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Mac OSX Labels

Files or folders on the Mac can be assigned color labels. There are seven to choose from: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple and Gray.

Why would you want to assign color labels?

  • Files and folders with color labels stand out.
  • It’s useful if you need to create a group of files or folders that do not possess simple common characteristics, e.g.; name, type, date, etc.,.
  • Labels can be sorted and you can control how the sort works.

Labels setup is managed in the Finder. Open the Finder, go to Finder in the Menu Bar and choose Preferences… Click on the Labels tab.

Mac OSX Finder - Label

The labels tab shows the 7 available labels. You can overtype and name them anything you want.

Labels group objects together by color and sort alphabetically in descending order by whatever name you assign to each color.

In the example below, I’ve renamed the labels from A through G in descending order. This means that all red labelled objects (G) will appear at the top of a sort and all gray labelled objects (A) will appear at the bottom.

Mac OSX Finder - Label A to Z

When you sort labelled folders in the Finder:

  • Right click and choose View options from the drop-down menu.
  • Set Arrange to None
  • Set Sort to Label.
Mac OSX Finder - Information

If you play around, you’ll find that you can do a pre-sort by one characteristic, e.g.; name, and then do a final sort by label.

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