Tags

All about tags, Stack Overflow for Teams' most important content organization feature.

Joel Bradley avatar
Written by Joel Bradley
Updated this week

Tags | Tags |

Applies to: All Stack Overflow for Teams

Overview

A tag is a word or phrase that reveals the topic of a question or Article. Tags categorize and organize content, making it easier for users to locate information. Tags also help subject matter experts and other knowledgeable users locate questions they can answer. In shorts, tags are one of the most effective ways to organize the information in your Stack Overflow for Teams knowledge base.

You can apply tags in many ways. Our users have benefited from tags that:

  • Label content based on company department.

  • Pertain to a specific product.

  • Identify programming languages.

  • Identify projects and subprojects.

  • …and much more.

You can watch tags, which tells Stack Overflow for Teams to alert you to new activity on those tags. You can also ignore tags. Learn more about watching and ignoring tags.

Site administrators and moderators have additional tag controls. Read more about Tag Administration.

The Tags page

The Tags page gives an overview of all the tags that currently exist on your Stack Overflow for Teams site. Click Tags in the left-hand menu to access the Tags page. You'll see tags listed in a table, with tag name, tag description (usage guidance), number of posts using the tag, number of users watching the tag, number of SMEs (subject matter experts), and date created.

Using the filter buttons, you can view All tags or only those with No SME assigned. To filter tags by a keyword, type into the Filter tags by name box. Click on the Posts or Date created headings to sort by those columns. Click the three dots button to View tag info, View top users, or View synonyms.

Click on the tag name to see posts that use the tag, subject matter experts, top users, synonyms, and more. For more information about the tag, including a brief description and a fuller explanation of when and how to use the tag, click Learn more.... You can also watch and ignore the tag from this page.

NOTE: Tag description and usage guidance are added by users, so not all tags have this information. Learn more about tag information.

Add tags to a new post

The best time to add tags is when you're writing a question or Article. When you start typing into the Tags box, the site will search for existing tags that match what you've typed.

The search process suggests tags that contain your search text anywhere in them. To accept a tag suggestion, click on it. You can also use your keyboard's Tab or arrow keys to move through the suggestions. Press the Enter key to select one.

If you type a tag that's not already in the database, the site will add it as a new tag when you press Space on your keyboard. If you want to create a tag with more than one word, join the words with a hyphen (-) character.

Use this process to add one or more tags to your content, up to five for a question or four for an Article. Adding more than one tag is preferred, as it makes your content easier to locate. Click any tag's X button to remove it from the Tags box.

Tags in titles

When adding a question or Article, it's not necessary to try to include tags in the title itself. You don't need to remove a tag if it fits organically in your title, but it will offer no benefit to users as they search for your content. Stack Overflow for Teams prioritizes and displays tags across the site, and they are the best way to categorize and locate questions and Articles.

Create a new tag

In most cases, you'll find that tags already exist for the content you're adding. If possible, use existing tags to link your new question or Article with similar content. If you're sure no suitable tag exists, add a new one.

Double-check the spelling of your new tag, and try to keep it short. When creating the tag, think about how other users will be searching for the subject. Complete words are usually best, but you can also use abbreviations that are familiar to others in your organization.

All new tags must conform to the following formatting rules.

  • Tags can have no more than 35 characters.

  • Tags can have only these characters: a-z, 0-9, +, #, ., and -.

  • Letters in a tag must be lower-case. The site will convert upper-case letters to lower-case before saving a new tag.

  • Tags with multiple words must use a hyphen character (-) instead of a space.

Before you save your question or Article, Stack Overflow for Teams will confirm that you meant to create a new tag. This is a good reminder to create tags responsibly, and only when needed.

Add or remove tags from an existing question or Article

You can add or remove tags from existing content, even if you didn't write it yourself. When you use a question's Edit link or an Article's Edit article button, you'll see the same Tags box as when you create new content. Use that box to add or remove existing tags, or add a completely new tag.

There is an additional method to quickly add or remove tags from a question. In the question view, click Edit under the question's "Tags" heading. This displays a Tags box where you can manage the question's tags.

Tag synonyms

Tag synonyms keep your site's content easy to locate by avoiding the proliferation of similar tags. Your site could have questions tagged coffee, espresso, and mocha, when a single caffeine tag might be more effective. Users can also create synonyms with alternate spellings or pluralization for a tag (for example: colour as a synonym for color, queries as a synonym for query).

Users with enough reputation can suggest synonyms for an existing tag by clicking on any tag name to go to its tag page, then clicking Synonyms. The tag synonyms page shows existing synonyms for the tag, and allows you to suggest new synonyms.

Users with enough score (activity) in the tag can vote to accept or reject tag synonyms. To vote, click the upvote or downvote button for any suggested tag. In the same way, other users can vote on any tag synonym you suggest.


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