6

Is it feasible to list all tags already defined in OS X in Terminal?

I know there are some third-party applications that list all tags, but I just want to use Terminal to find all tags, since I use this tool to work with tags in Terminal (but unfortunately the tool doesn't provide to list tags for an entire system - it just lists for a single or multiple files selected arbitrarily).

Thanks.

5

The tags name are in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.list.

You can read it with

defaults read com.apple.finder.plist ViewSettingsDictionary

It will need some parsing to be a bit clearer :

defaults read com.apple.finder.plist ViewSettingsDictionary | 
    awk 'NR%12==2'| grep -o '".*"' |  sed 's/^.\(.*\).\{18\}$/\1/'

Other possibility is parsing the plist as xml. To do that you'll need to first convert the plist from binary to xml using.

plutil -convert xml1 ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist

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  • Hmmm... even if I used awk the result was clumsy, as I got something like ` "mytag_Tag_ViewSettings" = {, where mytag` is what I'm looking for. Thus I think it's much easier to just open Finder and navigate toward the tag bar. Thanks for your answer though. – Blaszard Dec 1 '13 at 14:27
  • I updated my parsing part, it now returns only the name :) – Matthieu Riegler Dec 1 '13 at 17:09
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    Everybody should look at @TedWise answer below, it explains why the list obtained through this method is not complete. – Sean Mackesey Oct 1 '14 at 18:11
  • FYI: With OS X El Capitan, the equivalent command is, defaults read com.apple.finder.plist FavoriteTagNames. However, that list doesn't include custom tag names. – Mr. Lance E Sloan Jul 31 '16 at 17:53
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    This shouldn't be the answer. It just doesn't work at all. It doesn't show my custom tags. – sgon00 Aug 29 '18 at 14:51
6

You can also use tag:

tag -tgf \*|grep '^    '|cut -c5-|sort -u

tag -f \* finds all files with tags, -t includes tag names in the output, and -g prints each tag on a separate line.

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  • No mention of OpenMeta in the opening question, but it's worth noting that the current version of tag does not list OpenMeta tags on Mavericks. github.com/jdberry/tag/issues/17 is 'Add limited support for OpenMeta'. – Graham Perrin Jul 26 '15 at 22:00
  • This should be the accepted answer, only this creates a complete tag list here. – lejonet Sep 7 '19 at 19:45
4

That list isn't comprehensive. It's only tags added through Finder. There's an additional file ~/Library/SyncedPreferences/com.apple.finder.plist, that also lists the tags that have been manipulated in Finder.

If you tagged a file in Terminal or using another tool and never manipulated the tags in Finder, then the tags won't be in either list.

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  • I tagged a file with the Tag app that others mentioned. The tag then appears in the Finder > Preferences > Tags list, so it must be stored somewhere, though. Do we know where it's stored? – Gary Apr 28 '18 at 6:24
3

You can also use mdfind in combination with mdls to get the same result:

/usr/bin/mdfind -0 "(kMDItemUserTags == '*')" |xargs -0 mdls -name kMDItemUserTags |grep '^    ' |cut -c5- |cut -d , -f 1 |sort -u

Would be interesting to benchmark, which one is faster.

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2

Colour followed by path:

/usr/bin/mdfind -0 "(kMDItemUserTags == '*')" | xargs -I % sh -c 'echo $(mdls -name kMDItemUserTags % | grep "^ " |cut -c5-) %'

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