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Old 04-10-2014, 11:43 PM   #1
weberr
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Tag Editor - Delete multiple categories?

Have 3000+ books -- each adding multiple tags -- so now have thousands of 1 book tags. Current process I am using is to one-by-one right-click on a category and choosing delete. Been looking hard in FAQs and on-line help to find a better process. Is there a short-cut available where I could select multiple categories and delete them in bulk?
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:02 AM   #2
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@weberr - I think the Category Editor can do what you want
  • Show the Tag Browser - shift/alt/t
  • Click Alter Tag Browser at the bottom
  • Select Manage Authors, tags etc->Manage Tags
  • You might want to stretch the Category Editor window so that it's tall.
  • Click Count column title once or twice so values are sorted ascending
  • Now ctrl/click tags you don't want, when you've selected a bunch, click the remove button - it looks like a recycle button Ψ
BR

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Old 04-11-2014, 08:37 AM   #3
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Do note that this (as suggested by BR) removes the selected TAG from your Calibre system (applies to all books)

Another choice possible using the same place, is to rename a TAG to one with a more common denominator. (eg SF, SiFi, => Science Fiction)
If the tag is in use, the tags will merge into a single name.
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:38 PM   #4
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Thanx -- feel a little stupid now -- I had followed the logical process but went to 'Manage Categories' rather than 'Manage tags'. You guys have done/are doing such a terrific job that I knew without question that what I wanted to do was there somewhere -- I jut couldn't find it.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weberr View Post
Thanx -- feel a little stupid now -- I had followed the logical process but went to 'Manage Categories' rather than 'Manage tags'. You guys have done/are doing such a terrific job that I knew without question that what I wanted to do was there somewhere -- I jut couldn't find it.
Join the club, happens to all of us - I think that's a factor in the forum being so helpful - there but for the ... go I

BR

Quote:
Originally Posted by theducks View Post
Do note that this (as suggested by BR) removes the selected TAG from your Calibre system (applies to all books)

Another choice possible using the same place, is to rename a TAG to one with a more common denominator. (eg SF, SiFi, => Science Fiction)
If the tag is in use, the tags will merge into a single name.


True, I probably rename/merge as often as I delete them

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 04-11-2014 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 04-12-2014, 01:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theducks View Post
Do note that this (as suggested by BR) removes the selected TAG from your Calibre system (applies to all books)

Another choice possible using the same place, is to rename a TAG to one with a more common denominator. (eg SF, SiFi, => Science Fiction)
If the tag is in use, the tags will merge into a single name.
OK -- Now that I've got this delete multiple categories thing under control, next step I need help with is multiple TAG merge and/or rename. Is there a way to multiple-select a number of TAGS and rename all of them to a single new name? And is there a way to create a top-level TAG and then multiple-select a number of TAGS all of which to become subcategories of the top level TAG? I understand the principles involved doing this on a TAG-by-TAG basis, but there's way too many for that.
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by weberr View Post
OK -- Now that I've got this delete multiple categories thing under control, next step I need help with is multiple TAG merge and/or rename. Is there a way to multiple-select a number of TAGS and rename all of them to a single new name?
No easy way in calibre that I know of.

This is what 'I' did for a library that had waaaay too many tags, they were culled from ~500 to ~50.
  • using SQLite browser I exported the tags table in metadata.db to a csv file
  • using Excel the library owner split the csv entries into two lists, 'keep tags' and 'merge tags'
  • using paper and pen the library owner assigned a 'keep tag' to each 'merge tag'
  • using Manage Tags and the paper list the library owner renamed the 'merge tags' to their assigned 'keep tags'

Elapsed time - half a day.

Can't help you with the other issue - sorry

BR
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weberr View Post
OK -- Now that I've got this delete multiple categories thing under control, next step I need help with is multiple TAG merge and/or rename. Is there a way to multiple-select a number of TAGS and rename all of them to a single new name? And is there a way to create a top-level TAG and then multiple-select a number of TAGS all of which to become subcategories of the top level TAG? I understand the principles involved doing this on a TAG-by-TAG basis, but there's way too many for that.
Calibre does not permit 'Naked' tags,series,authors. There needs to be at least 1 use for it to be available for lookup.

Almost 'Naked' Tags is easy. Create an Empty book (zzzz by zzz zzz so it will normally end up on the bottom) and apply your stock tags

(Tags) U
Make 1 name change (copy the name to the Clipboard), then just paste for each. This should help since Calibre's 'Manage' does not have a 'multi-select, 'Consolidate' feature
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:14 PM   #9
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Thanks for the idea. Will give it a try -- can't even imagine doing it one tag at a time.

Do you think this is likely a problem/desire unique to only a few people like me -- or is it a potential issue to a larger segment of users? That is, worth the trouble of putting forth a suggested enhancement?
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by weberr View Post
Thanks for the idea. Will give it a try -- can't even imagine doing it one tag at a time.

