Tag explanation - feature request

We’ve recently added tags in large part to help users categorize user-made games, and there’s been a bit of a request for this. Specifically we’ve found that some tags are useful, but people will have a lot of trouble figuring out certain things. For example, I created a handful of tags: 1) pc-customization, or 2) a set of low-fantasy, heroic-fantasy and high-fantasy.

The thing is, people could not parse what they meant. There was discussion as to whether pc-customization meant AFGNCAAP, whether it meant a ‘pick your hair/eye/skin color’ question, or whether it meant any kind of customization at all no matter how small.

Likewise when I made the various fantasy tags, I meant them to distinguish three different types of fantasy, i.e. to be mutually exclusive, but some games were marked with multiples of them. (I know, I should have defined that then, hide sight is 20/20, but still, not the issue at hand).


Is there any appetite for revisiting this in some form?

We’re still in the “ruminating” phase on how we may lean on tags much more heavily than categories going forward (see: Does your community rely heavily on tagging? What tips do you have?).

But this question of whether there’s a way to have descriptions for tags has come up.

As for UX, I see two possibilities:

  1. The pinned topic idea
    (might make sense anyway. it’s more generic and we might pin topics other than the “about” one for a given tag if this feature existed)
  2. A first class description
    (I think this would be better way to add descriptions for tags in the long run)

As for UI, I’m thinking it could be something like a div of text above the topic list with an edit pencil to update it:


I think now that tags are first class entities it is much more appealing, we could keep an extra field here for the description or maybe even allow for a topic per tag like we do for categories.

I do like the idea that you could get a little bit more guidance when tagging and when looking at tags.


I think this might work as an optional thing - requiring a topic for every tag seems a bit overkill, but you could put a link to the topic at the end of the tag description display. (Read more…)


That’s my feeling as well. Granted, I have a very narrow view in terms how different communities are using them. My rough impression is that tags are a magnitude more numerous than categories and a magnitude less in the number of topics they have.

I’m thinking a short (half an old tweet length?) description field as a tooltip would be a good starting point.


I don’t think tag descriptions would ever be long enough to necessitate a topic, even the complicated ones tend to only need a sentence or two of explanation. Adding a description text field to the tag editor would do the trick.


Tag descriptions are useful in Stack Overflow and they would be useful in Discourse as well. Just a sentence or a few words would aid in understanding what tags are about. Here’s are some examples from Stack Overflow:




We have a lot of employees who work with Discourse, and many want to see tags like in Stack Overflow. This is especially important when tags are part of the navigation. If this is added to the core of the site, then this is just great news.


For one of the forums I’m administering, it would also be useful for tags to have tag descriptions (which, in my mind would be available as a tool tip on mouser-over on desktop) because we have a tag for each command that the program takes via the CLI, such as set. Since it is not immediately obvious why a post would be tagged #set, it would be nice if people could find out.

Having said that my preference would be a fully fledged description field for each tag, here is an idea that might work at least in our case: all CLI commands are in the same tag group called “CLI commands” or so. If each tag group had an option

[ ] prepend tags from this group with _______

So if I’d enter “command” as a prepend string, the #set tag would be displayed as “command:set”

:thinking: Ah, well, no. It’s probably a lot better with a simple description field.


Just for completeness: another good use case for tag descriptions that can include links is as a place to point out to anonymous visitors that they can subscribe to the tag by RSS (in case they don’t want to sign up just yet …).

Technically RSS for tags works just fine (example), but without a place to point out that feature, users will hardly find it. Except for those with an RSS browser extension.


We do this with category descriptions and would love to do the same with tag-pages. For example, the Web Dev Teams will often need to access our Github, so adding:

Team Name
Tools: Github - Pictures of Happy Dogs - New Build Wireframe

Gives them a smoother experience

I would love to see tag descriptions as well. A combination of the description below the tag in /tags along with the description on the tag’s page as Dave posted above would be perfect. We use a few obscure tags that make sense to existing users, but new users struggle to understand. If I were to make the tag long enough to understand it would be unruly in the UI, but if I leave it the way it is, it ends up leading to time wasting questions about what the tag is for.

check this theme:

That just adds a banner, not a description. There is this component to add a tag description, but it’s a little painful to use if you want descriptions for a lot of tags, and I would prefer to have the description up top rather than on the side because it breaks the Topic List Preview plugin.

There are no plans for this, as tags are meant to be lightweight.


Was just looking for such a field on the Info button as well. At least a staff note would be helpful for some more generic tag names


I’m using this component for that Discourse Tag Sidebars
Would love to have it in core, though.


Hi, I also found this thread while searching for a way to add a description field to a Tag under the info button. I like the concept posted above of adding tag description within a pinned topic post or similar. That would add additional context in a searchable manner… it would be nice to add or pin a description to a grouping of tags… especially for anyone browsing /tags/ or similar.

edit: Where can I re-write this text: This tag isn't restricted to any categories, and has no synonyms.

Another vote for the ability to pin topics within tags, which could be used for the tag description but also other things. For my specific use case, we are using a fairly broad, simple category structure to discuss a wide range of applications and techniques/systems. So we have “Apps” and “Methods”, “Lounge”, “Feedback” as categories, and we use tags to handle the potentially 100+ apps, methods, systems, etc. But we recently realized it would be really nice to be able to collect the best resources for each app somewhere in a visible place per-app. We can’t do this easily (i.e. pin a “Best resources” topic) using tags, so we’d have to resort to a massive amount of categories, or just accept that the resources topic won’t be surfaced and people will have to search for it. Or I guess we can bump it manually all the time, but then the resource topics periodically dominate the latest topics, so that’s a no go.

So yeah, +1 for pinned topics in tags!


Tag descriptions are now planned:

Pinning topics within tags however is not part of this afaik. We should create a dedicated topic for that separate feature once tag descriptions have landed.