Problems tagging items in "As Split" view

I have imported some 3,500 jpg photographs into DTPO 2.3.5. I originally had the photos in folders in the file system, the folders named by the date the photos were taken. I imported these folders into DTPO.

I had the idea that the As Split view would be ideal for quickly tagging the photos, by selecting a set of items, hitting ^-return to get to the Tags bar, and typing the name of a tag.

To get all of the photos visible in the As Split view, I’m using a Smart Group with criteria “Search in Database / Kind is image.” (But, these issues occur when using the As Split view with a regular Group too, as well as with rich text items in As Split view.)

Unfortunately, this procedure fails with several issues:

  1. I expected ^-return to move edit focus to the tag bar, but in As Split view, it instead, with one item selected, opens an edit box to rename the item, and with multiple items selected, does nothing. This happens with both image and rich text items. Why does DTPO prohibit from getting to the tag bar with ^-return in the As Split view?

  2. The menu item Edit - Tags is disabled in the As Split view. Why?

  3. OK, I’ll click on the “Show/Hide Tags” control to show the Tags bar, then click in the Tags bar and assign a tag to the selected items by typing a tag name, let’s say, “clouds,” to the currently selected items. This seems to work; that is, I can select items, click in the Tags bar, and type “clouds” and hit return to apply the tag “clouds” to the selected items. But, what actually happens is that all of the items in the As Split view, and the Group itself, have been tagged with “clouds,” as evidenced by: the persistent appearance of the tag “clouds” as I select individual items; the items’ presence in the “clouds” tag in the As Tags view; and by the Smart Group’s (or Group’s) presence in the Tags/clouds Group. I didn’t ask that all of the items in the As Split view be tagged, just the ones that I selected.

It almost seems that for some reason DTPO wants to prohibit me from tagging items using the As Split view (and if so, why?), but the method of clicking on the Tags control to get to the Tags bar and entering a Tag name was not disabled, and produces an incorrect result.

So, it seems that there is some bug here somewhere: either in applying tags in As Split view, or in disallowing this procedure altogether. I sure would like to be able to apply tags to selected items in the As Split view, because it is in many cases the most efficient way of tagging photos.

It’s a known issue with the file preview/info pane of the Split view, and is being looked into. You can only tag with the Info pane or a script in this view. As an alternative, you can switch to another view (Three Pane) or stay in the Split view and go into the selected group (Go>Selected Group menu or command-option-down arrow) to make the documents preview appear in the preview pane. When in the selected group, you can select documents and tag with the tag bar and/or the Edit>Tags… menu. Return back to the previous preview pane view with command-option-up arrow.

Thanks for your response, Greg. Too bad this is broken, but it is good that it is a known issue, and I look forward to a fix.

On the topic of tagging…

Tagging is a core function and feature in DT. The current UI is overly difficult to navigate when more than a few tags are in use. I’d like to submit the below (albeit crude) mockup to DEVON as food for thought to change the UI to make working with tags easier.

The idea is that hitting ^-return or clicking the “tag” control (in any view) would instead of toggling visibility of the Tag Bar, toggle the visibility of a new Tag Pane in the Document area, to the right of the document. Tags would appear here in sorted order or in order applied or order dragged, depending on a new preference setting. This could resemble a Tag Cloud that shows all tags applied to the current document.

The mockup shows a PDF document with a page navigator above the Tag Pane. In this case, the Tag Pane would be resizable using the splitter bar. For other kinds of documents, the Tag pane would include the area of the page navigator that is displayed for PDFs (and the splitter would not appear, or have no effect when clicked and dragged).

In another variation, the new pane could replace the Info dialog, with its cramped display, and be called the Info Pane. The scroll bar would enable displaying much more information than in the current Info dialog. The new pane could also include all metadata for a document. This would consolidate all metadata for documents into one easily accessible and navigable place.

This “Info Pane” would of course be problematic on a MacBook Air with an 11" screen, so maybe it would be better to restrict the functionality of this new pane to tagging. (Though I for one would still like to be able to see all metadata for documents in one consolidated place as an additional enhancement.)

A decision would have to be made about what tags to show when multiple documents are selected, but I don’t think that this case should preclude rethinking the UI for tags.

But, the core idea is to allow more tags to be seen at one glance, and provide a more easily navigable UI for working with tags.

Anyway, just an idea. But I believe that DT really needs a different way of working with tags. The current UI is just too cramped and difficult to navigate.


I couldn’t agree more. I do know that some ideas to enhance the use of tags has been looked at, but I too would really like to see the incorporation of a tag cloud to replace the current Tags view.