Ask Your Question

what makes a good tag?

asked 2018-02-04 01:17:42 +0100

catbill gravatar image

updated 2018-02-08 03:33:18 +0100

What makes a tag the most useful? I see all sorts of variations of the same words and combinations with _ or -

In short, there is inconsistency and a lot of clutter.

Is that a problem for conducting good searches? If so, what guidelines should be used for creating tags?

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete


And worse, you can't fix a tag if you discover later you've made a typo.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2018-02-04 07:52:24 +0100 )edit

Can't you Retag?

floris v gravatar imagefloris v ( 2018-02-04 23:03:45 +0100 )edit

There is a lot of clutter, but as you can't contact moderators, or anyone else fo r that matter, it's hard to get it cleared - you have to agree on rules for tagging to prevent people retaining the same tags over and over.

floris v gravatar imagefloris v ( 2018-02-04 23:07:26 +0100 )edit

Are there guidelines used in other forums that could be applied here?

catbill gravatar imagecatbill ( 2018-02-05 16:53:19 +0100 )edit

I agree that is a problem to not be able to change tags. I just realized that I should have used "meta" rather than "common" as a tag here but alas, the retag function does not appear to work.

catbill gravatar imagecatbill ( 2018-02-05 16:59:20 +0100 )edit

I retagged the question by clicking "retag," changing the values and pressing Enter. It requires 50 karma points, so you should be able to do it.

Jim K gravatar imageJim K ( 2018-02-06 00:19:02 +0100 )edit

Jim, when I try what you suggest, my edit does not get saved. It sounds like ajlittoz may have the same problem.

catbill gravatar imagecatbill ( 2018-02-06 19:26:09 +0100 )edit

I also tried to retag and it didn't work.

floris v gravatar imagefloris v ( 2018-02-06 21:55:11 +0100 )edit

I just discovered you need to type return inside the tag line to save the edit

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2018-02-07 09:00:32 +0100 )edit

Works for me now. Maybe typing return inside the tagline is what made the difference (although I would think I did that before). Thanks for the tip!

catbill gravatar imagecatbill ( 2018-02-08 03:42:55 +0100 )edit

3 Answers

Sort by » oldest newest most voted

answered 2018-02-06 00:13:09 +0100

Jim K gravatar image

updated 2018-05-21 21:02:21 +0100

What guidelines should be used for creating tags?

  1. Tag which component the question applies to: writer, calc, base, impress, math. Don't use common unless it is important to indicate that it applies across components. EDIT 2018-May-21: Quoting a wiki error message, "At least one of the following tags is required: common, writer, calc, impress, base, draw, math, or meta." So there is no choice but to use common in many cases.

  2. Add other applicable tags. These may include:

    • Operating system: x64, linux, windows.
    • File format: docx, doc, odt, xls, csv, pdf.
    • A category for the topic: styles, font, formula, chart, print, date, currency, tables, forms, search, spellcheck, filter.
    • Macro language: basic, python, java.
  3. Don't use non-applicable tags to draw in more readers. There is no need on this site, as it's possible to browse all new questions. A good number is perhaps 2 to 6 tags, depending on which tags apply.

  4. Research tags on this site to see how they are most commonly or appropriately used. Have a look at the most popular tags. For example, I would choose styles over style because it is more popular.

  5. Use tags from other better-designed sites.

There is a related question at

What makes a tag the most useful?

As @Mark McLean said, tags help find related questions about a particular topic.

Tags also provide more information about the question. So, if the question is "How do I write a macro to say Hello, World" then the answer will be different depending on whether it is tagged writer or calc.

I see all sorts of variations of the same words and combinations with _ or -

On occasion, I go through each variation for a particular tag and then retag to standardize. Click retag, change the values and press Enter. This requires 50 karma points.

However, this site's flaws make it difficult to encourage consistency for tags, so in many cases, this may not be practical. Fix the tags that are most important to you.

Is that a problem for conducting good searches?

To some extent, although searches can be performed on full text to avoid this problem.

edit flag offensive delete link more


Thank you for the informative answer. However, I am unclear what you mean by "On occasion, I go through each variation for a particular tag and then retag to standardize." What exactly do you do?

catbill gravatar imagecatbill ( 2018-02-06 19:17:35 +0100 )edit
  1. Click retag. click retag
  2. A text box is shown. shows text box
  3. Type tag2. type tag2
  4. Press Enter. result

Does one of these steps fail to work for you? Perhaps you did not press the correct key on your keyboard.

