Working on the design of platform for keeping annotations, I came up with a new way of tagging items, which I call 'Drag to tag':

enter image description here

Drag the tag to the words that are typical for the webpage to add tags (for its bookmark). No typing required!

The tags that are shown in the text could be made resizeable to create tags longer than a single word. A similar pattern would be selecting a word and clicking/tapping the tag button, which would be especially handy for tags longer than a single word.

Though it looks so simple, I haven’t seen Drag To Tag in any application yet. Do you know an application in which this has been used?

  • 3
    If a user tags while reading then typical thinking pattern is "I see an object and then I want to perform an action". So user would expect to select a word and then make it a tag. The opposite relation exists when tagging is a separate step. For example when user entered the document and now need to set tags. So thinking pattern is "I want to make an action so how do I do that?" In that case entering the tags may be simpler than finding the words in a text. Sep 11, 2012 at 9:53
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    I agree with @BartoszRakowski. The issue here is, while you are reading the document, you find a word to create a tag from. You then need to stop reading, find the tag button, drag the icon back to the word -- so you need to find the word again! Right-clicking on the word as you're reading would be a far more user-friendly and efficient way of doing it. Sep 11, 2012 at 10:02
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    When a user selects a word or phrase you could show a tag button above the selection. That would be quicker to use and disrupt the reading flow less.
    – Sam Hasler
    Sep 11, 2012 at 11:30
  • Thanks for your comments. I agree and mentioned the reversed actions in my explanation. Sam, thanks for the addition. However, in my experience, selecting text on mobile devices is a pain in the butt. Nonetheless, these are not answers to my question ;)
    – kslstn
    Sep 11, 2012 at 15:31
  • I guess your question is whether I've seen this before? I haven't seen a browser plugin that does this exactly. www.mystickies.com is similar, but allows a more detailed note. You can then tag your notes. Your screenshot looks more appealing and elegant, but dragging-to-tag seems less useful for long web docs. I could see it being more useful for UI Mockup reviews, or online images/photography.
    – drawtheweb
    Sep 11, 2012 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


No. And the reason is that even though it looks simple, it's quite complicated. First you need to refocus on the add-tag button, then find the word inline again. And you need to be exact on dropping since a word in text can be quite small. A much better solution would be to mark the word, right-click and tag. Or even implement a keyboard shortcut such as alt+T for tagging the marked word.

  • An alternative to right-click which is not a very common user behavior on the web specially on Macs and to the keyboard shortcut which is best suited for "power users" could be "pop on select", that is when you select a word (say "dogs") a little tooltip appears with the words "Add tag 'dogs'".
    – Danita
    Mar 19, 2014 at 13:49

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