Apply metadata tags to files with Tagit
At a Glance
Editor’s note: The following review is part of Macworld’s GemFest 2012 series. Every weekday from mid June through mid August, the Macworld staff will use the Mac Gems blog to briefly cover a favorite free or low-cost program. Visit the Mac Gems homepage for a list of past Mac Gems.
When it comes to folder organization, there are two kinds of people: Filers and searchers. Filers keep their files organized in elaborate folder hierarchies. Searchers don’t worry about where their files are; they just use search to find what they need. If you’re a searcher, Tagit could be a great tool for you.
Tagit enables you to apply metadata tags to files; you can then use those tags in searches. So, for example, instead of storing files relating to your home refi in a Home Refi folder, you’d create a Home Refi tag and apply it to the relevant files; you’d then find those files by searching for that tag.
Adding tags to files with Tagit is simple: Once the app is launched, you select files in the Finder, and then drag them onto the Tagit Dock icon. A small window then pops up, in which you can apply tags you’ve already used or create new ones.
Once files are tagged, you can search for them using Tagit itself or other apps that are compatible with the OpenMeta tagging standard. You can also find tagged files from Spotlight, using the
tag: switch; that means you can create tag-based smart folders, too.
Of course, OS X already has a ‘tagging’ system of its own: Click Get Info on any file and you’ll see an info screen full of metadata. But that native metadata isn’t easy to work with; it’s not easy, for example, to add the same Spotlight comment to a bunch of files at once—certainly not as easy as it is to apply tags with Tagit.
That said, Tagit could be easier to use. There is only that one way to apply tags: by dragging files to the Dock. It’d be nice if you could also do so with a hotkey or a contextual menu item. (While we’re picking nits, it’d also be nice if OpenMeta tags could contain spaces, but that’s not Tagit’s fault.) That quibble aside, Tagit is a simple—and certainly affordable—tool that could transform you from a filer to a searcher.
[Dan Miller is editor of Macworld.]