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Tags -- I finally found a use

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 2:51 pm
by Stephen Hart
I'm sure some people found the Tags feature useful immediately, but I've never used them before. Today I found a use.

In the Finder, you have two levels of choosing arrangements of items in a column.

Top level: Finder > View > Arrange By You can also get this with a button if you add one to the Finder toolbar.
This will give you several ways to organize columns. The only way I've ever need was arrange by name. You also get arrange by name if you choose None, because that's a default.

Second level: Finder > Option key > View > Sort By. This is also available with option click on the Arrange button.
If the top level is set to None, you can choose a different level here.

What you cannot do is to set an arrangement for an individual column. This is a real lack in Yosemite (and going back many generations), in my opinion. Different folders might need different arrangements.

You can do a little with adding characters before an item's name. For example, a space will force the item to the top of an alphabetical list. Some odd characters will force an item to the bottom.

To simplify our Finder windows, we recently set only our iMacs in Devices. A click on Steve's iMac shows me any attached drives plus Network and Remote Disk (because my riMac doesn't have a SuperDrive).
But that list was sorted alphabetically, so the obviously correct order of importance Steve's HD, Time Machine Drive, Network, Remote was mixed up.
Adding tags to the two hard drives and then sorting by tag lets me get that list exactly the way I want it. Any columns with no tagged items ignores this sort order. The colored dots are not objectionable, and if you want, you can change a tag's color to "No color."
If you do this after getting tagged items in the order you want, you won't see anything, not even an empty circle. Weirdly, it seems that adding any tag with no color does not affect sort order at all. And there doesn't appear to be a way to set the sort order of tags.

If anyone knows of or can find a good, deep guide to tags, I'd like to see the URL. I didn't find much.