Have you ever find it challenging to locate the files on your MacBook with a great level of efficiency? Well, here we have a built-in feature in macOS which helps to organize the files and folders. With this productivity feature, it is easy for the users to find important files much faster. The feature is called “Tags” or “Finder Tags” which you can add to the metadata of any file and folder. In this article, let us show you practically how can you make your daily file-finding activities effective and efficient using tags.
Basics of Using Tags in macOS
The purpose of tags is to assign additional attributes to a file so that you can group them based on the assigned attributes. If you are familiar with using tags in Windows PC, then using them in Mac is much easier. Mac offers default tags in the form of color codes which you can assign to an item and use it Finder search. Alternatively, you can also create custom tags for grouping and searching purposes.
- You can add a tag to any file or folder – irrespective of its format including ZIP, text file, PDF, Word document or image file.
- Moreover, you can assign multiple tags to one Item which helps you manage it for your purposes. For example, you assign an orange color tag to cheat sheets and consider using blue tag for financial documents. So, you can assign both orange and blue tags to your financial cheat sheets. In this case, you will see multiple concentric colored circles in the assigned documents.
- Anytime later, you can remove the tags from files or completely delete tags from the system.
Viewing Default Tags in MacBook
Follow the below steps to view the default tags in MacBook.
- Click the Finder app from Dock and open it.
- As the Finder app opens, go to the “Finder > Preferences” menu that you can see in the upper left corner of the screen.
- In the “Finder Preferences” window, go to the “Tags” section. Here, you can see the default tags already available on MacBook. These tags have different colors that include red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey, and no color.
Editing or Creating Tags in MacBook
You can either use the tags as they are or change the color and name of the tag to keep your files organized and in the relevant area. If required, you can also add a new tag or delete the available items.
- Changing color – Hover your mouse to the color circle on the left side of the name. You’ll see the drop-down icon and click it. Now, select the color you want to give it.
- Create a new tag – if the existing list of tags are not sufficient, click the add button “+” to create a new tag.
- Change the name – Select a tag name that you want to change and press “Control + Click” (or right-click). You will see a context menu and select the rename option.
If you want to show the tags in the Finder sidebar, go to “Sidebar” tab and enable “Recent Tags” option. This will allow Mac to show your recent tags in Finder sidebar. However, you can decide which tags to be shown by selecting the checkbox against each tag.
Assigning Tags to Files and Folders
As you’ve done preparing the tags, next step is to assign them to your file and folder. There are multiple ways of assigning tags to your files and folders.
- Go to Finder and Control-click on the folders you want to assign a tag. You will see the color codes of tags and click on the tag to assign to that folder.
- Next option is to select the folders and click the “Edit Tags” icon in the toolbar. Select any of the tags listed or enter the name of the tag in the search box.
- Last option is to select an item and go to “File” menu. From there select the tag you want to assign to the selected item.
Remember, you can select single file/folder or select multiple items once and assign the tag. As you can see how easy it is to assign a tag to your files and folders in Mac.
Searching Tagged Files in Finder
After creating and assigning tags, the question arises, “how to view the tagged items?”. Viewing single tagged items is in fact one of the easiest actions you can do in Mac. Open Finder and in the left sidebar you will see the tag color codes. Simply, select the color to view all items assigned with that color tag.
If you are not using tags in Finder sidebar, simply type the name of your tag in the search box. This will show the tag name in the dropdown and click on it to view relevant items having that tag as an assigned attribute.
However, you need to use Finder search filter feature to view multiple tagged items.
- Open Finder app and go to “Files > New Smart folder” from the menu.
- Click on the “+” button, present at the top left corner next to “Save” button. Alternatively, you can simply press “Command + F” in Finder to open additional search features.
- You will see search filter columns and select “Other…” and add “Tags” attribute. In the second column, select “is” operator.
- Type the tag name in the input box as shown below.
- You can click on the + icon to add additional tags to be included in the search filter.
Remove a Tag from Files or Folders
When you find it useless for an item to have a tag, you can remove the tag so that it doesn’t appear in the organized space again. To remove a tag from the file or folder, follow the following steps:
- Open the Finder and click the color from the left sidebar to view the corresponding tagged items.
- Select an item or multiple items from which you want to remove the tag.
- Then Control-click to view the right-click context menu.
- You will see a tick mark for the assigned tag color. Hover over your mouse on it to see the “X” mark.
- Click on that “X” mark to remove the tags assigned to the selected items.
You can follow the above-mentioned steps for adding, viewing and removing tags in Mac. These collection-making color-coded tags will help you access the desired files and folders in matter of seconds. You’ll see how organized and productive it is to manage your projects, documents, and files using the tags on your MacBook.