Tag your files and folders with an emblem in Gnome

June 09, 2006
I like all things which are simple. And I like Gnome desktop very much because of the obsession of its developers in making this popular desktop as simple and intuitive to use as possible. Yes I know, Linus Torvalds has in the past gone on record stating his preference for KDE over Gnome for just this very reason. Nevertheless, my disgust towards complexity goes back to the times I used to work in Windows when I had to put up with the hard to understand jargon and syntax of things I had to do to maintain it. So when I switched to Linux, Gnome desktop breathed a bout of fresh air in its simplistic but functional design.

Fig: Shows the folders and files tagged with unique icons

In Gnome, it is possible to tag files and folders with small icons called emblems. Tagging files with visual cues like these will help a person to find the particular file much easily. Here is how it is done:

  1. First choose the file you want to tag with an emblem.
  2. Now right click on it and select Properties from the popup menu.
  3. The Properties menu will have multiple tabs. From them, select the tab named 'Emblems'. Here you can choose from a collection of icons. Gnome allows one to choose multiple emblems. Once the emblem is choosen, press 'Close' button. And you are done.
I have been using this property to keep track of files which contain important data. For example, I have a folder containing contact information of people I interact with. I have tagged this file with the icon showing 'two people' which gives me a cue as to what is in this file.


  • Here's a pic of my desktop that shows several folders tagged with emblems: http://members.shaw.ca/Limulus/files/Screenshot.png

  • All gnome people always seem to bi*ch about one thing of kde - complexity. I fail to see how could you tag kde as complex ? Ofcourse, its your choice if you use kde or gnome, but atleast specify where and how do you find it complex, so that people can maybe improve it ? Ofcourse, mentioning such thing is out of scope of the article, but how about putting it down here ?

    On the other hand, I can also argue that gnome is this and gnome is that, but that would just be a rude way of reciprocating. I still fail the need to start a kind-of gnome vs. kde by stating the Linus Torvalds thing, how is it relevant to your article ?!


  • Ravi

    Hi roshan,
    Actually I never wrote anything which said that I found KDE complex. Perhaps quoting Linus's on Gnome/KDE gave that false impression.

    When I talked about my disgust of complexity, I was refering to the days when I used to use Win95/98. I was faced with scores of "illegal exception" errors when running applications which did not give a clue as to what was wrong with the app. Also editing the registry is an exercise which is not for the faint at heart. When you compare this, Gnome's gconf is really simple and anyone can understand what is written there.

  • Oh ok, then I must chew my words, though the thing about complexity was confusing with KDE ;)

    Anyway, keep up the good work..

  • it will be fine if you can make a "virtual folder" wich recolect all the files tagged with an specific emblem. For example a folder wich contains all the files/folders with the "important emblem".

  • Ravi

    You don't need to chew your words ;) . I think there is enough space for disagreement.