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tag-files-in-windowsTagging is something your pipsqueak pigtailed sister did with you when you were in your tweens. That kind of ceaseless trailing was pesky. The Web 2.0 version though saves us a lot of bother.

Tagging is commonplace around blogs and websites, MakeUseOf too has its own tagcloud. We all agree that it’s a speedy way to scour out a web resource; nearly single click in its utility. We are so used to it that we perhaps miss it as a feature in Windows.

Windows XP was born much before Web 2.0 came about. So, there’s the easy explanation. Vista of course has file tagging and Vista Quick Search as a feature but with a leaning towards only Office docs and a few limitations for certain file types like TXT, RTF, and PNG etc. Even then with all ifs and buts, Vista’s search is better for it. Windows XP meanwhile lags behind, huffing and puffing in its file search.

To plug the want, there is always one or the other software. You might have tried out the previously mentioned TaggedFrog TaggedFrog - Cool File Tagging App for Windows TaggedFrog - Cool File Tagging App for Windows Read More . Another of its type is Tag2Find.

There was a brief mention of it some time back. So, let’s take a closer look at how Tag2Find saves us XP users (why not Vista’s too?) some grunt work.

Tag2Find (ver. is a 2.23 MB freeware that allows us to tag Windows files and make our search less tedious. According to the site, it’s still in the technical preview stage and the developers are looking to make further improvements.


The First Steps to Tag Windows Files

There are three pre-requisites for installing Tag2Find on your machine ““

  • Windows XP (Home, Professional) or Vista (32-bit)
  • NET Runtime 2.0
  • NTFS-formatted file system

For installation, you need administer privileges on your system. The installation runs through a few configuration screens for setting up the location of the internal tag database which stores all the tag info.

how to tag files in windows

Another sequence of steps is for selecting the files/folders and the extensions you want to tag during the initial setup (The Intial Tagging Wizard). That done the installer shows a brief video clip revealing how tag2find should be used. Don’t worry, it’s a cinch.


Tag2find covers all locations that make it easy to tag Windows files – desktop, explorer toolbar, system tray and the right click context menu.

Quickie tagging”¦

During installation, the Initial Tagging Wizard helps out by letting you select the files, folders and extensions which you want to include in your tags. The wizard can be opened later on too.

You can tag your Windows files by a selection or a drag and drop using three different approaches ““

  • By a drag and drop on the Tag2Find explorer toolbar icon.ExplorerToolbar
  • By right-clicking on the selected file and using the context menu.Right-Click
  • By using the Floating Tag Box manually.Floating-Box

Going for any of these three processes opens up a Tag2Find window. The window displays the entire tag list, some suggested tags and info on the file that is to be tagged. Clicking on Details gives you additional file information and a preview if available.


Tag2Find also makes it simple for new files by actively monitoring selected file locations (watched folders). The New File Monitor pops up like an alert box and gives you a quick way to tag the file.


Find them out using tags

Tags wouldn’t be of much help if we don’t have an equally easy way of using tags to shortlist the files we want. Fill in the tag search term in the Tag2Find field box to display the files labeled by the tag in the Results Preview. Open the files from within the preview window or drag and drop it elsewhere. You can also view related tags by entering a comma after the first one. A plus is the graphical bar which is color coded to indicate the relative usage of the file in terms of the tag.


Get the big picture using the TagBrowser


The TagBrowser is like the centerpiece for all your tags. Browse, sort or filter your tags from the explorer like browser window. TagBrowser is also the tool for mass management of all  tags. Edit tags or set new ones for a bunch of files for rapid organization. One click filters easily set apart documents from other file types like movies and music.

What’s a tag without a tag cloud? The TagBrowser has the option of displaying all your tags either as a tag cloud (with the relative sizes for importance) or as a list.

This is not all there is to it the free software. Some little extras can be found within the settings for TagBrowser. Decide on the color of the tags, set the transparency of the Floating Tag Box, import export tags, auto-play and preview media files in TagBrowser or the tag detail pop-up make it quite a rounded application.

First impressions”¦

On first install and use, some users might just stop short, just because we are so used to web tags. The initial pause done away with, Tag2Find provides lots of flexible ways to tag all your files. Searching by tag is also snappy. It’s almost like an Explorer replacement”¦ addition of an Explorer-like directory structure might just make it one. The PDF help file provided on the site makes the learning curve less acute. The beginning looks and feels good.

If you are an old XP hand (or even a Vista user), give file tagging with Tag2Find a shot. Who knows it might be the ticket for a better organized computer. Are you familiar with any other tool to tag Windows files? Let us know in comments!

Image Credit: rooneyjohn

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