How to use Mavericks Tags

24/11/2013 at 9:16 pm Leave a comment

Apple throws another tag in the pot

I suppose that some might say that Apple are bound to do things different from everybody else or to ignore the fact that there are open systems available already that they could have used and built upon. Instead of using the Open Meta Tags that were actually available before Mavericks, they have decided to expand what they were using before which they called Labels. Prior to this latest version of OS X Apple had a number of labels with colours and you could use these to help you identify files within a folder. So if you gave the file is a blue label then you could easily spot all of these files because the whole of the line in the Finder window was coloured blue. You could change the name of the label from the colour to something else, but even so, the whole thing was a little bit limited. This is why many of us used to applications such as Default Folder or Tag It to add Open Meta Tags to files that we could then search for within a spotlight search Finder window.

Mavericks Tags

Whenever I saved a file, because I had Default Folder running I was given the opportunity to add a tag and most times I did so. I could tag a text file, a picture or a movie file with the tag YouTube just because all of them had something to do with creating video clips for YouTube. It is a way of grouping various file types together into something that was more searchable later. In some ways the tag became like the overall project name. I can still use these over meta tags if I want to, but the Mavericks operating system has given me Mavericks tags. I don’t need to have another application running all of the time like Default Folders. It was only really when I opened up the application called Houdahspot that I realised that Mavericks tags were completely different and separate from open meta tags. So is this a good thing or not?

Apple makes it easy for adding Mavericks tags

Wherever you save a file now on your Mac you are given the option of adding a Mavericks tag to the file. So there is a another field entry underneath where you add the name of the file and that’s where you put your tag. When you start off you are still given your eight available Mavericks tags based on colour, but you can change the name of these so that they make more sense to you. Not only that, you can also add as many other tags as you require. The other tags that you add beyond the initial eight do not have colours assigned to them and you can’t create your own colour palette if you want to. Maybe that is something that Apple would like to think about doing in a future version. All in all it is a good idea and a good system for Mac users and I think in time it may well be developed more. I wonder at the moment if these Mavericks tags also are available to be used on iOS. Do these mavericks tags stay with the file that you have created them with so that when the files moved to other computers can you still use them? Another improvement that could be useful at a late stage would be the possibility to use nested tags.

It has been made easy for you to start using tags with the ability to tag a whole bundle of files all in one go by simply dragging and dropping the files onto the name of the tag in the sidebar. So just because you have a system that has been using tags up until now, it doesn’t mean that you can’t start using them now.

The nuts and bolts of using tagging

One of the good things when you are using these tags is that they are auto complete and this is handy so that you don’t end up with tags that are meant to be the same but end up being different because you have added letters at the end or have pluralised the word. In any case, I would suggest that when you start using these tags to help you find your work, that you don’t go overboard with adding new tags. Keep it simple to begin with and try to think about words that you will use when you are going to search for these files.

Watch your words

When you are choosing words that you want to use for your Mavericks tags then there are some words that you should not to use. Obviously, you don’t want to choose things that are already searchable such as the date the file was created or the date the file was opened last. There’s no point in putting words into the tags that are already within the title of the file. The kind of file is already searchable within Finder or within other applications such as Houdahspot, so you don’t need to tag them with those sort of words. It might even be a good idea to take note of the words that you use when you are looking for something as this might lead you to find words that are more specific and helpful to your own set of documents.

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