C-Command Software Forum

Exclude contained tags during searches

EagleFiler has a great option to search contained tags. But is there a way to exclude the contained tags during searches? E. g. if I have a parent tag Europe and daughter tags Andorra, Portugal and Sweden, and I do a search -Europe I do not get the list of files not tagged with Andorra, Portugal and Sweden. Perhaps I simply can’t figure how to make it work, or, if this functionality is not implemented, is there a chance for it to appear some time in the future? That’s a very important thing for housekeeping: finding which files have not been categorized yet.

The Search Contained Folders/Mailboxes/Tags option has to do with whether to include the child tags when you have a parent tag selected. This is completely separate from the negative search syntax like “-Europe”.

There is currently no way to type “-Europe” and have EagleFiler interpret that as “-” all the child tags of “Europe”. This does sound like a good feature request, though.

You could, however:

  • Do a Tags search for “-Andorra -Portugal -Sweden”.
  • Use Untagged to find all the records that have no tags at all.
  • Create a smart folder like “None of the following: Tags contains any of Andorra Portugal Sweden”.

Thank you. Unfortunately, that works for three tags as in my example, but wouldn’t be practically possible for hundreds as in more serious cases ,-( So, I have to keep category prefixes.

Speaking of feature requests, could I ask you to add a filter field in the tags list (like e. g. in Leap or Lightroom): since my tags (exported from hierarchical Adobe ones) have the structure e. g. place|Europe|Sweden|Stockholm, typing “place” moves me to the first entry of a long list of tags beginning with that word. Also, it would be great if the user could make the source list on the left of the main window as wide as he needs (my hierarchical keywords with biological taxonomy simply don’t fit).

Sorry for flooding with requests. I know Apple tags aren’t really meant to be used this way (and Finder slows down terribly when there are thousands of tags), but XMP, which is theoretically ideal and works perfectly with images, is not that good with pdfs since writing into pdfs is either very slow (Adobe Bridge) or creates sidecar files (PhaseOne Media Pro), and neither program is remotely as friendly overall as EagleFiler.

Anyway, many thanks for the program and for your reply.


Could you bulk-copy the child tag names from the source list and then paste them into the smart folder condition?

Yes, that’s on the list. In the meantime, you can use type-to-select to help jump around.

Will do.

I tried this but the smart folder didn’t work: after opening it for editing I discovered that the tags merged into a single long word. But in any case this is the solution for established tag hierarchies, whereas I am in the early stage of tagging my pdf collection, and every day I rename or rearrange tags or add new ones.

[This need of flexibility is actually the main reason why, after more than a year of struggle against Adobe Bridge, I gave up: Bridge is the only program I ever encountered that doesn’t allow to rename the assigned keywords — if you do this, it only affects your keyword list, whereas the keywords already written to the files (doesn’t matter, pictures or pdfs) remain in place and you have to manually assign the renamed variants and uncheck the old ones. That’s the least friendly and most time consuming approach I can think of].

Before you wrote, I didn’t know that tags could be bulk copied in EagleFiler: I only tried to do this in the tag window, but it didn’t work there. I searched if there was a way to copy all my tags and only discovered that the .plist file has all of them secretly assigned to the Trash folder so they could be copied from there.

Many thanks. I bought EagleFiler many years ago, tried it several times, a couple of times seriously, but I didn’t believe that OpenMeta and later Apple tags were a solid storage as I want my pdf-organizational efforts to persist over decades and to be shareable with colleagues. Well, since GraphicConverter has the ability to move between Finder tags and XMP keywords, I now can use EagleFiler as the working (and friendly) environment and be sure that the results will not get lost.

It should work if you separate them by spaces instead of newlines.

Yes, that’s why I agree the feature is needed, but I wanted to offer a workaround of sorts.

In both the main window and the Tags window you can select them and choose Edit > Copy.

Also, to be clear, EagleFiler syncs to Finder tags but uses a SQLite database as its reliable primary storage (plus XML backups, as you saw).