How to assign color labels to files?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by red321red321, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. red321red321 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2013
    Mavericks seems to have replaced the color labels with "tags". The problem with the tags is that it's hard to see what color tag the file is. Is there a way to color label/highlight the whole filename like before?
  2. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    I dont think so. the reason its a dot next to the name instead of coloring the entire name is because you can tag the same file multiple times with different colors. so by having dots next to the name you can see all of the tags that file has. if they just colored the name like before there would be no way to indicate multiple tags for the same document.
  3. LuckyLion macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2010
    I having the exact same issue! I don't care about lables, but I want my tags back. I did heavily rely on fully colored folders to find things quickly and indicate whats done etc. Having a small dot beside the file is not helping. It's not noticeable enough...
  4. petsounds macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    It's a matter of adjusting your thinking. Tags give you so much more flexibility and freedom. In your case, you might create a tags called "Complete", "In Progress", and maybe a tag for your work project. Then you could set up a Smart Folder that filters by those tags, so you could quickly see what files are in what state of completion. Really, it can handle whatever kind of organizational system you can think of.

    I know Labels have been our friends on the Mac for a long time, but I think it's time to leave that System 7 feature behind...
  5. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    Tags, labels, whatever. The problem here is that the little coloured dot is very hard to see at a glance, unlike the big coloured highlight that labels used to have. Tags are very cool and very useful, but when dealing with large numbers of files or folders in a big list, I need to be able to see the colours more clearly.

    Is there some third-party label app?
  6. red321red321 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2013
    Exactly, the little colored dots are hard to see
  7. mariva macrumors newbie


    Oct 23, 2013
    Torn on this issue.

    I much prefer the flexibility of tags to labels, but I would imagine that it's very difficult for near-colorblind people to discern the tiny circles. I'm not colorblind myself, and I had trouble with discerning orange from purple! (Especially when the tiny circles are stacked on top of each other when a file is associated with multiple tags.)
  8. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    I can see that that is why they've switched it to the little circles, rather than the big coloured highlight - with multiple tags, you couldn't do the latter.

    Mind you, it seems to be random as to which coloured circles you get when assigning multiple tags - I have some tags that don't show up as circles at all, except when overlapping other tags. I need to be in list view with the "tags" column showing to see the tags. Except then it just calls the tags by their colour, not the custom name I created.

    Pretty useless so far.
  9. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007

    I agree. I hate the new tags and hope a 3rd party brings back labels. Labels still appear to work in Pathfinder and Forklift as far as I know.
  10. MacLC macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    Forgive my directness but that is one of the dumbest things I have read on any forum... EVER!
    Whether on MR or CNET or other sites, lots of people used to full-line labels are having MORE DIFFICULTY DOING THEIR WORK NOW!!!

    The reason why I use a Mac is because I am visually oriented and visual clues make it easier. I am not a database manager. I do not want to relabel, sorry, retag all my folders and files. I have existing folders that had files with 3 types of labels and I could find the files easily based on the color of the whole line.
    If those labels made it easier for visual people like us, why would Apple want to take that away from us? Us visual people are those who bought Macs over windows during the lean years of the mid to late 90s. We kept Apple alive. Now Apple is slapping us down and telling us that there is more utility by typing things out. If you call "progress" forcing people to adjust to something that takes longer to learn and is less useful for them personally, then call me regressive if you want, but your vision of progress is leading down the road to DOS.

    Is this Cupertino 2013 or is this Redmond 1984?!
  11. Deguello macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    On the other hand, pet sound's post made it click for me how I can use tags.
  12. petsounds macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    Wow. Let go of the anger, it will only lead to the dark side.

    I agree that the dots are not optimal, but with the ability to attach multiple tags to a file, there has to be some way to represent that visually. If you're a visual person, then you understand that there is a visual design problem inherent in this. Perhaps vertical stripes would be better, though it still presents readability issues. One solution to your problem would be to make the tag look like the old color bar labels if only one tag is attached. Perhaps you should send feedback to Apple with this solution. As for your anger management issues, I'm not sure Apple can help with that.

    I'm one of those "visual people", and my first Mac was a Mac Plus. It didn't even have your fancy colors (though to correct myself, labels were debuted with System 6, not 7). Sadly, according to the Ars Technica review of Mavericks, your damn labels are still present in Mavericks, as the tags are written to the same place on the hard drive as they were in 1988 when I had my Mac Plus, keyed to the same hardcoded color binary values. (Apple still uses the same basic filesystem..that's another whole rant) This means that tags can only use the same seven colors that were in System 6. So, I hope you're happy now that your labels are holding back the future!

