OS X Quick Tip: Organize your Mac with Color Labels + Search by Color Label

Color Labels are an often under used, but incredibly cool feature of OS X. Take this folder I have for example. The folder is almost nothing but images. It’s very hard to tell which image is which when I have both tiffs, jpegs, and ai files all saved in the same folder. I could create a series of subfolders and organize it that way, but by using colors I can save myself the extra clicks it would take go through those subfolders, and I can glance at this and know that all the blues are Jpegs, the reds are PSD files, etc…


If you don’t know how to apply a color label to your file, it couldn’t be simplier. Just Command+Click (or right-click) on the file. you’ll see the colors under Apply Color Label. Just select the one you want.


You can even search by color label. In the Finder, hit Command+F to bring up the Search options, click on the drop down box and select Color Label, then pick the color you’re looking for. You can refine the search further with the other search options by clicking the plus button.




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  1. Is there a way to invoke this system-wide as a default?

    I’d like it so that, for example, whenever I create, save, download a jpeg, it’s blue, or a text doc would be red.