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Smart tags – A comprehensive guide to modern tagging

by Casey Schmidt  |  November 28, 2019

3 min. read
A picture of books next to a laptop that reads 'keywords'.

Smart tags help digital productivity due to their task automation potential. Make sure you know what they are and how you can program them. Here’s a complete guide to get you started, as well as some considerations to take the next step in your tagging process.

What are smart tags?

Smart tags seek out specific digital inputs and offer users convenient options. Smart tags were introduced into Microsoft Word and helped create hyperlinks automatically based on stored data. Since their creation, companies have used smart tags to identify objects and details of images.

An example of smart tags are seen when a user types ‘August’. This would cause smart tags to trigger options to open the calendar or hyperlink the word to relevant data. Smart tags are similar to metadata.

Screenshot of the Smart Tags configuration page in the Canto DAM.
Configure Smart Tags for optimization.

How do smart tags work?

Smart tags have an identifier that automates data storage based on keywords it finds. Smart tags label data within documents or images when it identifies relevant words or numbers. It is like a digital version of a labeler, giving information about certain items it labels. If a user types ‘mother’ into a document, the smart tag indicator might present options such as finding a contact (the user’s mother).

Another way smart tags work is by automating the creation of hyperlinks. When someone types a business into a document, they don’t type out the website domain name as if they were entering it into a web browser. When smart tags identify a business, they can sync the name to the business’ website. For example, if a user typed ‘Pepsi’ into a document, the smart tag could auto hypertag it to link to www.pepsi.com.

What are the benefits of smart tags?

Smart tags can increase productivity by predicting tasks to automate and giving users options on future automation. They give users a chance to filter certain words and pair them with tasks, saving them valuable time. They are essentially a digital guide for certain words, links and phrases.

A screenshot of smart tags next to a picture.
Smart tags save valuable time.

Smart tags can also boost file organization based on auto tagging of documents and images. They automate the generation of valid data for files, which helps users sort and search large amounts of images and documents. This creates a storage system designed to retrieve files faster.

Software considerations

Smart tags create opportunities for efficient data storage, especially for large companies. With all the ways using smart tags boosts projects, it’s only natural that businesses want a way to better manage them. What kind of software systems are capable of this? And how does it go about managing these taggings? The answer varies, though it usually involves programs designed to handle metadata as well.

Enter digital asset management (DAM), the next step for companies who use smart tags on a lot of their files. Wouldn’t it be nice if once a piece of data was organized after being labeled by smart tags, it then was centralized for easier future reference? Digital asset management accomplishes all this with its image libraries and metadata management. Consider DAM if you want to take the next step in the tagging process.

A screenshot of the digital asset management software.
Digital asset management is the next step in the tagging process.

How the future might shape out

Smart tags used to be specific, so their scope was limited. As technology changed, they have evolved along with it. An example of this is the creation of smart tag APIs. A smart tag API is something that automatically inputs details into a different program. If someone has to input a date or address into a program and they have a smart tag API, the system might allow them to automatically include these into every new message or document.

Another way they have changed and may continue to change is through mobile phone use, especially SMS. A lot of different data automatically inputs as a smart tag depending on the type of operating system your mobile device uses. These can include a day of the week or other numbers that register further meaning.

It’s important to explore different ways to use smart tags. Determine the best way to increase productivity through different smart tag settings.