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Old 01-05-2019, 12:46 PM   #1
beric
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How to tag books

Hi all,
I am new to Calibre, having installed it on 31st Dec. This went satisfactorily and I have imported about 250 books, which are all visible. On 4th Jan., I upgraded to the latest version (3.37) and all is satisfactory. I am running Calibre on 64-bit LinuxMint, ver: 17.3. So far as I can tell, everything is working correctly.

Now, I want to classify my books into about 50 categories (subjects), each at top-level only. I do not need sub-categories although I could switch this on against possible future need. So, this is the simplest form of classification.

I understand the idea of "Virtual Libraries" (VL) and, as a first experiment, I have created four or five of these for the situation of multiple books by the same author - - E.G. "Le Carre", "Dawkins", etc.. For these, I used the "Authors" classification to build the search string automatically. These VLs function correctly, displaying the desired sub-sets, taken from the main library. So far, so good.

My first experiments are building the category type - "One author, Many books" but what I need now is to build - "One category (subject), Many authors". I assume that for this scenario, I need to use Tags. I examined the Tag Browser and found that it contained about sixty tags, apparently generated automatically by Calibre during the importation of the books, since one tag was the title of one of my books. However, not one of these tags is of any use so I have deleted them all and I have now started to create a new set where each tag is at top level and is the name of a category.

I have noticed that within the "Create VLs" menu is the option to build these using tags. So, I have searched the web for several days and have down-loaded and read every article I could find on the subject of the Tag Browser (mostly "Tips & Tricks"). These are quite detailed and provide information on creating tags and sub-folders but NO WHERE can I find any instruction on how to apply and remove tags to and from books !

Can some kind soul please tell me how to tag books and how to remove a tag previously applied in error.

I apologise for this lengthy post but I wanted to indicate to readers what information is presently to hand so as to avoid the need for lengthy and overly complex explanations. I now keenly await replies and thank readers for considering my problem.

Best regards to all --
beric
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:18 PM   #2
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First of all. VL's and Tags are 2 different things.

A VL needs some sort of criteria to subset the Library: Tags is just one of the possibilities.

In most cases, The publisher bloats the Tag list by including every possible permutation of a books topic. I think of Tags as search 'Keywords" not the old (paper) card catalog, where you needed a card for each possible lookup.

IMHO the Authors name does not belong in 'Tags" There is a DublinCore place for that. Same goes for ANT standard (and most times,REQUIRED) metadata

OTOH they need to tag Series there because there is no STANDARD for series. Because Calibre does deal with Series, you should move that (and/or move it from the title) to The {series} field

Tags are entered into the Metadata of a Book (use the Metadata editor or MDE download). That also auto-populates the Tag browser list and that list becomes suggestions when entering other tags.
(you just killed all the books tags when you deleted those)
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Last edited by theducks; 01-05-2019 at 01:19 PM. Reason: moved
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:57 PM   #3
beric
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Hi ducks,
Thank you for your attempt to reply to my post but, with all respect to you, you appear to have completely misunderstood every single point I tried to make and you have not answered my question.

Apparently my post was unclear so, I will try again --

I have a library of some 250 books (mostly by various authors) that I wish to classify into sub-sets, according to Subject. I read in one of the many articles which I found on-line that the structure preferred by Calibre is VLs. When one clicks on "Virtual libraries" >> "Create Virtual libraries" the form presented shows that VLs may be created using "Authors", "Tags", "Publishers", etc..

I therefore assumed (perhaps erroneously ? ) that I should create a set of Tags where each one was the name of an intended subject classification, E.G. "History", "Reference", "Science & Technology", etc. etc.. (About 60 are requires). I further assumed that I could then Tag sub-sets of the books accordingly and build a number of VLs where each one only contained books carrying one Tag. Each VL would be named according to its subject, as part of the creation process.

I have started to create a set of new Tags, since those automatically generated were completely useless for the purpose of classifying books and building VLs. I am therefore very surprised to learn my efforts are in error but I naturally accept your claim, since I have no prior experience of Calibre.

So, my requirement is very simple and I repeat it now in the interests of clarity -

"I have a library of some 250 books (mostly by various authors) that I wish to classify into sub-sets, according to Subject".

Can you please either tell me how to achieve this simple task or point me to an on-line article on this subject. I thank you for considering this whole matter, apologise that my original post was so ambiguous and I now look forward to you reply in due course.

Best regards --
beric.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:10 PM   #4
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You don't have to use virtual libraries unless you want to. I have over 15 000 books, but not a single VL. You can simply add the appropriate tags to books or create custom columns with custom info. To add tags to a book, click "Edit Metadata" on your toolbar. To add a tag to multiple books at once, select all the books you want tagged and click the same "Edit Metadata" button. There is a tags box there where you can put whatever tags you want.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:30 PM   #5
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Press Shift/F2 on a books Tag cell, this will pop the Tag Editor where you can add tags and apply previously created ones, viz:

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Or use the Metadata Edit Dialogue, there's a button there to do the same thing.

