darktable page lede image
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2.3.12. Tagging

2.3.12.1. Overview

This panel allows managing tags on images. Tags are stored in both XMP sidecar files and within the darktable database.

Tags provide the means of adding information to the images within a given keyword dictionary. You can manage tags as a hierarchical tree, which is useful when their number becomes large.

Unlike child tags, parent tags do not add information to the image, but rather represent categories. For example, in the color|white tag color is a category for the white tag.

The panel contains two views:

  • The upper attached tags view displays tag(s) that are currently attached to the image under the cursor or the selected image(s), if the cursor is outside the center area of the lighttable view.

  • The lower tag dictonary view displays all tags that are available in the database.

tag properties

Besides its name the tag can set as private or as a category. It can also be attached synonyms. These attributes help to control the information you join to exported images. These information are related to XMP-dc Subject and XMP-lr Hierarchical Subject metadata.

A tag set as private is by default not exported. The configuration point "force exportation of private tags" allows you to keep private tags on exported images. Both XMP-dc Subject and XMP-lr Hierarchical Subject are affected.

A tag set as category is not exported in XMP-dc Subject. However it is exported in XMP-lr Hierarchical Subject as this XMP metadata holds the organization of your tags.

synonyms enriches the tag information and is mainly destined to search engines. For example juvenile, kid or youth can be set as synonyms of child. An other usage is to translate the tag in other languages. The configuration point "request exportation of synonyms", when set, makes the image exportation add synonyms to XMP-dc Subject metadata.

displayed information

The attached tags and tag dictionary views display additional information on the sides of the tag:

  • On the left, an indicator gives the status of the tag in relation to the selected images:

    • A check-mark means that the tag is attached to all selected images.

    • A minus means that the tag is attached to at least one selected image. In tree view, for a parent tag it also means that at least one child tag is attached to at least one of the selected images.

    • Absence of any marking in the tag dictionary view means that the tag exists in the database, but is not attached to any of the selected images. In tree view, for a parent tag it also means that none of its child tags is attached to any of the selected images.

  • On the right, the number in parentheses gives the attached image count. In the attached tags view, this count refers to the selected images, while in the tag dictionary view it refers to the whole database.

An italic tag is considered as a category. A category is a tag which helps to organize the tags but doesn't bring information to the image. A category is not exported.

Right-clicking on the tag opens a submenu with available commands.

Hovering cursor over a tag displays an overlay with basic usage instructions for the tagging panel.

The list views are controlled with the three upper graphic buttons:

By default the full tag name is shown. The list is sorted alphabetically and the attached view includes the darktable tags.

the toggle button hides or shows the automatic darktable tags.

the toggle button sorts the list alphabetically or by number of tagged images.

the toggle button shows the short or long tag name.

You can adjust height of the attached tags and tag dictionary list views using Ctrl+wheel. The updated list view height is kept for new darktable sessions.

view selection

The choice of views is controlled with the two bottom graphic buttons:

the toggle button shows the tag dictionary as a list or as a tree.

Tip: Shift+click on tree node fully expands it (all sub-levels).

the toggle button switches the list to suggestions or full dictionary tag list (inactive on tree view). The suggestions list is based on already attached tags on selected images.

text entry

The text entry box, between the two lists, has multiple purposes.

First, for those who like not to leave the keyboard, when the dictionary view is in list mode, as soon as you start to enter a keyword, it opens a list of corresponding tags. When you see the one you look for, use the down arrow to highlight it, press twice enter to get the tag attached !

Those for who this procedure is not convenient can deactivate this function using the configuration "disable the entry completion".

Besides this, the entry box lets you filter the dictionary (list and tree) just below searching amongst the tag names but also the synonyms.

Pressing enter, either the tag just written does not exist in the dictionary. In such a case the new tag is added to the dictionary and attached to the selected images. Or it is already in the dictionary and it's only attached.

You can use the submenu copy to entry to copy an existing tag from the dictionary into the entry box. Then you can modify it to create a new tag without having to type it in completely.

2.3.12.2. Usage

create

New tags get added to the list in different ways.

On import of a text file. You can import whatever text file as soon as it follows the lightroom tagging file format. It is possible to import several files. It is also possible to export your tags, add information in it and re-import it. As long as you don't change the tag name, the import function updates the existing tags with new information and create the new ones.

On import of already tagged images. This is not a well controlled way especially if your dictionary is hierarchical.

In submenu create tag. A tag can be created manually, under an existing one (hierarchical) or at the root level.

By typing into the text box and pressing the new button. Hierarchical tags are created using the pipe symbol |. Note that the tag is also attached to selected images.

As you may notice there are automatically created tags like darktable|exported or darktable|styles|your style, which keep track of your actions and let you easily find already exported images or images with specific styles applied.

edit, rename

The maintenance of the dictionary can be done through edit tag... and rename path... submenu (right-click on dictionary view tag).

The command edit tag... shows the number of tags and images which are potentially impacted by a change of this tag. The edit window lets the user change the name of a node on the path but not the rest of the path of hierarchical tags (pipe symbol | not allowed). The command is aborted if there is at least one tag corresponding to the new name. private, category flags and synonyms can be change here.

The command rename path... appears only on the tree view and shows the number of tags and images which are potentially impacted by a change of this tag. The rename path window lets the user change the full path of tag. You can or remove the pipe symbol |. This command is powerful but you must know what your doing. The command is aborted if there is at least one tag corresponding to the new path.

attach

Selected tags are attached to selected images with the following actions.

Click on button attach attaches the selected tag in dictionary.

Click-right on a tag of dictionary view and sub-menu attach tag

Double-click on a tag of dictionary view.

Click-right on a tag of attached view and sub-menu attach tag to all

by typing into the text box and pressing the new button or enter. Note that the tag is also created if doesn't exist already.

Ctrl+T opens a small text box at the bottom of the central view for quickly tagging your selected images by typing a tag phrase and hitting return.

Hovering the images in ligthtable you can control the already attached tags either on the attached view and in image information as well.

detach

An attached tag can be detached in the following ways.

Click on button detach detaches the selected tag in attached view.

Double-click on a tag of attached view.

Click-right on a tag of attached view and sub-menu detach

delete

Delete a tag from the list and from all images. A warning will be displayed on how many images have this tag attached. Take this warning seriously as there is no way to recover or later find the affected images (except backup). A tag in dictionary view can be deleted in the following ways.

Click on button delete delete the selected one.

Click-right on a tag of dictionary view and sub-menu delete tag.

Click-right on a tag of dictionary view and sub-menu delete branch. In that case the tag itself and sub tags are deleted.

import - export

The button import let you choose a text file, which must follows the lightroom tag text file format and import its content. If a tag already exists, its properties will be updated. Otherwise the tag is created.

The button export exports all your tag dictionary into a text file of your choice (lightroom tag text file format).

navigation

Right-click on an attached tag (count not null) in the dictionary view make appear in the submenu an entry go to tag collection. This opens the collection associated to this tag and let you see the images which have this tag attached. It is possible to jump from one tag collection to the other.

To come back to the original collection, where you were working before moving to a tag collection, the submenu presents the entry go back to work. This option is kept as long your don't change the collection in collect module and you are not back to the original collection.