Convert Importing Tags to Existing Tags

Hi everyone,

There might be an obvious fix to this but I haven’t encountered it yet. Basically, a lot of the files (ie. academic articles) that I import have pre-existing tags. These tags are often quite similar to the tags I already have in my library, but due to small differences in their names they end up as separate tags. So in my library I get a bunch of similar but separate tags that are annoying to search for. Think "government, “Government,” “theory of government,” “Governments,” etc.

Is there a way to create an automatic/automated process by which all similar tags are grouped into one? I don’t mind setting this up manually, but I would like to do it once and never again. I saw somewhere that I could use aliases to make this work (ie. including all the alternatives to “Government” in the aliases) but this didn’t work. The alternative is to go through these tag variations myself and grouping them manually, but that seems like a waste of time.

Thanks in advance!

Works over here.

  1. File in Path Finder with tag HELLO world:

  1. Tag Hallo Welt 2021-10-12 with alias HELLO world

  2. Result after import:

Huh, it worked for me too! Thanks!

For this to work properly, I’d imagine that there couldn’t be an existing tag called “HELLO world” right? Because that would prevent the alias from working properly.

If a tag exists it is used. If not aliases are checked. No idea about the used order in case more than one tag got a matching alias.

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Another possibility is to disable case sensitive tagging (see File > Database Properties…) to reduce the number of tags. And instead of defining the aliases before importing you could just import the files and then merge similar tags (see Tools > Merge or contextual menu). This sets up aliases automatically too.

This is a great suggestion. Do you know how DEVONThink determines which tag to keep and which to erase? I use nested tags, so merging the wrong tag would mess up my tag structure.

The selected tags are merged - the first one remains, the names & aliases of the other ones are added to the first one. And of course the items tagged by the selected tags remain tagged after merging.

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