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Difference between Keywords and Tags

What is the difference between keywords and tags?

Here is a helpful way to think about how to label with keywords and tags:

  • keywords = high-level (broad context)
  • tags = low-level (specific context)

It is recommended to keep the number of keywords as limited as possible.
Tags, on the other hand, you can create and use as many as you want.

- Keywords can only be created by Canto administrators. Both administrators and contributors can assign categories to assets.
- Tags can be created by administrators and contributors. Both administrators and contributors can add tags to assets.

Note: The corresponding privileges need to be activated for contributors to view and thus working with keywords and tags (Settings > Users and Groups > Privileges).


Keyword examples

Keywords are the high-level labeling convention.

Keywords are best used to classify a broad group of digital assets. Since Canto will automatically organize assets by their file type, there’s no need to use keywords to distinguish different types of media (i.e. images from videos). Because keywords are a higher level in the hierarchical structure, you’ll want to use fewer keywords than tags on an asset.

Applying keywords can denote the content found in media files or the purpose of a digital asset. 

Here are some examples:

  • Locations: Landmarks, Buildings, Environments
  • Objects: Products, Stock Art
  • Notable People
  • Template: Presentations, Adobe CC Designs
  • Campaign/Project: Marketing Campaign, Sales Collateral
  • Themes: Travel, Lifestyle, Seasonal

The keywords Landmark, Lifestyle and Travel are used to describe the different context of the image.

Tag examples

Tags are the low-level labeling convention. Any Canto admin or contributor can create tags and add them to files. Think of tags as a way of “supporting” keywords – they provide details that the keywords don’t convey, so it’s handy to use them together. While it’s a smart practice to limit the number of available keywords to use, tags should be used more liberally to best describe the details of an asset.

Here are some examples:

  • Keyword type: Location
    Tags: names of landmarks (“state park”, “monument”), names of buildings (“state capitol”, “Coit Tower”), names of environments (“rainforest”, “arctic”)
  • Keyword type: Template
    Tags: titles of blank documents (“employee contract”, “NDA”), Adobe CC designs (“infographic”, “flyer”, “poster”)
  • Keyword type: Themes
    Tags: names of travel destinations (“Barcelona”, “Thailand”), names of seasons (“Summer”, “Christmas”), lifestyle descriptors (“healthy”, “green”, “surf culture”)
    The tags provide a more thorough description of the image and support the context provided by the keywords.

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