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I would love a program to help tag and automatically sort files... picture something a lot like a Gmail inbox, where new and unsorted files remain in the inbox, and files can be searched, tagged, etc.

I'm actually considering starting a project like this, but on the long shot something like it exists, I figure I might as well save the time. Is there anything like this, either as a Nautilus extension or a standalone program?


Edit

I just upgraded to 11.04, and it looks like something is in the works with this... if I right-click a file, the context menu has a "Tags..." option which lets me tag files (this is also available in file properties via a "Tags" tab). A handful of my files appear to be automatically tagged, even. ...or did this happen when I installed Tracker?

The only problem is, I can't find any way to make use of the tags. Is there a way to search them? Using the Unity search bar doesn't appear to do the job (yet).

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I think Tracker & maybe Zeitgeist might be useful here, although I don't think there is a GUI that does exactly what you want... –  JanC Apr 22 '11 at 0:57
    
Tracker looks awesome. Doesn't seem to actually work, though, at least not in 11.04 :( –  keithjgrant Apr 22 '11 at 1:24
    
tracker-tag -s TAG askubuntu.com/questions/40543/how-to-search-for-files-by-tags –  type May 15 '11 at 21:33
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5 Answers 5

Nautilus from gnome-team ppa has an extension for add/removing tags, and I've posted another python-extension for filter file/dirs by tags

How to search for files by tags?

https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=670163

https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=670643

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Try getting Activity Journal. It should have search functions since it integrates with zeitgeist (the tagging / history saving program). Activity Journal on Launchpad Supposedly the version currently in the software center does not work properly in 11.04 at this time, so use the .deb from the link provided here.

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It might be overkill, but at least you might get good ideas by trying an ECM (Enterprise Content Management) solution like the open source Alfresco.

You don't have to use all of Alfresco's features, but it has:

  • Tagging
  • Categorizing (more rigid than tags, plus hierarchy)
  • Versioning

It has a Web UI, but you can use the files with Nautilus via WebDAV.
Warning: The learning curve is pretty steep.

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If the other answers don't work for everyone, perhaps a great search tool can bridge the gap between manual organization and usability?

Recoll on Linux completely rocks. It understands metadata for many file types - audio, video, images, office-docs, html, text, ... lots of types. If the metadata is accurate, it is great, but with the full text indexing, for documents that have clear titles, authors, dates and subject, it still works very well.

I've deployed Alfresco and in a business, the results for Alfresco and Recoll are similar. For a home user, Recoll is so much lighter and easier to use, there is no comparison. Recoll can be used for a website search engine, if you are running the webserver too, though swish-e http://joshr.com/src/docs/IndexingWithSwishe-Rabinowitz.pdf and ht-dig are probably more efficient for that need.

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You can try tagspaces. In comparison to other tools, it is not using database, but saves the tags in the name of the files. This approach makes the tagging information easily portable across different devices and operating systems, just by synching the files with for example dropbox, google drive or bittorrent sync.

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