C-Command Software Forum

How do subtags work?

How do subtags work?

Are they just for grouping tags? I had hoped they were hierarchical. Here’s what I mean. Imagine some tags like this


I thought that if some files were tagged ‘chess’ and some ‘checkers’ then if I searched on ‘chess’, I’d get the chess files, on ‘checkers’, I’d get the checkers files and if I searched on ‘games’ I’d get both the ‘chess’ and ‘checkers’ files.

But if it’s just for grouping, why can you search on it?

I don’t want to turn this into a feature request. It might be complicated. I’m new to EagleFiler and I’m trying to understand how to use it.

So, if my imaginary hierarchical tags don’t exist, what is the use of subtags. I assume there is a good reason.

Subtags are for grouping tags into a hierarchy. This can be useful for organization and for hiding tags that you don’t currently want to see.

In your example, if you want to see all the games-related records you would need to Command-click and select games, chess, and checkers. The subtags make this relatively easier because the tags appear next to each other in the source list.

In a future version of EagleFiler, I plan to make searching and viewing take better advantage of the tag hierarchy to do this sort of thing automatically.

There are also some other threads discussing this issue.

Firstly, I’m sorry I didn’t search well enough to find those other threads! And also, thanks for your responsiveness.

I understand your outlook on the subject. It’s not crucial, I just want to use the features to their fullest so if something doesn’t do what I expect I look into it.

Given this is the fourth time it’s come up, you might save yourself some time by putting something about this in the FAQ.

I think EF will be very helpful to me, thanks for creating it.

Suggestion for handling hierarchical tags
I wonder if the following approach would work:

• if the user ⌥-clicks on a tag, it selects that tags and any tags nested within it. This would satisfy those who want to select a parent tag and find records matching any descendant tags.

• this could be combined with an esoteric preference which can change this behaviour to be the default: clicking on a tag automatically selects any descendant tags.

I think this approach would get EagleFiler working the way people want it, without causing problems who like the existing behaviour. I would personally like to click on a tag and have it select descendant tags, but that’s just because of how my library is organised.


Yeah, that would work fine. I’m not requesting a change, though. I’m new enough to EF to just want to make sure I understood how it worked. Sounds like a reasonable enhancement, though.

Actually, I should clarify that as of EagleFiler 1.5 it no longer works this way. Selecting multiple tags now shows the records that have all of those tags, rather than any of them.

Thanks for the suggestion, however I don’t think this would work due to the new meaning for multiple tag selections (above). I am, however, working on some ideas to make this type of functionality possible, and more easily discoverable than Option-clicking.

Hi Michael,

I very much regret that change having taken place in EagleFiler v1.5.

It means that the only way of selecting items matching (any of a list of tags) is to use a smart folder. Most of my searches of this type are ad hoc, so it has created extra work for me. It’s a shame that there doesn’t seem to be a way to make it work the “old” way.

I wonder if you would consider an esoteric preference for this?


The code for the preference is actually already in place, but I didn’t document it because no one ever asked for the old behavior back.

  • Click here for the old behavior (union of tags)
  • Click here for the new behavior (intersection of tags)

Thanks Michael,

I am continually delighted at your responsiveness to (and anticipation of) users’ comments and requests.