Windows

How do I tag files in Windows with TaggedFrog?

TaggedFrog has an incredibly clean and easy to use interface that allows the users to simply drag and drop files into the GUI to add tags to a file.

We all use tags. Whether we know it or not, they are in our lives, every day, making digital life easier. Tags make our file searching as well as our digital organization infinitely easier. But in many cases, the tools used for tagging files aren't as easy as many would like them to be. Because so many people do not have the understanding of how PCs work, they want for the easiest possible solution to every problem. One of the easiest solutions to tagging files in Windows Explorer is TaggedFrog.

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This handy little application has an incredibly clean and easy-to-use interface that allows users to simply drag and drop files into the GUI to add tags to a file. Of course, that's not all. TaggedFrog features include:

  • Integration with Windows Explorer
  • Tagging of Web links, Office documents, PDF documents, images, and more
  • Simple-to-use interface
  • Fast access to dispersed files using tagging in the clouds
  • Direct opening of files
  • Support for English, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish languages
  • Auto-tagging 

There is very little need to discuss how TaggedFrog is installed, as it is a standard Windows installation. Simply download the latest install file and double-click the downloaded file to begin the installation.

Now that you've been tempted, let's see how TaggedFrog works.

Usage

Using TaggedFrog is as simple as it sounds. When you first open TaggedFrog, you should immediately feel at home with the GUI (Figure A).

Figure A

As you can see, I already have some tags created for files. When you first open TaggedFrog, there will be no tags.

Let's walk through the process of adding tags to files.

  1. Open TaggedFrog.
  2. Open an instance of Windows Explorer (to My Documents or wherever you save your files).
  3. Drag and drop files from Windows Explorer to either the upper or lower pane in TaggedFrog.
  4. When the Tag window opens (Figure B), enter a comma-delimited list of tags you want to add to the files.
  5. Click OK.

Figure B

From this window you can also add more files to be included with these tags by clicking the "+" button.

That's it. But that is not the only way to add tags to files. Remember that TaggedFrog integrates with Windows Explorer. So let's take a look at the steps for adding tags from within Windows Explorer.

  1. Open Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the directory containing the files you want to tag.
  3. Right-click a file.
  4. Select Add Tags from the context menu.
  5. When the Tag window opens, enter your tags as you did in the steps above (starting with Step 4).

You can also follow the same steps above (for Windows Explorer) and tag multiple files. To do this:

  1. Open Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the directory containing the files you want to tag.
  3. Click the first file you want to tag.
  4. Click on and hold the Control key as you select the other files you want to tag.
  5. Click File | Add Tags...
  6. Follow the steps above (starting with Step 4) and complete the tagging.

As you begin building up your collection of tags, make sure you use your tags wisely. Many of your files will span multiple tags, which is good. This categorizes your files in a much more orderly fashion.

Finding your files

After you have tagged those files, let's take a look at how you find and open them. Remember in Figure A where you saw the small list of tags I had already created? If you click on one of those tags, a list of files will appear in the lower pane. Say you click on the Accounting tag I created. When you do that, all files with the accounting tag will appear in the lower pane. To open one of those files, you simply double-click the listing from that lower pane. Simple.

You will also notice, in the left vertical pane, an expanded tree view of file types, including Bookmarks, Images, Office Documents, and PDF documents. If you click on one of those listings, you will see that your tag listing (in the upper right pane) changes to reflect only those tags that contain that type of document.

Managing tags

Finally you can edit your tags by clicking the Manage Tags link in the left pane. What you can do with this option is:

  • Rename a tag
  • View the statistics of the tag
  • Delete the tag

You can also create Favorites that will take a general category and show all files related to that category. Let's say you have the tags:

  • Linux
  • Open Source
  • Ubuntu

Create a Favorite and add only the Linux tag to it, All files related to the Linux tag will display. So if you have files that are tagged:

  • Linux
  • Linux, Open Source
  • Linux, Open Source, Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu, Linux

All of them will show when you click the Linux favorite.