Virtual Libraries are based on metadata search expressions.

See Calibre User Manual - The search interface and Virtual libraries — Tutorial

If you click the sprocket icon at the left end of the search bar it will open up the "Advanced Search" dialogue, which is a bit of a misnomer, it is more like a Search Wizard.

Having formulated and done a search you can create a VL using that search expression just used

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Old 01-05-2019, 05:55 PM   #6
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Combined reply --
My thanks to you both for your prompt replies. As it is getting late now (2300 hrs in the UK) I wont attempt any more work tonight..

I have downloaded both of your messages so as to have them easily to hand and I will start work again tomorrow. I will report later in the day with news of my successes, or failures !

Best regards to you both --
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:09 PM   #7
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If a simpl 'by tag' is all you want, Just add the tag to the books.

Then you can use
a search tags:=thetagname
or open the Tag Browser
and click the tag until a Green Plus appears (hold the control key and click additional tags)

If you have a complex search build it ONCE, then click the Saved Search button (far right): Add Saved Search <name it>.
From then on, you just pick it off the list
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Old 01-06-2019, 03:22 PM   #8
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Hi,
Further to yesterday's exchanges, I am pleased to report that my problems are solved and that I am tagging books and building VLs. I noted the remark that these are not essential but they suit the way in which I think of information and its classification.

You will see therefore that I have adopted the procedure proposed by Sirtel Wizard since this seemed to me to be easier to implement. I am elderly and suffer from macular degeneration so I am severely visually impaired and have to work with hand magnifiers. The simpler procedure is better suited to my physical constraints.

I thank you all for your excellent advice and the prompt manner in which you replied to my posts.

Best regards --
beric
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Old 01-06-2019, 04:21 PM   #9
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I originally set up my library when I had 500+ books (now over 3,000). I downloaded the metadata and deleted all the tags. Why? Because tags for retail sale are different than your tags preferences. The way I did that was to select everything, then Right click to EDIT METADATA and do a BULK EDIT. Then click the box that removes all tags. Click apply and Calibre removes all the tags.

Ok, maybe that's too much for you. You can edit the tag or delete them under more control. Open Calibre and select TAGS. Then Right click and select MANAGE TAGS. Delete or rename tags that are already present. You can do the same thing scrolling along the side of Calibre in the TAGS table, although most of the stuff is likely in folders.

Use the tags you like and can use to find things. If I was the only user, I would just use 10 categories (general genre). However, I'm the 'keeper of the library' so have to add additional tags that would suit my family members, which is a bit more time consuming.

Last edited by Tarana; 01-06-2019 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:39 AM   #10
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Hi Tarana,

I thank you for your post and apologise for my belated reply - - I wasn't expecting further posts, having reported the problem solved, so I have only just looked at the Forum.

I note your suggestions and a copy of all of this traffic is stored on my computer against possible future needs. Regarding editing Metadata to remove Tags, in my first post I reported that I had manually deleted all those applied during the importation in error whilst trying to understand how Calibre sorted books so none now have Tags unless I apply them.

I understand my error but it is now irrelevant and I am happily tagging and sorting my collection, albeit rather laboriously. I actually also have over 1000 hard-copy books but I can no longer read these because of my impaired vision. Due to macular degeneration, my left eye is almost useless - - I have sufficient peripheral vision left to see day from night and to recognise large objects - - an armchair, my living room table but, that's about it. My right eye has a lesion right in the centre of the macular and we are struggling to prevent the condition deteriorating further. So far, 22 injections into my eyes.

So, a word in a book or on-screen usually has a blurred group of letters right in its centre. If the font is small, the whole word now falls on the lesion and the image degenerates into a grey blur. If the designer of the document has tried to be clever by using fancy fonts or applying coloured backgrounds, the contrast of the image is so poor that the whole text smears into a grey blur which cannot be resolved, even when using a x5 hand magnifier - - I have great struggles with food packaging or any text printed on glossy paper. The reflection makes matters much worse.

I am afraid that I have great troubles with multiple selection. I can hold down the Ctrl key with my left hand and scroll and select with my right but - - how can I see the text from which I am trying to make a group selection ? I need a x3 or x5 hand magnifier but, I don't have a third hand ! So, I can either scroll but not see my target or see my target whilst unable to scroll and - - all the while, holding down the Ctrl key. A great amount of concentration is required to handle the swaps between scrolling and seeing so it is all too easy to inadvertently release the Ctrl key in error and scrap half an hour's efforts.

You will understand now why I have adopted a "one-at-a-time" editing/tagging procedure - - it's laborious but it's more-or-less certain and reduces the errors. I apologise for the length of this post but I feel good manners demands comprehensive replies when the recipient knows that the sender has seriously considered the problem and then taken the trouble to compose a reply.

Thank you again --

Very best regards --
beric
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