22 Responses to “Answering Metadata Screencast Questions”

  1. So, I’m having the same problem with not being able to see tagged files by hitting the right arrow. If I QS and get to tags, hit right arrow, I see all of my tags (that’s good). But if I select one of them and right arrow again, the QS window just shakes its head at me and nothing happens (that’s bad).

    On a related note (I believe) when I get a tag and ask it to ‘show files matching tag’ I don’t get a filtered list of only those files that have that tag (desired feature of this tagging business). It looks like I get a list of recently updated files.

    So, would love to leverage this as I totally buy into it and started tagging things, but I’m not seeing the results displayed in the screencasts. Thanks for any belated help on this thread!

  2. In researching the sustainability and cross-platform transferability of tags in spotlight comments, I came across some disconcerting information. It seems that spotlight comments are stored in the hidden .DS store file of the folder. If this does not get copied neither do the comments. Or if the destination file system cannot read these, neither can they read the spotlight comments. To further complicate things it seems that certain programs when processing the file will erase the comments. Perhaps a better method is to go with SpotMeta which actually creates new xattr in the file. Spotlight in Leopard can now read these in its search. I don’t know how other or future OSes might read them, but at least its attached to the file and not separately in the .DS store!

  3. Re #4. It’s possible to set up a search to do this in Leopard. I did mine on my Documents folder like this (translated from a Swedish Leopard, so the exact wording might vary):
    Type is all
    None of the following is true
       – Spotlight comment contains §
       – Type is folders

    My tag prefix is set to § and the fiddling with Type is done in order to exclude the subfolders from my search results. The first Type statement can probably be excluded. You get the boolean None statement by holding Option and clicking on the + sign when creating the search.

  4. I just turned off “Show children split view” in the QS Command preferences, and am now able to arrow into my tags again… weird, because I noticed that Nick had that preference turned on in his screencast.

  5. Eleventeen

    I’m in the same place as Harald…I’ve been using the QS tagging method for a while, but I wish that when you tabbed to the text entry box to assign a tag that it would give you kind of a Google Suggest kind of deal. I wonder if the ObjC masters over on the Blacktree forums could work something up…

  6. Victor Nystad

    I’ve been spending some time trying to figure out why *right-arrowing* into a tag to display files seems so unstable. It appears to be reliant on the Spotlight-plug-in, but not the extra scripts. The problem is that every time you restart Quicksilver it stops working, so to “activate” this function again you just have to select the “Catalog” section in the Quicksilver interface (cmd+;) after each restart, and then close it again. I have no idea why this works, but it does.

  7. Paulo Fontes

    HI all! I’ve got the same problem Jack had, when i invoke QS and wirte Tag it wont let me right arrow to see the files that are tagged, its a real problem here! And the thing JAck said wont work since i already have Internal Objects checked….Would appreciate some help:(

  8. Hi fellow Quicksilver users,
    at first thanks for that fine screencast, it opened up a new perspective on working with that whole metadata issue. After cycling through all the options shown in the screencast however I found myself wondering if it is possible to select a file into Quicksilver and then assign to it any of the keywords which are already in the catalogue. That would prevent me from assigning similar keywords (thus keeping the catalogue limited) and at the same time speed up that whole tagging process. Is there a way to use Quicksilver that way?

  9. Binh Trinh

    i am having a huge metadata issue. My metadata was not transferred when i upgraded to a macbook from an g4 ibook. I know this has to do with it saved to a different database altogether — .spotlightV1 file? I tried to reconstitute but am having a diffcult time. I hate to reinput all the tags! Any help?

  10. denny, good call on MailTags. It’s almost as vital to my existence as Quicksilver. I have yet to see a way of incorporating MailTags with Quicksilver. Does anyone know of a method? This would perfect life and bring the universe to a state of balance.

  11. Looks like Denny’s got me covered here – thanks!!

    And Jack, glad you found that setting. I would’ve gotten there sooner or later…

    There’s just so much to Quicksilver, that it gets hard to distinguish what is doing what.

  12. Grant (divigation)

    Re#4 the way to go about searching for files would be through a script where in you use

    $mdfind “kMDItemFinderComment == ‘*'”

    This will return all files that are tagged. I imagine there is a way to have a shell script or an applescript that lists a directories contents, then lists those that are tagged, compares the two and returns the list of those that are not tagged. That shouldn’t be too difficult, for someone with better scripting ability than I.

  13. Is it possible to tag individual emails?

    By the way, seems to me that the leap to tagging is not so very big. You can still keep the documents in folders, and just call on them via their tags. Having a tag system doesn’t mean you have to abandon order inside the documents folder.

    Thanks for all your work on these screencasts. Quicksilver really is amazing. I look a lot of procuctivity software options and end up thinking, “I can do that with Quicksilver.” Your screencasts are a huge help.

  14. After rooting about in the Catalog a bit, it looks like you need Internal Objects checked under Quicksilver to right arrow past the tag and onto its files.

    (That’s what I love about Quicksilver – three years of using it, and I’m still finding mysterious boxes to check that I’ve never noticed before!)

  15. A few other thoughts that may or may not make sense for those just starting out. I used my folders as cues for my spotlight comments. I had a folder called scrapbook with various sub folders that related to areas of interest/research. Example, a folder “ecology” in which existed folders such as climate change, peak oil, gardening. Before moving any files I took a look at all my folders and thought about what I had. Then developed a pretty straight forward naming convention. To use the above example those items were tagged as ecology_climatechange or ecology_peakoil. Developing a commonsense approach to tagging that reflects the folder hierarchy you’ve been using eases the transition and serves as a reinforcement.

    One other thought that will help remind you to transition to Spotlight after the tagging. Keep a Spotlight search window open at all times. It will remind you to search rather than browse. If you command-space to the menu bar spotlight that’s fine the results will update in your already open Spotlight window once you hit return. You can initiate a search in either place but the point is to have that window open at all times. Also, set up Smart Folders in the sidebar of your Finder because these will also help remind you to use Spotlight-based searching.

    One last point that is probably pretty obvious but I’ll mention it anyway. If you’re a web developer don’t even bother to move files out of their folders… too many of these files share the same name such as index.html… such a system would be a disaster. I tag mine with the project name but leave them in their client/project folders all of which live in a “Current Projects” folder. The end result is I can still do a Spotlight search on a project or client and get relevant files, ical events/todos, contacts, email, etc. but the files are safely tucked away in their own folders.

  16. Re #8 – I already have the Spotlight module and Extra Scripts installed, and can right arrow into my tag list from File Tags (Catalog), but can’t right arrow on again into the file listings per tag. ie. there’s something else required besides the Spotlight Module and Extra Scripts to match your setup.

    Thanks for the screencast, by the way – I’ve been tagging this way since the File Tagging Module first appeared, but still picked up some great pointers.

  17. Regarding #4, put a folder in list view and choose View>Options and then select the comments checkbox. Perhaps not as fast as a search but if you’ve got a folder with hundreds or thousands of files you can sort files by the comments column and quickly see a list of all those that have nothing. Then use Quicksilver or Automator to take care of those that are commentless. That’s the way I did it.