Color Labels

Mac OS X lets you tag selected icons with one of seven different labels, each of which has both a text label and a color associated with it.

To do so, highlight the icons. Open the File menu (or the menu, or the shortcut menu that appears when you Control-click/right-click the icons). There, under the heading Label, you’ll see seven colored dots, which represent the seven labels you can use. Figure 2-8 shows the routine.


If you use labels a lot, Control-click (or right-click) a Finder-window toolbar; choose Customize Toolbar; and drag the Label pop-up menu up to your toolbar. The advantage here is that once you’ve selected a label from this pop-up menu, you can reapply it to subsequent icons with one click—you don’t have to open the menu the next time.

What Labels Are Good For

After you’ve applied labels to icons, you can perform some unique file-management tasks—in some cases on all of them simultaneously, even if they’re scattered across multiple hard drives. For example:

  • Round up files with Find. Using the Find command described in Chapter 3, you can round up all the icons with a particular label. Thereafter, moving these icons at once is a piece of cake—choose Edit→Select All, and then drag any one of the highlighted icons out of the results window and into the target folder or disk.

    Using labels in conjunction with Find like this is one of the most useful and inexpensive ...

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