Tag hierarchy - suppress parents?

I like using a tag hierarchy, but prefer to see only its “leaf nodes” at the document level. Is it possible to suppress the display of all but the lowest level tags, or to color code / highlight the lowest level tags, in the tag bar and/or info pane?

This isn’t possible currently, a future release might support this.

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This seems an odd thing to do. Can you clarify why?

Did you try excluding the parent tag in the Tags group or are you using it as well?

Let me give an example.

I’ve got the tag hierarchy:

  + Links
    + RTV
      + Engine
        + Omniverse
        + ...
      + XR
        + VR
        + ...
      + ...
    + Workflow
    + ...

If I tag a document Omniverse and VR, those are the main things I’d like to see. Instead, I get Links, RTV, Engine, Omniverse, XR, VR.

Notably, I do not get DB1, which is always suppressed.

I still want to be able to search, filter, browse, etc. by all tags in the hierarchy. But the presence of those labels in the tag bar makes it easy to overlook tags I’ve missed.

And some items may only get the XR tag if they don’t neatly apply to one of the child tags. For those reasons I don’t think I can exclude the parents.

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That is the correct behavior.
Child tags always inherit parent tags and apply them to their own children.

This is discussed in the Help > Documentation > Getting Started > Tagging > Nested Tags section.

I would suggest you don’t use hierarchical tags for any tags you don’t want to be inherited.

I understand that it is the correct behavior. All I’m asking for is a way to visually differentiate the end nodes from their parents. This is offered in other hierarchical tagging systems, e.g. Lightroom.

I will continue to use nested tags for the benefits they offer and consider other workarounds like coding terminal tag names.

You mean like this…


Note: This requires using Modern or Dots in Labels section of the Preferences > General.

Ok… interesting! I’m using Dots, but I can’t find any way to set the tag colors in DEVONthink.

Oh boy - I see that there is an interface for this in Finder Prefs, but changing a color there doesn’t seem to impact the tag of the same name in DT.

This isn’t a Finder thing. It’s a DEVONthink thing.

  1. Select the Tags group in the Navigate sidebar so they’re displayed in the item list.
  2. Select a tag and open the Info inspector.
  3. Choose a Color in the color well.
  4. Done.


PS: Since the Navigate sidebar is monochromatic, the colors won’t show in the Tags groups there.

That’s great, thank you. With so many features it is easy to overlook simple solutions hidden in plain sight!

Now if only the tag bar sorted by the hierarchy and not alphabetically. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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This was a problem for me, and I gave up on the structured hierarchy
Instead, I reflect the hierarchy in the tag name

That would be a really useful. Preferably as a database preference so we could decide if it’s needed per database. I use a database with Exclude Groups from Tagging turned off and Inherit Tags of Groups turned on and there it would be very nice if tags were sorted hierarchically while in other databases I probably want the current behaviour.

@BLUEFROG could you please fill a feature request for this?

I considered this approach and have used it before. I may use elements of it to address the ordering in the tag bar comment.

No promises, but the request is noted.

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Thanks :slight_smile:

@olearydj I recently encountered the exact same issues regarding hierarchical sorting (or the absence thereof) and color coding tags. You might want to check out this post for a smart rule script that allows automatic color coding.