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Tags are keywords which can be used to categorise courses and content to help users find them during a search.

There are two types of tags

  • Standard tags are site-wide and defined by a Site Administrator 
  • Tags defined by users for their own use

Once a tag has been defined other users can also select the tag to categorise their content. The tag manager enables the Site Administrator to see all of the tags that have been defined and ensure that tags are consistently and appropriately used.

Manage tags screen.

Enabling tags

Before tags can be used on your site they must first be enabled. 

  1. Select Site Administration > Advanced features.
  2. Click Enable tags functionality.

Adding site wide tags

As a Site Administrator any new tags you add will be marked as Standard by default, meaning they will be available site-wide. You can add new tags either from a course or from the Manage tags page. 

From a course

As a Site Administrator you can add site-wide tags while editing a course, activity, or resource. 

  1. Scroll down to the Tags section of the settings page in a course, activity, or resource. 
  2. You can either:
    • Type a new or existing tag into the Enter  tags... text-input box.
    • Click Manage standard tags which will take you through the Manage tags administration page.
  3. When you are done click Save and return to course or Save and display.

Tags setting section.

From site administration 

To add new tags from the Manage tags administration page follow these steps:

  1. Go to Site administration > Appearance > Manage tags.
  2. Select a collection (if you don't wish to add tags to a specific collection just use the Default collection). 
  3. Click the Add standard tags link.
  4. Enter a comma separated list of new tags (you can add one or more tags). 
  5. Click Continue to add the tag(s). 

Add new standard tags through the Mange tags page.

Adding course tags

You can add tags while editing a course, activity, or resource. 

  1. Scroll down to the Tags section of the settings page in a course, activity, or resource. 
  2. Type a new or existing tag into the Enter  tags... text-input box.
  3. When you are done click Save and return to course or Save and display.

Tags setting section.

Managing tags 

Once site-wide tags have been added these can be managed by a Site Administrator. You can rename tags and decide whether they should be standard (site-wide) or not, as well as add or remove them from collections (or the site entirely). You can do the following actions:

  • Manage tag collections
  • Manage tag areas
  • Rename tags (Edit icon.)
  • Flag as inappropriate (Flag icon)
  • Delete tags (Delete icon.)
  • Toggle mark as standard (site-wide) (Tick icon.)
  • Edit tag settings (Edit icon.)

Managing tags.


From a course

To access the Manage tags administration page from a course follow these steps:

  1. Scroll down to the Tags section of the settings page in a course, activity, or resource. 
  2. Click Manage standard tags which will take you through the Manage tags administration page.
  3. Click the name of the collection containing the tag(s) you wish to edit. 
  4. Alongside the tag you wish to edit click the cog icon ().
  5. Edit the tag settings.
  6. Click the Update button to save the changes. 

From site administration 

To manage tags from the Manage tags administration page follow these steps:

  1. Go to Site administration > Appearance > Manage tags.
  2. Click the name of the collection containing the tag(s) you wish to edit. 
  3. Alongside the tag you wish to edit click the cog icon ().
  4. Edit the tag settings.
  5. Click the Update button to save the changes. 

Tag settings 

Each tag has the following settings you can edit.

SettingDescriptionNotes
Tag nameThe name of the tag, this is what users see. -
DescriptionYou can add a description of the tag, which might help guide others in it's usage. -
StandardTick to make the tag a standard tag (site-wide).-
Related tagsYou can add any related tags.-

Tag collections

Tag collections are sets of tags for different areas of your site. For example, a collection of standard tags can be used to tag courses, but user interests and blog post tags are kept in a separate collection. When a user clicks on a tag, the tag page displays only items with that tag in the same collection.

Example of a tag collection.

Tags can be automatically added to a collection according to the area tagged or can be added manually as standard tags.

Clicking on the name of a tag collection then displays the list of tags, together with information on their creators, how many times they are used, when they were last modified, which tags have been flagged as inappropriate, and which tags are marked as standard.


Standard tags are tags which are added by a Site Administrator and are available for others to use. Standard tags are never deleted during clean-up tasks even when there are no tagged items.

Managing tag collections.

Adding a new collection

A new collection may be added by clicking the Add tag collection link and giving the new collection a name.

Managing a tag collection

When viewing a tag collection you can perform the following actions:

  • Quickly rename by clicking the edit icon (Rename icon) alongside the tag name
  • Toggle whether a tag collection is searchable by clicking the icon in the Searchable column, if the tick icon (Searchable icon) is showing then the collection is searchable
  • Re-order collections using the up (Up arrow) and down (Down arrow) arrows
  • Delete a collection by clicking on the cross icon (Delete cross icon)

Clicking on the name of the collection will allow you to enter that collection and manage the tags within it. 

Combining tags

Within a collection you can combine tags with similar names into a single tag. 

  1. In the collection select the tags you wish to combine (this could be two or more). 
  2. Click Combine selected
  3. Select the tag you wish to be shown after the combination.
  4. Click Continue to complete the combination. 

Example of combining tags. 

Tag areas

Tag areas are areas of Totara in which tags can be used such as blog posts, or activities and resources. These may be enabled or disabled as required.

For example, if you don't intend to use course tags on your site, the courses tag area can be disabled so that the Tags section doesn't appear on the edit settings page for each course.

Tag areas settings screen.

Enabling tag areas

A tag area my be enabled or disabled by using the eye icons in the Enabled column. If this eye is open (Enabled eye icon.) then the tag area is currently enabled and clicking it will change the icon to an eye with a cross through it (Disabled eye icon.) which indicated that the tag area is now disabled. 

Adding a collection to an area

Tag areas may then be selected for the new collection by clicking the pencil icon (Edit icon) in the Tag collection column of a particular tag area. Changing the Tag collection from Default collection to the chosen, new collection.

Tag behaviour

You can set the behavior for standard tags in each of the listed area. Alongside the area click the edit icon (Edit icon) in the Standard tags usage column and then choose one of the following options:

  • Suggest: When entering tags suggest any matching standard tags
  • Force: New tags cannot be entered and only standard tags can be used
  • Don't suggest: New tags may be entered with no standard tag being suggested
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