Here you will find an overview of the major functionalities offered by the TagSpaces Community Edition. For more details please check the TagSpaces documentation.
TagSpaces Community Edition is a desktop application, which offers the following functionalities.
Key functionality in TagSpaces is the ability to add tags to files and folders. In comparison to similar product, TagSpaces does not use a central database for storing the tags but rather offers to alternative ways for saving this meta information, which are described in the following sections.
TagSpaces supports tagging of files in a multi platform way. It uses basically the name of the file to save this kind of meta information. As an example if you want to add the tags
alps to a image named
IMG-2653.jpg, the application will simply rename it to
IMG-2653[vacation alps].jpg. File renaming is of course very controversial solution, with its own limitations (on some operating systems the file path length is limited to ca. 256 characters). Once embedded in the name of file, the tag stick there and can be removed only by file renaming. This makes the tagging very “durable” and portable. The tags embedded in the name of a file “survives” synchronization across cloud platforms such as Dropbox and Google Drive and can be read by TagSpaces or any other file searching software on Windows, Mac OS, Linux or Android.
As alternative to saving the tags in the file names, TagSpaces offers saving this kind of data in a sidecar files located in a hidden
.ts folder. This method is used for adding tags to folders and can be used for adding tags to files. The activation of this kind tagging for files, can be done in the settings of the application as shown in the following screenshot.
Note: Please note that by default the
.tsfolder is hidden only on OSX and Linux operating systems, on Windows folders with dot in front of their name are not hidden by default. Starting with version 3.0, TagSpaces makes hidden the
.tsfolder under Windows automatically.
After the activation, the application will created for every tagged file an extra file having the same file name as the source file, but with a additional JSON extension. For example after tagging some files in some of your file locations you will have a similar file structure.
~ location (with your files) ├── subfolder │ ├── .ts │ │ ├── file1.jpg.json │ │ └── file2.pdf.json │ ├── file1.jpg │ └── file2.pdf ├── .ts │ ├── file3.png.json │ └── file4.docx.json ├── file3.png └── file4.docx
The main advantage of this solution is that the name of the files is not changed after tagging and there is theoretically no limit in the number of tags you can add to a given file. If you move or rename tagged files in TagSpaces it will take care of the sidecar file, which will also renamed or moved in the appropriate folder. But if you move or rename this file in an external file manager, you have to move or rename the sidecar files by hand. The same hold true for the deleting a file from an external application. It will not automatically delete the sidecar file in the
.ts folder. These drawbacks makes the tagging with sidecars less robust and future proof.
Note: If you want to have the files located in the
.tsfolder synched with some cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive you have to enable the synching of hidden folders and files.
The app can be used as a simple file manager. It support currently the following operations on files and folders.
- File creation in plain text, html and markdown formats
- File renaming
- File moving
- File deleting
- File opening with the current default application for the operating system
- Opening the containing folder of a file in the default file manager for the operating system
- Folder creation
- Folder renaming
- Folder deleting
- Revealing the folders in the default file manager of the operating system
In the setting of TagSpaces you can activate a checkbox “Move deleted files or folders to trash bin”. After activating it, all files deleted in TagSpaces will be send to the Trash, Trashbin or Recylce bin depending on your operating system. From these locations, you files can be easily recovered in case of a unintended deletion.
You set a custom color for every supported file type in the settings of the application. This color is visible in the grid and list views while displaying the files.
TagSpaces has the ability to create and edit new files in plain text, HTML and markdown. With these functions the application can be used as alternative to note taking and personal wiki systems such as Evernote, Onenote, TidyWiki and others.
The file creation is available at any time during the using of the application and can be initiated by clicking the button with plus sign, visible in the following screenshot. There is also a global shortcut key combination for file creation available. It is
CTRL+SHIFT+N on Windows and Linux and
CMD+SHIFT+N on macOS.
The files are created by default in the current folder, but the target folder can be easily changed. Before the file creation the user can change the file name, can add text content and switch between the tree supported files formats Text, MD and HTML. Once created the new files is opened automatically in the file previewer.
The application supports previewing of many file types directly. It has a basic build in Image, PDF, ZIP, URL, Text viewers and Audio and Video player. TagSpaces is designed with extendability in mind so any other kind of file viewers can developed and integrated easily.
TagSpaces has an integrated file and folder search functionality. The difference to the classic Desktop Search software is that the search is performed only in the currently opened location or folder. The search is based on a index, which is created immediately after the user opens a given location and has the following functionality:
- The search query in the free version consists of two components. The first one is just a simple free text which searched in the index. The second component is a list of tags. At least one of the tags should be assigned to a given file or folder in order to be included in the search results.
- The search algorithm considers with different weight the following fields from the index.
- The file or folder name
- The tags assigned to the file or folder
- The description added to the file or the folder
- The file or folder path
- The content of txt, md and html, if the full text search is activated for the current location (TagSpaces PRO only)
- The search algorithm has a build-in fuzziness, meaning that if the free text search query contains a misspelled word, TagSpaces will try to find files and folder with the best ques.
- The tag search is strict, without fuzziness, if you are not sure about the exact name of a tag, write in the free text query.
- The search is case insensitive.
- The user can switch to the search area by clicking the Ctrl+3 / Cmd+3 key combination (configurable in the Setting).
Searching for tagged files and folders
In order to provide a boolean search support for tags, the search user interface for tags was split in three input fields:
- Must contain all of the tags - all of the tags listed here should be attached to the files or directories (logical AND search)
- At least one tag - any file or folder which contains one of the specified here tags will be included (logical OR search)
- None of these tags - entries which have one the tags listed here will be excluded from the search results (negative search)
Note: After opening of a certain location, the application starts to index in background all the files and folders from this location recursively. During the indexing time the search is not available to the user, but all other functionalities are accessible. Opening of location containing more the 100000 files could lead to performance issues, during the index or later by search.
Many of the supported file types can be directly printed from the application.
The text editor supports source code highlighting for many common programming languages. This in combination with the build in JSON editor makes the application a good source code navigator with basic editing capabilities. The intention here is not to makes TagSpaces your next IDE, but rather to give your quick overview of soure code repositories.
The user interface of the application is design to be usable on touch screens, but for the pure desktop, we support many drag & drop operation such as:
- Adding tags from the tag groups to files in the list and grid view or directly to the file properties
- Dragging one tag from a file to another file, will tag the second file with tag from the first file
- Moving tags from one tag group to another
Speaking for drag and drop, you can import files from your Desktop or your default file manager in the current folder opened in TagSpaces. This can be done by just drag the files you want to import and drop them in the application, this way the files will copied in the current folder.
TagSpaces feature a modern user interface with support of a Dark Mode and user interface themes. The community version is delivered with a light (default) and dark theme. The themes can be switched with just one click on the button, which is emphasized on the following screenshot.
We offer 64-bit versions of TagSpaces for the following desktop operating systems: Windows, Linux and macOS. For more details please visit our download page.
The Windows and Linux versions of TagSpaces can be started in the so called portable mode, allowing the use from an USB-stick or other portable devices. In this mode all the configuration information such as tags, tag groups and connection to locations is stored in the folder from where the application is started and not in the home user folder on current operating systems. Find out more on portable mode section in the documentation.