Do you think this is likely a problem/desire unique to only a few people like me -- or is it a potential issue to a larger segment of users? That is, worth the trouble of putting forth a suggested enhancement?
IMHO Everyone that downloads tags from multiple sources has this problem (caring, is another issue. I care).

Tag Bloat seems to be the rule. (Maybe publishers think readers need to find Science Fiction books under General or Fiction? Like 'Fiction' was not part of the Genere's name
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weberr View Post
Thanks for the idea. Will give it a try -- can't even imagine doing it one tag at a time.

Do you think this is likely a problem/desire unique to only a few people like me -- or is it a potential issue to a larger segment of users? That is, worth the trouble of putting forth a suggested enhancement?
My observation is that tag bloat usually results when new users load up their existing books, but if they spend a bit of time to clean them up (as in the example I quoted) then when they download metadata for new books they're careful not to add superfluous tags.

An option to export a list of Tags, Publishers, Authors etc, would be nice, perhaps via a right click item on the category header such as Export Author list, Export Tag list etc. Poking around in the metadata.db file with a SQL tool is fine for a few, but it's not something I'd suggest to... er, my attorney, or her PA.

One can be very productive with a desk, paper & pen, and there's a real danger of making simple things harder by over automating. The finance industry is littered with examples - such as LTCM, arguably a canary in the mine for the sub-prime collapse of 2007/8, and the Reinhardt and Rogoff spreadsheet macro errors, that some argue resulted in misguided austerity regimes in Greece, Portugal etc.

BR
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:04 AM   #12
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My observation is that tag bloat usually results when new users load up their existing books, but if they spend a bit of time to clean them up (as in the example I quoted) then when they download metadata for new books they're careful not to add superfluous tags.

An option to export a list of Tags, Publishers, Authors etc, would be nice, perhaps via a right click item on the category header such as Export Author list, Export Tag list etc. Poking around in the metadata.db file with a SQL tool is fine for a few, but it's not something I'd suggest to... er, my attorney, or her PA.

One can be very productive with a desk, paper & pen, and there's a real danger of making simple things harder by over automating. The finance industry is littered with examples - such as LTCM, arguably a canary in the mine for the sub-prime collapse of 2007/8, and the Reinhardt and Rogoff spreadsheet macro errors, that some argue resulted in misguided austerity regimes in Greece, Portugal etc.

BR
I agree that if I had had the presence of mind and/or knew what I was doing when starting out I could have prevented the problem I have now. Now, whenever I add a book the first thing I do is Edit Metadata and make sure I've got the author's name correct (matching the way the name the name as is if already in my library), published date, series name, and now, the tags to use my system.

Problem is that we don't know how important those things will become -- all we want to do is get that book into the library -- until it's too late and the tags have become totally useless as a means of finding books that you want to find.

Although I like your idea to at least be able to export the lists, make your desired changes and then to apply them, my intuitive process would be to add a couple of buttons on the left (a la the delete button) or maybe expand the delete button to include merge and sub-tag options.

I don't think user's editing their own metadata.db is a process to be encouraged.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:19 AM   #13
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@weberr - FWIW I add new 'books' to a separate physical library where get the basic metadata resolved like you do, most of my 'books' aren't books as such they're public domain documents from governments, quangos, media etc. So I have to tag 90% of them them manually.

I have a dummy book in my new books library that has all my 'approved' tags. So I use the Tag Editor that's lives in the individual book Metadata Editor to select tags for new books. I think I got that idea from theducks.

The only change I would like is a tweak to have the Tag Editor pop up when I press F2 on the tags column in the book list.

BR
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:04 PM   #14
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So I was struggling with the same issue. Tag list showing 9k tags. Difficult to browse for some purposes, lots of scrolling

Now, the solution that works for me is to create a new column 'Genre'. Then, scroll the tag list for tags you want to be able to browse in the new column list. I simply looked at any tag that had lots of books in it. Then select all books from that tag, bulk edit and add that tag to the custom 'genre' column.

That way, I get to keep all the tags for searching purposes and simplifies my overview in a new hierarchical column 'genre'.

To create the new 'Genre' column you can easily find that on Google. Browsing through all the tags is actually quite interesting and for example, I came across the wonderful tag 'Space Opera' that I would never have thought of myself

Just posting this reply on an old thread as I have been searching a lot for solutions and it wasn't that easy to find exactly what I wanted to be done!

The last tip, if you start browsing your tags starting with 'Z', your new genres will always be added to the start of the column, which makes it easier to see what has been added already.

As one user "jacr" once said: "I weep for the poor unwanted data consigned to the big black hole of unrequited binary love"

Last edited by frank303; 09-16-2018 at 03:44 PM. Reason: Added quote
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