When thinking of organizing components, most people think of categories. But, as it turns out, categories are actually not very practical. A category tree requires a lot of work to set up and maintain, and parts have to be assigned to categories manually. Even worse, some systems only allow you to assign a part to a single category. This is limiting: does that 7805 regulator belong in "Through-Hole Parts" or "Voltage Regulators"? All this means that there is a lot of manual work, with little flexibility.

Tags are a much more powerful and flexible approach. You add tags to parts, and then instead of a static category tree, you use searches or smart folders to find parts with a given tag set. That is great in itself, but I wanted to go a step further — what if you didn't have to do all the tagging yourself? Could we add at least some tags automatically?

It turns out that it is possible. Auto-tags now get added automatically for linked parts where there are specs available. It's a small set for now and they aren't always perfect, but you can already search for #smd, #tht, #resistor, #capacitor, #0603 and similar. And it's fairly amazing to be able to just enter "#0603 #capacitor" into your search field and instantly find all the 0603 caps in your collection, without doing any tagging work!

How to use tags? For searching, it's enough to enter a #tag in the search field. Tags can be combined with normal searches. If you enter a tag, or several tags, only the parts that have all of the tags will be considered for search.

Tagging can be done either for individual parts, or with a mass add/remove tags operation on selected parts.

Happy tagging!

PartsBox is a tool for managing electronic parts. It keeps track of components and their stock levels. It also provides always up-to-date BOM pricing and offer management, automatically managing price breaks and currency conversions.

2547 people and companies use PartsBox to keep track of 13.9 million components in 27 thousand storage locations.

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