How to Add Tags in Obsidian

Tags are phrases or keywords that can help you organize notes in Obsidian. By creating tags, you can locate specific notes faster should you want to read them. The process of creating tags in Obsidian is relatively straightforward. You simply type a hashtag and a keyword or topic. Obsidian Vault will automatically detect your tag.

How to Add Tags in Obsidian

If you are a beginner, read this article to learn the whole process of creating tags in Obsidian.

How to Create Tags in Obsidian

Obsidian users can choose between tags, links, and folders. All three items allow you to organize your notes in the app. The one to use depends on how you prefer viewing your notes. Some people begin with tags and then links as their notes become more significant. Others choose only tags or tags of objects, people, categories of things, or places.

Additionally, some Obsidian users tag less important things and link to the most crucial ones. You can freely decide how and when to use tags. Here is how to add tags to notes in Obsidian:

  1. Type a hashtag icon (#) in the editor.
  2. Enter a keyword next to it.
  3. Your tag should look like this: #Recipe. Note that tags aren’t case-sensitive.

For instance, the system would detect and understand “#Recipe” and “#recipe” as just tags even if one is capitalized and one isn’t. Moreover, you cannot leave blank spaces between words making up a tag. For instance, you should write #PradaPurse or #Prada_Purse instead of #Prada Purse. When creating a tag in Obsidian, use only the following characters:

  • Underscore
  • Forward slash
  • Hyphen
  • Number
  • Alphabet.

In addition, you should include a non-numerical character with numerical characters. For instance, write #a2023 instead of #2023.

How to Add Tags to Metadata in YAML Frontmatter

The quickest way to create tags in Obsidian is with YAML. You could add a tag to your metadata in YAML. Here are examples:

Adding a Tag to Metadata

Use this code to add one tag to metadata:

Tag: #book

Adding Multiple tags

If you want to add many tags at once, the code will appear this way:




Single Line Tags

Another way entails adding tags to one line and separating them with a comma like this:

Tags: books, reading

Add Many Tags to Metadata in a Single Line

Alternatively, you can create multiple tags metadata in a single line like this:

Tags: (books, reading)

Using YAML-based Tags in Obsidian Notes

After creating tags in YAML plugin, you can use them in your Obsidian notes. You only need to do it via a code like this:




Using YAML Autocompletion Feature

YAML provides a valuable feature called Autocompletion, which you can use with your tags in Obsidian. It can let you work faster and more accurately. With Autocompletion, you can avoid making unneeded tags that can mess up Obsidian’s tagging system. So, use the feature like this:

  1. Type the first three dashes (—).
  2. Enter “tags” beneath them followed by a colon.
  3. Next, enter the left double quote, leave a blank space, write a hashtag (#), enter the keyword, and finish with a right double quote.
  4. After finishing the above steps for your first tag, your outcome should look like this:

tags:  “        #article_post”

Suppose you want to create many tags using the YAML autocompletion tool. The code should appear this way:

tags:  “     #article_post   #article_podcast   ”

You can also write the code like this:

tags: (“   #article_post  #article_podcast  ”)

Or this way:

   “     #article_post”
   “     #article_podcast”

How to Locate Notes With Tags

After creating tags, you should use them to find relevant notes in Obsidian. Here are ways to accomplish this:

  1. Enter “tag:” in the Obsidian search box and choose the item you need from a list.
  2. Go to the “Tag Pane” and choose the “tag name” you need.
  3. Enter “#tagname” into the search box when looking for a specific tag within your notes. For instance, you can write #Twitter, #YouTube, etc.

If you’re using the Command palette, a Tags plugin in Obsidian, choose “Tags: Show tags” in this plugin. After that, click on the tag you want to find.

Types of Tags: What Are Nested Tags?

When creating tags for related topics, you should use the nested type. Nested tags are also called hierarchical tags. These are like subtags of your most important tags. If you want to locate and filter related tags, then nested tags will help you. Nested tags can find many related tags in multiple areas of your Obsidian notes.

They create a simple hierarchical tags structure. If your main tag is “social media content,” the appropriate nested tags can be “Facebook,” “Instagram,” “Twitter,” etc. The correct way to create a nested tag for your Obsidian notes is by adding a forward slash to the tag name. Here is a correct nested tag: #animals/domestic-animals/dogs. If you take complex notes with Obsidian, you will find nested tags very practical.

It will help you create as many subheadings as possible. One note can feature many tags nested under one or more main tags. Hence, tags and nested tags make a better choice than folders when your notes are broad. They can simplify cross-referencing and help you identify correlations between notes.

Knowing When to Add Tags to Obsidian

Complex Projects

Tags are reliable when doing a project with many steps or subtopics in Obsidian. As earlier noted, you can create nested tags for your main tags. These will lead to a logical hierarchy of tags. When searching for specific notes, you can type a related nested tag in the search plugin.

Visual Aesthetics

If you like how tags look in notes, then you can apply them to folders and links. You can view all tags using the Tag Pane. The classifications of the main tags and nested tags are clear. Let’s assume that your main tag is Dog Diseases. The Tag Pane will list nested tags like “hip-dysplasia,” “eye glaucoma,” and “ringworm” beneath it.

Links hide within the notes, making it impossible to view them straight on. On the other hand, tags are so well-organized on the Tag Pane that you can tell between topics and subtopics. However, you should avoid creating excessive tags not to feel distracted when reading notes.

Transfer of Notes

If you plan to transfer some notes from your Obsidian app to another web system, you should avoid tags. The problem with using tags is the way the hashtags copy onto the destination page. They can confuse readers, and the best solution is to delete them. Nested tags can even be more distracting after transferring notes from Obsidian to a WordPress blog or Medium page.

Furthermore, copy-pasting notes in “Editing Mode” and “Reading Mode” will produce different outcomes on the destination page. If you want to use your notes elsewhere, you might want to use another classification method. Otherwise, using tags will give you extra work.


How can you enable the tag pane?

All you need to do is to sign in to your Obsidian app. Then, open the Command Palette and search for “Tags:Show Tags.” Shift the tag pane where you need it.

Can you add emoticons in your Obsidian?

If you want to insert an emoji into the editor, it is pretty simple. Click on the emoji directly or search for it using the arrow keys. Press enter to insert your favorite emoji.

Group Your Notes With Tags

Tags are a practical way to group and classify different notes in Obsidian. After making tags, use them to locate notes. After clicking a tag or a nested tag, the system will produce all notes containing it. As you have learned, you can create tags in Obsidian with or without a community plugin. The method you choose depends on your goals.

Are you a beginner looking to know how to add tags to Obsidian? Have the tips in this article helped you? Let us know in the comments section.

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