Return colored labels in DT after Mavericks

Mavericks has changed color labels to tags. In order to accommodate multiple tags per file, they no longer highlight the entire filename with the label color - there is just a small dot to the right. I see why they do this, but I find it much harder to see. I loved being able to highlight certain filenames with certain colors, and used this frequently to keep track of where certain files are in my workflow.

I was sad to see that DTPO now does the same thing - just colored dots and no highlight of the entire filename. I found “Colorize icons with label” in preferences - this helps, but is still not prominent enough to serve the function that colored labels used to serve.

Is there an option to return the ability to highlight the whole filename with a color? If not, is there any plan to add one? I find this enormously useful.

Thanks in advance.


I liked the dots at first. But they are not as useful as the old labels.

I can see the logic of the dots in Mavericks in displaying more than one colour/tag per item, but that doesn’t seem to apply in DEVONthink. I much prefer the older system.

On a related note, I see that DT no longer changes the folder icon for folders that used as tags versus those excluded from tagging. There is just a small tag icon to the right which is hard to see. Is there a new option to put things back to the way they were for those who want the stronger visual representation?

This is not new behavior. See DEVONthink > Preferences > General > Colorize icons with label to toggle the appearance you reported.

+1 for getting the old labels back - I rely A LOT on being able to see the whole name of a folder/file being colored - not just the little dot to the right. Please bring back the old way of displaying labels - soooo much better and clearer!

I want to bump this again because there has not yet been a reply from DEVONtechnologies on whether this is feasible or not. I’ve noticed some applications are reverting their label presentation and allowing users to have either Mavericks-style dots or the former colorized text background. I really like what PathFinder is doing: colorized background when an item is not selected else show the colored dot when the item is selected.

Anyway – please consider giving us an option (or hidden pref) to revert DEVOthink’s behavior for showing labels to the colorized background method.

+1 please.

The dots make sense in Finder where multiple color labels/dots can be applied to a file, they are kind of pointless in DT and make it significantly harder to get a quick visual overview of what the label is. I used to use labels to give me a quick overview of the state of different documents inside of DT, I no longer use them for anything except smart groups and I may as well use tags.

Please give us an option to bring back the old style color labels.


It was a wrong design decision by Apple to merge label and tag and it makes it harder to see stuff both in Finder and DT.


Thanks for the feedback! The next maintenance release will add a preference.

Thanks! This will be very helpful.

Another take on this: I would very much like to have the ability to have multiple labels on an item, like in OSX. I know a certain functionality can be accomplished with tags, but that doesn’t suffice for some situations. Here’s my scenario: I use tags as keywords to classify various articles I collect for research based on their content. I use labels to classify them in terms of spot in the workflow, because the color-coding is a simple way to organize and visualize them without having to read anything or search on a tag. Examples are “important,” “to do,” “project,” and “to post.” Some of these categories can overlap, though and, far more important, I also need a visual label to indicate which files have already been entered in Endnote (to avoid extra searching or the creation of duplicate entries), so I use my other color for “Endnote.” This one overlaps with many of the other labels, but I’m forced into an either/or.

If the next update is going to include a preference for label behavior, it would be great if multiple simultaneous labels could also be incorporated into this.