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Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Mavericks Edition by David Pogue

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Finder Tags

Here it is, one of the big-ticket new features in Mavericks: Finder tags. They offer a way to color-code, or apply a keyword to, your icons (Figure 3-6). Finder tags are a lot like the Finder labels that have been on the Mac for decades, with a few differences:

  • You can apply more than one tag to an icon, in effect letting it be in more than one place, or sortable in more than one way. A photo of Aunt Edna in her early days on the farm could be tagged Relatives, Photos, and Ancient History.

  • You can have more than seven of them; in fact, you can have dozens (although you can choose from only seven colors).

  • You can create, assign, and use tags in many more ways, in many more places, than you could labels. For example, you can assign a label or two to a new document as you’re naming and saving it.

  • Tags sync. That is, if you have more than one Mac, and they’re signed into the same iCloud account, the same tags are available on all your machines.

What Tags Are Good For

After you’ve applied tags 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 Spotlight search command described in Chapter 3, you can round up all the icons with a particular tag, no matter which folders they’re in.

  • Sort a list view by tag. No other Mac sorting method lets you create an arbitrary order for the icons in a window. When you sort by tag, the Mac creates ...

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