Jim K gravatar imageJim K ( 2018-02-07 18:08:09 +0100 )edit

Well, for some reason this works now. Perhaps I wasn't clicking inside the box, as ajlittoz suggested above. Anyway, I was trying to understand how you know what are standard names for tags. Then I found that by clicking "Tags" at the very top, I can see a list of what appear to be the most commonly used tags. That must be what you were referring to.

catbill gravatar imagecatbill ( 2018-02-08 03:50:06 +0100 )edit

"...clicking Tags at the very top... must be what you were referring to." Yes, that's where the link in my answer is from. It shows all tags sorted by how many times used.

Jim K gravatar imageJim K ( 2018-02-08 18:47:50 +0100 )edit

answered 2018-02-05 07:43:39 +0100

gabix gravatar image

Most useful tags are those that let you quickly search/browse for a problem similar to yours. IMHO, however, the problem here is not about tags specifically but about the design of this site generally. The design is great for a forum of hackers (or simply clever users that know the true meanings of RTFM and STFW), but it turns bad for a forum full of lusers that behave like if they were on some crappy social network site.

A hacker/clever user does RTFM and STFW first, then comes here and:

  1. Browses the forum by relevant tags.
  2. Searches the forum.
  3. Then asks a good question, in particular: a) gives a concise title, and b) makes the title even more concise by splitting it to a couple of relevant tags (i. e. keywords).

A luser does not RTFM, does not STFW, does not browse/search the forum, simply asks a stupid question, makes a loooong title, then makes a loooong list of tags because (the logic of a crappy social network site) more tags means more visitors and more likes. I have seen a hilarious example when a moron put an entire post (not even merely a question) into the title field and then into the tags field.

what guidelines should be used for creating tags?

True lusers don't read any guidelines :-D

I believe, the tags feature should be limited to, say, five words. And the length of titles should be limited too.

edit flag offensive delete link more


I am not sure who you are directing your answer to. There are many people using these forums who are not "losers". If people like me who are not techies could learn what best practices are, then perhaps tags would be more useful. Maybe not, I don't know. But I would like to know people's ideas.

It sounds like you don't have any advice about tags, other than to limit the number. But surely the appropriate number would depend on the question.

catbill gravatar imagecatbill ( 2018-02-05 16:48:22 +0100 )edit

Sounds like you have had some bad experiences. Have you considered using the passion of your frustration to help improve the situation?

catbill gravatar imagecatbill ( 2018-02-05 16:50:46 +0100 )edit

It sounds like you don't have any advice about tags, other than to limit the number.

It sounds like you are challenged by reading a relatively simple post of mine. I can't help this situation.

gabix gravatar imagegabix ( 2018-02-06 07:07:32 +0100 )edit

It is a relatively simple post, but it is mostly a complaint about "losers", not the topic of my question. It is not challenging to read, just makes me sad.

catbill gravatar imagecatbill ( 2018-02-06 19:23:35 +0100 )edit

answered 2018-02-05 02:34:32 +0100

updated 2018-05-22 10:30:13 +0100

If I understand tags aright. There used to search for questions, to learn. So, if your question is...what makes a good fishing bait... Seems only one key word, "bait", therefore in the future others will see your question by searching or using the word "baits" in their question and will see answers that have "baits" in them. If I wanted to learn about "baits", I would hit tags with "baits". But if I wanted to learn about "formatting cells", I would hit "cells" or "format". So your ...what makes a good "tag"... question will help those in the future as to what makes a good "tag", by searching or using the word "tag", to see what answers were given. A test in this site would be to use a word or words in search like, "tag", or string of them, "Bible sort books", and look at the suggestions in the pull down, or how search returns results, as to the tag words in the square boxes under the questions.

edit flag offensive delete link more


Perhaps I am missing something, but I don't see how this helps people learn what makes a good tag. I am looking for guidelines or best practices.

catbill gravatar imagecatbill ( 2018-02-05 16:55:54 +0100 )edit
Login/Signup to Answer

Question Tools



Asked: 2018-02-04 01:17:42 +0100

Seen: 171 times

Last updated: May 22 '18