    I'm sure Apple will work out the issues and bugs with tags over time. Just give them a chance. Or roll back to Mountain Lion.
  13. matthewscott661 macrumors 6502


    Jun 27, 2009
    if you're ever worried about features or standard being ripped away and replaced with new is not the company for you...that would be mircosoft, the kings of unnecessary legacy and backwards compatibility.

    apple has no qualms with getting rid of outdated things or replacing old things with newer things that will help more users.

    yeah it sucks that the old way was so engrained in your usage and now it's gone, but the tech world moves very quickly, and i've learned it's best to not get too set in your ways.
  14. red321red321 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2013

    I agree with you completely. Let the anger flow...yes...come to the dark side...
  15. tumbador macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2013
    they at least can give you the option of using either label or tags... I dont see a problem having a multicolor label... they are making too many wrong decisions... for example iTunes was perfect, now finding something is just stupid.
  16. w0lf macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2013
    Just install one of the third party finder add ons that brings back the feature.

    I'm pretty sure all of these still support labels:

  17. ZoomAddict macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2013
    Apple screwed up large with labels/tags. Those who believe otherwise do not understand basic GUI design, or the implications of the growing list and degree of the execution errors at Apple. This bit of folly is just one of many changes in this update that is clearly inferior (aka: A completely unnecessary DOWNGRADE).

    Being forced to resort to third-party software to get anything as basic as labels right? Being "stuck" with a dated version of the OS because it works better? This isn't the Apple I've known since 1984. There were AT LEAST three different ways they could have supported the existing use of labels while providing all the functionality they added with tags. And it would have been -simple-.

    Apple could of course use a minuscule amount of the growing billions in cash horde to right the ship. Hire those who grok the important from the unimportant, who understand far more than the basics and are obsessed with excellence (from basic detail to finished product, just as Jobs was). One of the results would be OS updates envied by the industry and a joy to use. Instead we get mediocre Mavericks pablum, a case study in leadership entropy.
  18. zgeniez macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2013
    I think a good fix would be to add the old school colored highlight to the file name in the original bright color in addition to the new dot tag system. How difficult would that be?
  19. Hexoic macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2013
    awesome, thanks for the link. I think PathFinder is a tad pricey (at least if you're purchasing it just for that one feature). TotalFinder is $18 and there's a support thread where you can chime in if you would like them to also bring back labels as an option, as they are currently considering it:

    and of course.. tell Apple:
  20. w0lf macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2013
    As I said before


    It's free and it supports labels as well as a bunch of other stuff
  21. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    They could have just done it with a multi-coloured stack, i.e - you set the red tag and you get a red file-name, set the green tag and you can see the previous red background just underneath.

    The dots really aren't as visually obvious; not that I especially liked the coloured labels either, but at least they really stand out.
  22. podium06 macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2009
    tags are crap!

    Sorry to say this but the new tagging system is crap!
    First it is not really usable. Since you tag the whole computer together you can't really use it. You can't search tags in a specific folder. Filtering by the orange tag for example will give you all the files tagged under this color on you HD. making it useless.
    Labels were good for marking stuff. The small color dot of tagging is hard to see and useless for this matter.
    Also Apple forgot to change the tag design in the open menu where tags are still seen as labels.
    Apple had to do some change between 10.8 to 10.9 so they lighten up some menus, add support for useless things as maps and books (things that you could already use with 3rd party apps). I'm just sorry they screwed the labels in the process.
    I don't know if this is the work of the same guy responsible for the horrible iOS7, but if so...
  23. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    I can't find any label preferences or controls in XtraFinder.

    Pathfinder is pricey and its UI is clunky compared to the native Finder.

    It's amazing we're searching for third-party apps to replace functionality Apple has taken away from us. Think I'm going to roll back to Mountain Lion.
  24. Mikec69 macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2013
    Phuket, Thailand
    I must admit, not having labels forced me to go back to ML about a week ago. I couldn't find folders on my desktop fast enough - especially during seminars or during customer enquiries. It's a bloody disgrace. Apple should have given us the option to chose ourselves in the system prefs.

    I will stay with ML on all 4 of my Mac's, until somebody releases a way to get labels back in Mavrx.
    Mike C

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