Skip to main content

TagSpaces Lite#

Here you will find an overview of the major functionalities offered by the TagSpaces Lite Edition. For more details please check the TagSpaces documentation.

TagSpaces Lite Edition is a desktop application, which offers the following functionalities.

File and folder tagging#

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.

File tagging based on filenames#

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 vacation and 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.

File and Folder tagging with sidecar files#

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: Folders are always tagged with the help of sidecar file called .tsm, located in the .ts of every tagged folder.

screenshot showing where to activate the saving of the tagging information in sidecar files
Activating the persisting of tags for files in sidecar files

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)
├── subfolder1
│ ├── .ts
│ │ ├── tsm.json <-- contains tags and description for subfolder1
│ │ ├── 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 .ts folder synched with some cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive you have to enable the synching of hidden folders and files.

File management operations#

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

Color coded file types#

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.

Settings of the app where all color of the file extensions can be adjusted
Settings area of the app where the colors for the file types can be adjusted

Creating and editing text files / notes#

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.

Creating new text files / notes with TagSpaces
Creating new text files / notes with TagSpaces

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.

File previewing#

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.

Search capabilities#

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)
Short video showing searching for tags in action
Short video showing searching for tags in action

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.

You can learn more for about search capabilities in TagSpaces from it's documentation.

Printing files#

Many of the supported file types can be directly printed from the application.

Video showing how to print a file in TagSpaces version 2.0

Source code browser and editor#

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 source code repositories.

Tagging file and folders with drag & drop#

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
Video showing tagging files by dragging tags from the tag library and dropping them to the files
Video showing tagging files by dragging tags from the tag library and dropping them to the files

Importing files from your desktop#

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.

Dark mode#

TagSpaces feature a modern user interface with support of a Dark Mode and user interface themes. The Lite 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.

Switching between dark and light mode
Switching to dark mode is possible with one click

Support for multiple platforms#

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.

Portable mode#

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.

Signed Installers for Windows#

We are providing installers for Windows, which are digitally signed with modern certificate from GoDaddy. Signing distributed artifacts has some advantages such as:

  • authenticity - Tells the user where the software is coming from.
  • integrity - Demonstrates the code was not modified after the signing process. This will also alert the user for a potential file corruption during the download process.
screenshot showing the signed installer in Windows
The signed installer under Windows