Deleting tags also deletes tagged items?!

What happens to the tagged items if I delete a tag in the tags group (hitting backspace while a tag is selected in the tags group)?

I had two tags A and B which should be joined.
As one of them (A) contained nested tags a1, a2, a3, the “join” command did not do anything.
So I Ctrl-Alt-dragged the items from tag B to tag A and now could see them in both tags.
Now I wanted to get rid of Tag B and deleted it (while selected in the tags group) with the backspace key.

Now the contents in tag B which I had Ctrl-Alt-dragged there from A, are (according to their info pane) in the trash! (we’re talking about rtf documents which were created in the db and are not indexed).

So, I suppose, when I empty the trash, the items will be gone (also from group B?!)

Is it possible, that an item exists only in a tag and has no other replicates?
For my understanding, that should be impossible and deleting a tag should not delete tagged documents, or am I mistaken?

You could have one and only one document in a database, assign 100 tags to that one document, delete all 100 tags, and the trash will show 100 items. Empty the trash and the one document will still be in the database. I’m sure that you heard or read by now that tags are like groups and groups are like tags (with some differences) in DEVONthink. A tag is really little more than a replicant in DEVONthink, and deleting a tag deletes the ‘replicant’.

It is possible, if the document is created or imported directly (by dragging the document) into a tag group.

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And then - I suppose - the document will be deleted, when I delete the tag.

IF you create a document directly in a tag folder or IF you directly import a document into a tag folder by dragging the document in from the Finder or another application, then yes, if you delete the tag then you delete the document. This is no different than creating a document in a group folder or importing a document directly into a group folder. Delete the group, delete the document.

… ok, but as long as there is a replicate of the document anywhere else, it should “survive” the deletion of the tag…

Yes, it will.

I was glad to find this older thread. I don’t use tags at all. But the user interface in DT does not make it at all clear that deleting all the entries in the Tags views will not delete the tagged documents. (Actually, the message(s) that appear when you’re deleting tags reinforce the fear that the documents will be deleted.) The clarity of this should be improved in a future release. And for me, one way to improve it greatly, would be an option to turn off all tag support. :slight_smile:

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If you don’t use tags at all, I’m curious why yo’d be reading this thread or interested in the behavior :thinking: :slight_smile:

Hmmm, you seem to misunderstand. I want to delete tags. But DT makes it scary to do so with its unclear messages.

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So you want to use them, but aren’t?

From the Help > Documentation > Getting Started > Applying Tags

Um, I thought I was pretty clear that I don’t use them, nor do I want to! I want to delete the hundreds of tags that my database somehow contains. Most of them are senseless and none of them are useful (to me).

That highlighted section would be more helpful (and findable, I did look at the Help) if there were a heading about removing tags. However, again, my point is the messages that DT displays when you delete tags are not clear about what’s going to happen.

Your suggestion is noted but do you feel comfortable you can merely delete the tags now?

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