use of file tagging may be beneficial. I've been playing around with programs such as Tagit but was wondering if there is a way to see what tag a file has in Finder. There is the comments field available when you look at file information popup but I don't see a ways to see tags. In Pathfinder you can access tags but it's convenient to access.

    I'd just like to see all tags that a file has similar to what can be done in Together, is this possible in Finder??? I know you can do a search "tag:mytagname" but I'm looking for an easier way. I thing tagging is a great way to organize files, why is this missing ???
     
  2. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #2
    Why not use color labels? Built right into OS X.

    What exactly do you need to do?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #3
    This requires a change to the file system that can't be done easily. File systems are very sensitive to any changes, how matter how tiny it is.

    Chances are Apple is already working on the next gen file system that includes tagging as tagging itself is becoming the next big search trend.

    I do see tags replacing folders for next generation file systems, abstract virtual folders based on tags just makes more sense than an actual logical folder.
     
  4. Magrathea thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    #4
    Folders and files

    The folder icons thing is a good idea but I'd like to tag important files too. Tagging is built right into OS X no as OS X support metadata? I don't understand why we can't access it more easily.
     
  5. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #5
    To label a file, simply right-click it and choose a color.

    Then again, you could always download a tagging app. :p
     
  6. Simmerl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    #6
    I use a tagging system by writing stuff like "&university &translations &japanese" into the Spotlight Comments field in Finder.
    I just throw everything unsorted into ~/Documents and search my tags via Spotlight.

    To display these comments in a folder, change to list view and open the view options. You can check or uncheck "Spotlight comments" there.
     
  7. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #7
    Didn't know about Spotlight Comments. Too bad they can't be seen in Icon View, like Show Item Info.
     
  8. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #8
    Sorry, not true.

    Go to a folder, right click inside the window, choose "Show View Options."

    When the windoid appears, check "Comments" under Show Columns.

    If you select the "Use as Defaults" all new folders will have their comments visible.

    To add a comment, select a file/folder, hit command-I, then tab three times and you'll get to the comments field of a Get Info windoid. After you type your tag, it'll appear in the comments column.

    Tagging software might offer benefits (making sure the same tag is used over a range of documents would be one, and comma-separated, web-style tags would be another), but this is a solution that arrives with OS X preinstalled.

    Spotlight comments also are easily manipulated with AppleScript, so you can easily add the same tag to a number of documents with a droplet or service or generate a table of what comments appear with which files.

    mt
     
  9. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #9
    -.-'

    Good god. The solution was so asstastically simple, that I'm going to make a video about it.

    Get to the Get Info window and right under the basic info at the top of the window, is a HUGE field in which you can type tags.

    *slaps self with a barnacle whip*

    [​IMG]

    OP, do you mind if I use this thread in an instructional video?
     
  10. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #10
    Make one about that word also. It's so new, it's not in Dictionary! ;)
     
  11. Magrathea thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    #11
    No no!!

    Comments and tags are different!! Really! Now see why I'm so confused.

    Check this out. Find a file and fill out that little comment box in the info window. I added woof as my comment. Now go to the search box in finder and type tag:woof - nuffin!! Type comment:woof and Bobs your aunty, there is your file.

    Tags are not comments :(
     
  12. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #12
    But...they function the same so...um...wait...I got a bullet that's beckoning to meet my brain.
     
  13. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #13
    What's not true? Your solutions are basically a hack to just to get tags barely working right, not to mention they have nothing to do with tagging concept.

    It's just a comment field. Tags != comments. The main difference is, a file can be assigned to multiple tags and tags wouldn't be so complicated by default to add. Tags should be added at any open/save dialog, If i'm downloading a file from Safari, I want to be able to tag it right there. Not to mention tags are used as search terms as well with support for search operators. You can't search for something like "tag:resume -network", "tag:resume +sysadmin" or something like "tag: resume +sysadmin +network -cs". It needs to be flexible and powerful. Comment field doesn't allow that.

    Those changes require a change to the file system so that spotlight index will work right and the tags are much more user friendly than just "cmd+I, tabx3". cmd+t is enough to just add tags to it.

    There shouldn't be any tagging software or actionscript required to get tags working on the Mac.
     
  14. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #14
    For the record:

    You can add many comments. Separated with a space, they act as different words.

