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Updated June 4, 20193 minute read

Highlight and tag content in your project

Highlights are added to content inside notes, and a single highlight can have one or many tags.

In this article

The power of Dovetail lies in inline tagging, which we call highlighting. Highlights are added to content inside notes, and a single highlight can have one or many tags associated with it.

Unlike other products, with Dovetail, you can tag a single word, sentence, or paragraph instead of needing to tag the entire document. This means you can be more granular with your tagging and break down long documents.

What to use tags for

A bit like affinity mapping, tags in Dovetail help you identify and keep track of patterns that emerge across your research data.

For example, let’s say you’re using Dovetail to analyze reviews for an iPhone app. Imagine that each note in Dovetail is one person’s review. Here’s the content of one of the notes:

“I love the app, however it’s becoming slower and slower. It seems to take a long time to open up initially. It’s missing a key feature – search. I need this to find what I need.”

Given this example, you can use highlighting to tag “…however it’s becoming slower and slower. It seems to take a long time to open up initially” with performance and “It’s missing a key feature – search. I need this to find what I need” with feature request.

Then, when you look at the feature request tag, you’ll see the following highlight: “It’s missing a key feature – search. I need this to find what I need”.

Create a highlight with the mouse

To create a new highlight with your mouse:

  1. Select the text you’d like to tag.
  2. When the dialog pops up, click Add tag…
  3. Type a tag name into the input.
  4. Choose an existing tag, or…
  5. Click + Create… to create a new tag.
  6. Click outside the dialog to close it.

Create a highlight with the keyboard

The highlighting user interface is completely navigable with a keyboard using the Up / Down Arrow Keys to choose items, Enter to select, and Escape to go back or dismiss.

To create a new highlight with your keyboard:

  1. Select the text you’d like to tag.
  2. When the dialog pops up, press TAB.
  3. Type a tag name into the input.
  4. Use the Up / Down Arrow Keys to select an existing tag, or…
  5. Select + Create… to create a new tag.
  6. Press ESC to close the dialog.

Browse for tags while highlighting

You can browse for existing tags instead of needing to search for tags by name when creating a new highlight on a note. After you’ve made your text selection, click on one of the tag groups to see all of the tags within that group.

View all highlights for a tag

When you open a tag, you’ll see all of the highlights you’ve created with that tag. To open a tag, click the tag in the note gutter on the right side of the page, find it under Tags in a project, or search for it by name.

Make the note full width

You can also switch between full width mode or not:

  1. Open the note actions menu (···) in the top right.
  2. Click Full width to toggle between full width or not.

Resize the tag gutter

When you’re in a note, you can resize the tag gutter on the right:

  1. Hover on the vertical line.
  2. Drag it to the left or right.
  3. Let go of the line.

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