How can I set a label on a folder with a keyboard shortcut from the finder?

4 Answers 4

  1. Use +I when the folder is selected.

    This will bring up the Get Info box. Once you expand the section General, it will be already be expanded the next time you trigger the info box.

  2. I've searched "MacOSX Hints" for tips and found this which also refers to this:

    With Lion you can add a toolbar icon to label a folder with just one click.

enter image description here

  • 1
    I think this is probably the best way of doing it. I just tried adding a shortcut (via System Preferences) but it seems the Label: menu entry is special one, so can't be bound to a key.
    – mjturner
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 12:10
  • I can't seem to set the label using only my keyboard. I still have to move the mouse to the General section and set it there. It seems like this would be more of a hassle than right clicking and setting it that way.
    – Kit Sunde
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 12:11
  • @KitSunde Yeah, I wonder what a solution using only the keyboard would look like. After all, you still need to choose a color.
    – gentmatt
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 12:26

Not exactly the answer but in Os X 10.9.

You now have Tags. Which use text and label colours to tag you finder items.

You can use the system keyboard shortcuts to activate on a file/s etc.

Go to system preferences keyboard shortcuts.

  • Select :The Shortcuts Tab.
  • Select :App Shortcuts
  • Click : the + button
  • Set : the Application to : Finder.app
  • Enter into: the Menu Title: "Tags…"

The three dots … at the end of Tags… are a special character called ellipsis.

Hold down the alt ⌥ key and type a press the semicolon key ; this will give you the correct three dots …

Make sure there is no space between Tags and the ellipsis

  • Enter : your keyboard shortcut.
  • Click the Add button.

Thats it done.

Now when you have a finder item selected like a file. You can hit your shortcut and the Tags menu will be activate on the file.

You can then use the keyboard ⬆︎⬇︎ to navigate through your tags. And the key to first select and then the key again to complete

enter image description here


I've used FastScripts to assign shortcuts to AppleScripts like this.

    tell application "Finder"
        repeat with f in items of (get selection)
                set label index of f to item 1 of {2, 1, 3, 6, 4, 5, 7}
                -- 2 = red, 1 = orange, ..., 7 = gray, 0 = none
            end try
        end repeat
    end tell
end try
  • How do you apply this? Do you need to set a custom shortcut that launches the script?
    – gentmatt
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 7:36
  • 1
    @gentmatt With FastScripts you'd just save the scripts in ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/Finder/ with an app like AppleScript Editor and then assign shortcuts in its preferences. Another option would create Automator services with just a Run AppleScript action, set them to be available only in Finder, and then assign shortcuts in the Keyboard preference pane.
    – Lri
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 10:47
  1. Use Automator to create a service, add "Label Finder Items" action with "files or folder" selected in the "Service receives selected" option. Within that same option, make sure its in "Finder" only.
  2. Save the service.
  3. Go into System Preferences → Keyboard Shortcuts and assign a shortcut.

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