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Nexctloud Searching and Tagging

Basic Searching

Below is a short clip of me in my ultra-boring voice showing how you can search for files in Nextcloud.

I call it "recursive" search because Nextcloud doesn't just look in your current location for files, but will pull up results for files within any number of nested folders within your current location. This way you can have as many or as few subfolders as you like.


Tags are a powerful feature that allows you to find exactly the content you want much faster, but you have to put in the effort to tag your files/folders. It resolves the issue where you might want to organize files under two or more different categories, such as movies by year and by genre. Without tags, you are faced with picking one of these categories to create your folder hierarchy by, or create duplicate folder hierarchies and duplicate your content. Up until now, I had been using hard and soft links to work around this.

The video below is from OwnCloud 9 (which Nextcloud forked from), and the tagging functionality is pretty much the same (if not exactly the same) for now.

The key thing is that you can assign multiple tags to a single file or folder, and when you search using tags, you will only get files/folders that contain all (not just some) of the tags you specified. For example, you could tag all of your movies with the tag movie, and then also tag the year of release, as well as the names of all the actors that were in them. Thus, if you searched the tags movie and 1988 you would only get the movies released in 1988. Then if you added "Bruce Willis", you would only get the movies released in 1988 with Bruce Willis, which results in Die Hard 1. You could use the tag 1988 for other files, such as photos that were taken in 1988, hence why you might want to have a general movie tag to filter out such results.

I think the best way to understand how powerful the tagging feature is, is to start experimenting with using them.

Unfortunately, you can only tag a single file or folder at a time right now which is really slow, but in future, you may be able to tag multiple files at once.

Tags won't be used when performing a normal file search. The file search appears to only use the names of the files/folders.

Last updated: 16th August 2018
First published: 16th August 2018