I'd like to be able to add a tag color to an image I'm viewing in Preview with a hotkey / keyboard shortcut.

I found something for Finder: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6511743?start=0&tstart=0 but I can't replicate it with Preview.

My use case is that I'd like to open ~1000 images in Preview when I come back from a photoshoot, view each one fullscreen, and have the option to easily tag each image with a color while I view it. So, I'm scrolling through, I see an image I want to mark, CMD+R (or whatever), and its given a red tag, which I can easily find later in Finder. It seems like a pretty simple request, but I haven't found anyway to do this.

  • It's 2019 and there's no easy way to set hotkey for adding a red tag?? I saw some article that involves setting keyboard shortcut + automation service which takes 10min+ to read. Ridiculous. Who wants to click the mouse multiple times just to tag 1 photo out of 1000 more?
    – Logan Yang
    Commented May 12, 2019 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


If you're using Quick Look from the Finder (highlight file and press the Space), you can use Ctrl+1 - 7 to tag the selected files a specific color.

With Quick Look, you can still use the up and down arrow keys to go through your photos one by one, which might mean you don't need the Preview app (where this doesn't work)

Tested on Mojave, source


From the MacOS Documentation on this feature:

Tag an open file: Hold the pointer to the right of the document title, click the arrow, click in the Tags field, then enter a new tag, or choose one from the list.

  • Thanks, this is what I'm doing now, but there's not hotkey/shortcut for it?
    – Aaron Ash
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 20:37
  • not that I know of unfortunately, unless somebody else here has found one
    – peter
    Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 20:56

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