Delete hundreds of tags without running the risk of deleting documents

I’m redesigning my database. Among the needs I have - having opted for a structure based on group tags and a limited and functionally different use of tags, according to a logic that is useless to explain here - there is the need to eliminate hundreds of tags that I don’t need, but that also cause me great annoyance.
Question number 1: I’ve read that you should never create an item inside a tag. I don’t know if I’ve ever done this, but assuming that this has happened a few times, if I add a tag B to an item originally created within a tag, just in case, by deleting tag A can I prevent the item from being deleted (that is, I assume that the item remains in the database with tag B)?

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  1. You can’t create an item only inside a tag group any longer.
  2. As noted in the Help > Documentation > Getting Started > Tagging section, a kind of replicant I’d made in the tag groups when tags are applied. So deleting a tag just removes those replicants, leaving the items in the database.
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Creating a note while working within a tag
now creates a tagged note in database/inbox

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I too decided to delete all my Tags.

Somehow Devonthink had automatically created Tags and I had hundreds. There was a useful blog post on this some years back, so I did have the correct settings to avoid this happening…( I dont know how it automatically created so many tags.)

I only needed a few Tags anyway (eg Next Item, Important etc), so I just use labels and have stopped using Tags entirely.


Probably because one of the preferences told it to add tags during import. So it would be worthwhile to check preferences first. Otherwise you’ll soon face the same situation.

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In the past I lost items deleting only the tag

If you are referring to two or more years ago, in DEVONthink 2.x, it was more possible then.

Yes that’s what I thought initially. I did have all the preferences turned off. You have to be careful with RSS also which can import a lot of auto tags.

There is a useful blog article on this Tag options.

I am still a bit puzzled as to what caused them. I think it is a glitch.

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All the tags in DEVONthink are either imported Finder tags, created due to the settings in Preferences > RSS & in Preferences > Files > Tags or of course created by the user, smart rules or scripts.

A hint might be what kind of documents were tagged like that and how they were added to the database.