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

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Finder Tags

Finder tags offer a way to color-code, or apply a keyword to, your icons. 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 starting on Spotlight, you can round up all the icons with a particular tag, no matter which folders they’re in.

    Note

    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.

  • 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 alphabetical clusters within each tag grouping.

    This technique might be useful when, for example, your job is to process several different folders of documents; for each folder, you’re supposed to convert graphics files, throw out old files, or whatever. As soon as you finish working your way through one folder, flag it with a tag called Done. The folder jumps to the top (or bottom) of the window, safely marked, leaving the next unprocessed folder at your fingertips, ready to go.

    Tip

    In a list view, the quickest way to sort by tag is to first make the tag column visible. Do so by choosing View→Show View Options and then turning on the Tags checkbox. ...

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