How to apply all tags from one database to another database?

I have two databases, database A is commonly used and creates a lot of tags, but my database B does not. I would like all the tags from database A to be applied all to database B, which would be much easier.

Tags are not “applied” to databases but to documents. Do you want all tags from database A applied to all documents from database B? If not, what are you looking for?

This post nearly 10 years ago may help:

If you just want to transfer tags once, Duplicate seems suitable. You can use a smart rule or batch process to filter all the duplicated documents and delete them, leaving only the duplicated tags.

Yes, I want to apply all the tags from database A to all the documents in database B.

Can I merge several databases into one? In this way let the tags be applied to all documents of the synthesized large database.

What’s the point of tags if all documents have the same ones?

Creating a larger database wouldn’t be what i’d suggest if your goal is to just have the same tags in both.

Perhaps this will help if you have a set of tags you want to use across multiple databases…

I’m sure @jiyuan means to have a set of tags that can be applied to documents across databases.

Misunderstanding can be owed to extensive mismatch between grammar and vocabulary of Chinese and English. Here, the character “用” is duly translated to apply, but its actual meaning can be closer to (has potential to) apply, since the Chinese language often leaves the “potential” part for the reader to infer.

Experience tells me that such caveats can hard to overcome for native Chinese speakers adopting English as a working/learning language. (“jiyuan” is a distinctively Chinese given name, and his text is not much more Chinglish than mine, in case you wonder.)

Returning to the question of merging databases, AFAIC it’s not a bad idea, so long as you are able to find what document you want to find. The merge process is reasonably simple; just drag everything from database A into database B, and all the tags in database A will follow.


Thanks for the extensive explanation – I was in fact too lazy to learn Chinese characters when I tried to accustom myself with basic Mandarin. Pinyin was good enough for me. Would DeepL be able to figure out these subtleties?

@jiyuan: The simplest approach, I think would be to open database A in one and B in another window. Then go to the tags group in A, select all entries, and drag/drop them to the tags group in B. That does not apply the tags to any documents in B but just makes it possible to apply them (用, perhaps?).

I present two UNTESTED methods I would experiment with as a way to solve this.

Apply all the tags to one “messenger” document in A. Copy that document to B. The tags follow, no? Delete the messenger doc.

Create an intermediary Database called Z. Copy all the tag “groups” into Z. You’ll get all the documents from A. Delete all the documents in Z. You should be left with empty tag groups in Z, copy them into B.

I’d experiment with those two methods myself and probably learn a little more about how tags and tag groups work between databases.

Use at your own risk.

1 Like

Your first suggestion is definitely an interesting and useful one. Well played! :heart: :slight_smile:


Tags are unique to a database
Tag names will be the same; but they will be different Devonthink items

I use an applescript to assist with processing inbox items; including tag assignment
The script presents filtered tag lists retrieved from the master (database A)

A follow-up report. DeepL, in this case, is indeed able to get it right where Google Translate do not.