Use HoudahSpot to Search for Tagged Files

In previous posts, we saw how to organize files using folders and tags and looked at other uses of tags and labels.

Let’s move on to the most important step: finding your files. HoudahSpot can, of course, search for files by tags or by a combination of tags.

Favorite Tags

The most obvious way to search for tagged files uses the sidebar of a HoudahSpot search window. Select View > Show Sidebar from the menu to reveal the sidebar.

Click a tag to find files with that tag.

Click the All Tagged Files item in the sidebar to find files that have at least one tag.

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Other Uses for macOS File Tags

We have seen that file tags can be used to build or complement a filing system.

File tags can also be used to temporarily mark files. Since macOS has the handy ability to assign colors to file tags, such tags can be used to visually identify files. Both Finder and HoudahSpot flag the tagged files with colors of their tags.

This is particularly useful when shifting files around, merging folders, exporting photos to files, etc.

Screenshot: File tags in Finder used to mark files in a merged folder
Merged Folder: Files from 3 Different Sources

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Use Tags to Organize and Find Files

What are File Tags?

File tags are keywords you assign to files. They allow you to organize and find files.

Example of tagged file: a paid invoice
Example of tagged file: a paid invoice

Organize Files: Folders or Tags?

File tags allow you to organize files when a simple folder structure won’t do. Better yet: file tags can improve your existing filing strategy and make files easier to find. Continue reading Use Tags to Organize and Find Files

Find files with no tags or Spotlight comment

When organizing files, we sometimes need to find files that lack a Spotlight comment or have not yet been tagged. Finding such files is easy with HoudahSpot. The procedure however is not immediately obvious. This post will show you how to search for files with no tags.

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Automate HoudahSpot

This post refers to HoudahSpot 3. There have been major improvements to Apple Script and URL actions in HoudahSpot 4. Please refer to the User Guide for details.

HoudahSpot integrates nicely with your automated workflows. Use the custom URL scheme to start HoudahSpot searches from third party tools like LaunchBar and Alfred. Use AppleScript to access search results and build more advanced workflows.

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