Final thoughts

TaggedFrog is an outstanding means to keep your files better organized and your work more efficient. As your collection of files grows ever larger, I highly recommend this free application to help keep your files and folders from getting lost in the mire.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

15 comments
Ron_007
Ron_007

Cool Tool I've wondered about tags for a while now. I already do a lot of "tagging" using folder names and prefixes I put on file names so related files sort together in Explorer. You didn't mention a couple of relevant features. In Explorer go to View / Choose Details. In there you can turn on display of the "Tags" column. In Explorer, it appears you can also use the Search tool to look for files with specific tags as well as having the tags in the file names or embedded in the text. Since you can apply multiple tags that may not exactly appear in the content of the file, this provides you with a great deal more flexibility when searching for specific topics. So the obvious question is, why didn't MS include tagging functionality in Explorer & context menu's?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I've never figured out what they do that a file name doesn't. If I'm going to assign the same tag to multiple files, why not put them all in the same directory? For some reason I associate tags with social networking. Maybe that's the first context I heard of them in. Since I don't do that, I haven't pursued them in other areas and wasn't aware they existed outside that format. I've seen prompts for tags when creating a new discussion here, but I don't know the benefits of adding (or not adding) them. Why are the tags in Figure A different sizes? Some appear to be in a larger font than others. Why does the 'Quickbooks' tag appear twice? Is there an explanation somewhere on the advantages of using them? Googling 'tags' doesn't yield useful results.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you think tagging your files in Windows Explorer will help you find your files later? Are you going to give TaggedFrog a try?

hubertk
hubertk

"If I'm going to assign the same tag to multiple files, why not put them all in the same directory?" OK, simple: because you might tag things with more than one tag. Example: I have about 40 documents (docx, mppx, xlsx) related to project "A". Yes, they all get the tag "A", and yes, they all are in the "A" subdirectory. But some of the xlsx files are for budget, others for load calculation, timeline, personnel planning, etc. They are also taged with "status" tags ("draft", "proposal", "rejected", "approved"). With tagging, I can now search for budget files across all my projects. I can select the files to compare actual time sheets to proposed, as well as to approved budgets, etc. Much more flexible.

jody.burton
jody.burton

a program like this where you could drag a tag to the file to have it appended to any other tags the file may already have. And better yet, make it like Format Painter where a double-click of the tag would let you scroll through the directory, clicking on each file you want to have that tag. For even more power, the program should allow you to create groups of tags for various projects where the tags could be applied individually or as a complete set. Any open-source programmers out there listening?

terry
terry

I use Tagging extensively in organising photos (have 1000s) This requires a lot more development. It is clunky and not particularly intuitive. The concept is good. Its best feature is the Auto-tagging. The actual application of Tags is too loose & does not appear to cover misspellins, not unlike Outlook categories. The window of Tag List (a la Outlook categories) does help My guess is: developed in Linux world (wait for hate mail), for techies by a techie. Be good to see someone run with the concept & extensively re-work the GUI as the app could be very useful

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

In your example, I would name the .xlsx files Budget, Load Calc, Timeline, etc, and store them in folders named Draft, Proposal, Rejected, etc. I see your point, and thanks for the examples. I was unaware multiple tags could be assigned to the same object. Maybe my associating tags with social networking led me to think that was the only context they could be used in. I may not try them since I developed methods to deal with this sort of thing before tags came along, and I'm comfortable with them. At least now I have a better understanding of them. Thanks for the explanation.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

What do you use for the tagging and organization of photos? Thanks.

terry
terry

I looked at Picassa some years ago but ended up dumping it. It was the best at the time but not quite there. Must have a look at their latest offering. It seems nothing really stands out. Like Palmetto I have few thousand travel pics to organise but I'm not prepared to spend $200+ Currently I'm using ACDSee but still looking.

terry
terry

It's nothing to write home about but is better than Frog. It came free with my Pentax. I had a Canon before that but its program was not much, even forgotten its name (Photostitch which came with the Canon is great & still use that).

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I thought Picasa was a cloud-based editing tool. I was recently corrected about the cloud-based aspect, so now I'm 0 for 2. That's okay, I'm used to it.

jody.burton
jody.burton

Google's Picasa software has some of this functionality built in and is free for download. The new version does facial recognition that I found to be surprisingly accurate. Tag one photo with a persons name and it will scan the rest looking for matches. When it thinks it has found one, it will ask for confirmation of the name before applying it. Tags other than names are possible, also.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Obviously worth the cost if I was organizing photos for a living. At $299 it's more than I'm willing to spend on a few hundred downloaded NASCAR images. Thanks anyway.

hubertk
hubertk

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Ain't nothing better out there.

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