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Modified on: Fri, 27 Mar, 2020 at 6:42 PM

Applies to: Basic Business Enterprise

A tag is a word or phrase that describes the topic of the question and helps categorize your question with other, similar questions. Tags are a means of connecting experts with questions they will be able to answer, by sorting questions into specific, well-defined categories. Tags can also be used to help you identify questions that are interesting or relevant to you.

Tags can be applied in many ways. We've found that many communities share a few common categories of tags that:

  • Identify a language.
  • Draw attention from a particular department.
  • Label a product.

If you have any questions about how tags can help you organize your content and make relevant questions more discoverable to users, reach out to us. We can set up a time to learn more about your needs and help you improve your community.

General tag usage

How are tags formatted?

Tags use all lower case letters, and any upper case letters inserted will be changed to lower case. Spaces should be replaced with hyphens (-) to combine multiple words into a single tag, and other punctuation should be avoided as it can make it difficult to use the tag in a URL. When naming a tag, think about how someone would search for that subject. In most cases this means typing out the full name, but you may also want to use the abbreviation if it is more commonly known or the full name is too long.


How can tags be added or removed on a question?

Whether you're writing the question, updating it, or editing someone else's question, adding and removing tags is a useful tool that should always be used to add valuable information to the question and replace obscure or difficult-to-understand tags with well-known and popular tags. Simply start typing into the Tags box and you should receive some suggestions on tags that match what you've typed so far.

With the suggestions visible, you can hit tab to select the first matching tag, or use the arrow keys to move between different tags. Press enter or space to insert the currently selected tag into the box.

Remove a tag that has been inserted by clicking on the small cross icon at the right side of the tag.

Should I use tags in titles?

You should not force a tag into your title. Because the tags appear below the question and tags are indexed by search engines along with the content of your question, you can trust that other people will be able to find your question based on tags they follow or search for. Additionally, tags appear on the question page, so other people will take them into account when answering your question.

The only time you should use tags in your title is when they are organic to the conversational tone of the title. Avoid inserting tags into titles when they do not help to form a complete sentence.

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Creating new tags

How are new tags created?

There are two methods for creating tags in Stack Overflow for Teams. The first is available to all users, and the second is a tag administration page accessible by Admins on a Team.

When asking a question, any user can enter a tag into the tags box the same as any other tag. Make sure to hit space to ensure it gets formatted correctly as a tag on the edit screen. Once the question is submitted, the tag will automatically be created. When creating a new tag, keep in mind that the maximum tag length is 35 characters, and tags must use the following character set: a-z, 0-9, +, #, -, and .

This information applies to: Basic Business

Team admins can access various tag administration tools by visiting Manage tags under Settings.

Add new tags individually by clicking Add new tag, then provide a tag name and an optional description.

Add tags in bulk by clicking Upload CSV, and uploading a CSV formatted with the following fields.

NameRequiredThe name of the tag.
DescriptionOptionalA short description of the tag's purpose.
Wiki BodyOptionalA wiki entry to document the topic.

You can also Edit and Delete existing tags from this list.

Tags that are added to your Team using the tag management page will not be a part of the nightly tag cleanup, which clears out any tags that are no longer used on questions.

Once a tag is created, it will be available for everyone to use via the tag suggestions.

When should new tags be created?

A tag cannot exist without at least one question where it can be applied, so the first step is making sure there is a question that covers the topic. Create new tags when you feel you can make a strong case that your question does cover a new topic that nobody else has asked about before, such as a new technology that was recently released. Don't create tags for the sake of creating tags, though. Strive to use existing tags as much as possible.

Advanced tagging tools

Can a tag be made a synonym of another tag?

Sometimes through routine use, multiple tags will be created for the same purpose. For example, coffee and espresso might both be created for questions about the availability of caffeine in the lunch room. Tag synonyms allow you to set a way to redirect all of these to a single tag that points to content concerning caffeine. If a user starts to type a tag synonym, the appropriate tag will be suggested instead and automatically corrected if the tag synonym is typed out in full.

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Administrators can create tag synonyms by navigating to the list of all synonyms. Visit any tag on the team by clicking on it, and then click on the Synonyms link at the top right of the tag page.

This screen will list all the existing tag synonyms for this tag. To add a new one, click on the see all tag synonyms link to be taken to the next page, which lists all the existing synonyms across the team. Then click on Create synonym at the right and then filling out the information in the popup. You can also opt to perform a merge of the tags while creating the synonym. See "How can a tag be merged or renamed?" for more information.

A tag synonym can be removed on this page by clicking on the "…" to the right of any synonym and then selecting Delete.

How can a tag be deleted?

There is no direct delete functionality for tags. Instead, you can indirectly cause the deletion of a tag by removing the tag from all questions. Tags that are not associated to any questions will be removed from the system during automated maintenance, which may take up to a few days. However, this won't prevent a user from recreating the tag on a future question.

If you want to assure a tag won't appear on another question, the best thing to do is merge it with another tag and create a synonym. The tag synonym will make sure future attempts to create the tag are redirected to the appropriate tag.

How can a tag be merged or renamed?

Sometimes, multiple tags are created in the system before synonyms can be created. For example, there may be ten questions tagged coffee and ten tagged espresso, when the community is best served by a caffeine tag.

Administrators can merge one tag into another, causing all instances of the source tag to be rewritten to the target tag. You can also use this tool to rename tags by specifying a brand new tag as the target tag, which will be created as a part of the merge. Visit any tag on the team by clicking on it, and then click on the Merge link at the top right of the tag page.

Warning! This functionality does not create a revision history and cannot be undone after it's completed without manually retagging all the affected questions.


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