    They are searchable. I created a comments field, "blue apple logo wallpaper desktop background think different," and Spotlight searching each individual term or multiple terms like, "blue think different," pin-pointed that file.
     
  15. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #15
    I stand corrected. It does pinpoint accurately if you switch your thinking to this method. I still prefer the way the web uses it with each word clearly separated, the lack of blue background color is what throwing me off.

    But can you honestly tell me that this is the best Apple can do? I honestly do believe Apple could take tagging to the next level than this implementation.
     
  16. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #16
    It hasn't changed since Tiger. (You RAGE more then it breaks in Snow Leopard.)

    Automation of Spotlight commenting is still cumbersome. This is before you even add OpenMeta into the mix.
     
  17. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #17
    I don't understand the RAGE comment.

    Hopefully Apple has something planned for 10.7.
     
  18. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #18
    Bahahahahahahaha bahaha hahahaha haha, er, hah!

    It's true! It's like Master Shake. Byatch about something until you wet yourself and suddenly it's pushed to the limits and breaks.

    Though, I will certainly urinate on things other than designated waste-recepticals if 10.6.4 doesn't fix Spaces.

    FIX IT! You! I don't care who you are or what your limit of coding ability is, fix it!

    And no, Apple has NO plans for 10.7. None!
     
  19. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #19
    It's a really long story but it involves my Spotlight Comments breaking somewhere around 10.5.2 when migrating or doing a clean install of Snow Leopard.

    Spotlight was a big seller for me back in Tiger. Apple somewhat broke its utility in Leopard and it's worse in Snow Leopard. Thankfully, I don't care anymore about amassing a ridiculous store of tagged/commented files.

    Spotlight is dead to me and I have no hope or 10.7.
     
  20. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #20
    Unfortunately, that's my biggest concern about tags, that it doesn't work correct in next update or on any other OS. There's no point if there's no cross-platform tag standard, something like OpenMeta that can be read on multiple OS.
     
  21. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #21
    I'm lazy now and continuing to excessively tag my files isn't as valuable to me as it once was. I had a strong belief that Apple "would never break Spotlight or its comments". That is until it happened.

    OpenMeta is interesting but I'm not too motivated to pursue it.
     
  22. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #22
    Never said, nor meant to imply, that the current situation is the best. Your original comment was "can't be done." My reply was to show that it could be. I agree with you that there's plenty of room for improvement, but until that arrives, what's available in the OS today can serve the purpose that started this thread.

    Not that this recovers what was lost or changes your mind on Spotlight, but I offer this ... an AppleScript for retrieving file comments and creating a simple table. The script plops it into a TextEdit document. Something like Excel or Numbers might be better.

    Code:
    (* Droplet that collects the Spotlight comments into a simple two column table *)
    (* The structure could be simplified if one assumes a folder of files
    	will be dropped on the script. This droplet assumes little. One could
    	drop a number of random files and folders to get the comment listing *)
    
    on open droppedItems
    	
    	set commentTable to ""
    	
    	repeat with i in droppedItems
    		
    		tell application "Finder"
    			
    			set temp to comment of i
    			
    			if temp ≠ "" then
    				set commentTable to commentTable & (name of i) & tab & temp & return
    			end if
    			
    			if ((kind of i) as string) contains "folder" then
    				
    				try
    					set fileList to (files of i whose comment is not "")
    				on error
    					display dialog "didn't work" -- this is probably unnecessary now.
    				end try
    				
    				set commentTable to commentTable & "Folder: " & (name of i)
    				
    				repeat with fl in fileList
    					set commentTable to commentTable & (name of fl) & tab & (comment of fl) & return
    				end repeat
    			end if
    		end tell
    	end repeat
    	
    	tell application "TextEdit"
    		make new document with properties {text:commentTable}
    	end tell
    end open
    mt
     
  23. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #23
    One other thing about using Spotlight comments as a tagging device, you can create a Smart Folder to find all files that contain a specific tag.

    mt
     
  24. Magrathea thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    #24
    Leap ....

    Leap looks like the answers, I'm testing it out now. Don't know if it's worth the $60 but it's excellent at tagging - the best out there I think. Some of the free tagging programs use an internal database, useless in my opinion!
     
  25. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #25
    As much as I appreciate the help, what is the point of dumping comments into a text file?
     

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