Mavericks Finder Tags

Many of the problems with common folder-based hierarchies are solved by the use of tags in the sense that no document has a single location with which it is associated. Instead, tags allow documents to exist in any number of locations based on its specific categorizations.

This is a very good point and one I didn’t bring up in my first look of Mavericks.



  • http://aaronmeek.com/ Aaron

    Tags is by far the most powerful and important new feature in Mavericks. I mean, you want to talk about skeuomorphism, let’s talk about folders! Folders imply that computers are just digital filing cabinets. They are of course, but computers are far more powerful organizational tools than that big hunk of steel collecting dust in your office. I can’t tell you how excited I am that I will no longer be forced to flip through my documents like I would a bunch of manila folders, or remember the exact name of a folder I am searching for in Spotlight as if I am trying to recall what corner of my office I tossed those reports into. And now I can search for batches of folders, and each folder can exist in multiple batches at once. Tags is really exciting news!

  • Eric Dannewitz

    There is another thing that no one has brought up with 10.9. The switch to SMB2 networking. Does this mean that devices that support SMB2 will now be able to be searched with Spotlight? And how about Tags on volumes on a server? Are they global? Just for the user? Lots of unknown things.

  • http://www.metzener.com/ Dave Metzener

    Guys, you do realize that OS X 10.6.x and up support tags. Not built into the OS like Mavericks, but with special tools like Tagit and Leap from Ironic Software and many others. They all use an Open standard for OS X called OpenMeta.

    I’ve been using OpenMeta tags for years now and can’t live without it. With Application names being so weird that they don’t really describe what the app is, it’s hard for me to remember what an app’s name is, so I rely on tagging to help me find them as well as documents in my Documents folder. Pictures, etc…

    I find it really surprising that Mavericks Tags comes as such a surprise to the tech community as it has. OpenMeta (A Google Code project) has been around since late 2009 at least.

  • DannyD

    Tags are a great compromise for iCloud documents. Tags allow Apple to avoid a visible file system while users can still see groups of documents across apps. I’m hoping Apple extends tagging to notes, mail, contacts, etc. Not that everything needs a tag, but as we transition from files that live in folders to data that live in apps, it would be great to group all types of information.

  • http://www.isophist.com/ Emilio Orione

    A good point? I don’t know. From a single user perspective yes, tags are great. What about sharing data? Using a single computer in a family for instance, or accessing data in an organization. Tags are for single user data access, an organized file system allow access to data to multiple user in an understandable manner. A future with only tags and not a file system logic? How, with shared tags? A file system solve a problem of data exchange with different users that tags are not able to solve. An example? ../shared/movies/wedding can allow access to wedding movies to the whole family, a tag to a movie file called wedding create a easy way to access the movies wherever they are only for one user, the other family members will have to find the files and tag them accordingly to get the same access, one by one. In an organization that is impossible in a family is just annoying.

    • lucascott

      Not really that had. Have a tag that marks something private or shared. If its private only the creator can access it. Shared, any user In theory you could also have access group tags that would provide limited sharing

      • http://www.isophist.com/ Emilio Orione

        Yeah, that’s way I have said, how, with shared tags?

        Tags aren’t really good for sharing. Tag something important like Apple suggest in its site, it is too generic to be shared, many people can tag something important.

        A folder structure ties concepts together: family/wedding. If you use two tags, family and wedding and share them with many other tags how can anyone know how to mix them to get the correct data? For instance wedding could tag many weddings and family could tag many things, only using together family and wedding you can find the data I wanted to share. In the drawer family are contained all the folders with grouped data for the family, for instance wedding and child. A bunch of shared tags like family wedding child dog does not convey the same information. You have to try the various combination to see if there is some pertinent data. Things can become more complex then file system quite quickly when multi users are involved.

  • Preston

    Could apps in iOS use something like this so that they don’t have to create multiple copies of files when sharing?

  • gjgustav

    You can have a file in more than one location through the use of hard links. The Finder, however, does not have a facility for adding a hard link to an existing file. It can be done through the command line. Also, the the hard link must be on the same volume as the original.