Tags for Microsoft products are currently a mess.







There is very little structure or order in how Microsoft-related questions are being tagged. I think this should be cleaned up. I would like to propose the following tagging recommendations for office questions; feel free to critique my suggestions.

  • Questions about a specific microsoft product, like Word, should be tagged like .
  • Questions that pertain to a specific version of office, and would not apply to all/other versions, should be tagged like
  • Questions pertaining to any or many versions of office should be tagged

A question could have several of these tags, e.g. it might be tagged and if the question is about Word and is specific to the 2010 version. While more verbose than just , it creates fewer redundant tags.

Tags above which do not fall into one of those categories/naming schemes should be retagged and eliminated, with the following exceptions:

  • might apply to some other things having to do with words, but posts with that tag should be manually checked and retagged if appropriate.
  • might apply to questions about office environments. Those sorts of questions should be retagged to or something of that sort
  • might apply to questions about access control, etc. Those sorts of questions should be retagged to a more appropriate tag, as access is ambiguous.

Most of this retagging should be able to be accomplished by moderators automatically with a batch retag, e.g. to . More nuanced ones, like the exceptions above and similar, will need to be handled manually; I can do this if need be.

So, do these seem like reasonable suggestions? What changes would you recommend? And how can we try to encourage new users to tag accordingly?

  • A quick comment regarding moving the version numbers to the office tag -- users who don't know about any consensus reached here (ie, almost all of them) will (for example) instinctively enter word-2007 as a tag, and not word + office-2007. I don't see a sensible way to avoid this issue using the available tools (ie, synonyms), thoughts? What's the problem with just having the word-2007 tag on a question, the fact the question is about office is implicit anyway.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Feb 16, 2011 at 9:59
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  • It's on my to-do list, but I need to explore the tagged questions before taking it up @nhinkle
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 17:01
  • Thanks Sathya. @DMA57361, at the very least we don't need to have word-2007 and microsoft-word-2007 and ms-word-2007. Is there any mechanism for having something be a synonym of two tags, i.e. word-2007 be automatically changed to microsoft-office-2007, microsoft-word?
    – nhinkle
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 18:30
  • @nhinkle AFAIK synonyms are a single change only, not a split. And I agree that a single version of each "version" tag is needed, but I still personally prefer a single "version" tag over a office-version + word pair.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 18:43
  • @DMA57361 that seems reasonable.
    – nhinkle
    Commented Feb 17, 2011 at 18:50
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    @DMA57361, @sathya it looks like right now microsoft-powerpoint is being changed to powerpoint, while others are being remapped the other way. Can these be made consistent, too?
    – nhinkle
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 5:07
  • @nhinkle good point, and I've inverted the synonym and merged powerpoint to microsoft-powerpoint
    – DMA57361
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 17:44
  • @TomWij, while the post you marked as a dupe does cover similar ground, this post does have tags yours didn't, and proposes a new method of organizing the tags, rather than just listing them. As such, I don't believe it needs to be closed as dupe.
    – nhinkle
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 22:12
  • Thanks @dma57351
    – nhinkle
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 22:13
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    Regarding why we might save [word], I think that outside the context of Microsoft Office, it would be considered a meta tag and should be removed as such. Same should apply to [access] as there are more specific uses for "access" such as [acl] which would be better suited. Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 22:52
  • @nhinkle: My post also did, but deleted that and spent some effort to embed everything properly under this answer to ease the process for the moderators. Did some manual progress but we still need to do [paint] and [word]... :-) Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 0:30

4 Answers 4


Vote: Microsoft or MS?

Given that the short versions are ambiguous (access, office, word), let's vote between the other two...

Just checking to be sure, most people like , but is shorter (might not be typed well?).

  • How do you do the markdown for entering tags in posts by the way?
    – boehj
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 23:18
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    @boehj: microsoft, whenever you need it you can see the source of a post by clicking on the date/time under the post and then clicking "view source". :) Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 0:43

Full list of necessary retags:

  • 1
    did the Microsoft-Onenote tags and the ms-paint tag.
    – studiohack
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 16:33
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    Except for SQL Server, I completed all the remaining merges and synonymizations. Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 0:08


Given that already six people upvoted the question, can we perform the retagging?

As @nhinkle said, adjusted to match @DMA57351's note, example retaggings with Word & 2010:

As for this quote from @nhinkle's question:

And how can we try to encourage new users to tag accordingly?

Synonyms solve this problem, so it's important that they are made where they fit to prevent issues.

WORD OF CAUTION: Manual retaggings are still necesarry for some tags, check the Manual Progress.


Manual Progress

The , and questions have all been retagged. :-)

Removed tags in the progress where they that had more specific tags, we also might want --> .

Scheduled for Manual Progress

  • We still need to do , which seems quite a bit of work...
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    Several moderators actually. Mainly because flooding with retags does a lot to drown out the rest of questions.
    – random Mod
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 1:17
  • Yes, @random, but manual work can't be done automatically. And I try to minimize this work to non-busy times and as much as possible so that the impact is minimal, furthermore, a simple retag shouldn't cause a global site bump but instead only the activity seen in the moderator tools... Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 1:41
  • @TomWij - why not? "Manual" work is currently poorly defined - for example where you manually renamed [word-2003] -> [microsoft-word-2003], we could of done that in a single transparent action with no flooding. And, ideally, we need synonyms to go with these changes or the old tags will just re-appear later.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 10:11
  • @TomWij, [hardware] and [software] should have been blacklisted/banned. I don't see a place for me to do this, however, might be a dev level thing, or I'm looking in the wrong place.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 13:50
  • However, @DMA57361, that is not true for the majority of questions covered by office, access, remote which can only be re-tagged by manual work. The amount of questions covered by the other tags were arbitrary small, those small re-tags are equivalent to the normal re-tags people perform and didn't show up any flooding behavior at all. Furthermore; the more popular tags [hardware] & [software] return too which still requires manual removal. The tags you mentioned are now listed too and no longer considered manual work. Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 13:51
  • I didn't say there was no manual work, I said the term was poorly defined. Any case where every Q with a given tag need the same action should probably be able to be handled automatically, if a tag has a case-by-case effect to take in to account then yes it probably needs hitting manually.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 13:52
  • @DMA576361: I don't see why manual work is poorly defined, it's simply the things a moderator can't do, as quack quixote covers in his comment on the related meta question... Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 13:56
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    A poor turn of phrase perhaps. My point was that by your original post you had manually done something with word-2003, word-2007, office-2002 and excel-2002, all of which was unnecessary - they should just have had synonyms created and merged into the microsoft- variants.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 14:00
  • I don't see why simple retags that are bumped away anyway are unnecessary other than to wait for the moderators to do the same, they have been listed so there is no real problem? Whether I add such simple retags or not will not result in any difference on the frontpage, for example, if I didn't do the simple retags then my manual retags would be listed at the bottom of the frontpage. So, in essence, no difference in flooding and no difference in moderator work, so I don't see the real problem? Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 14:06
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    Retagging where ambiguous is fine. Retagging batches which could have easily been done with merges (especially of versions where you only add an extra word for the sake of something), where no ambiguity exists is best handled by moderators. The recent flooding appears to be more of the latter.
    – random Mod
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 16:08
  • By the way @TomWij, regarding "We still need to do [word], which seems quite a bit of work..." - [word] is a synonym (to [microsoft-word] since October) and as such doesn't have any posts linked to it... what work is there to be done?
    – DMA57361
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 16:45
  • @random: I see otherwise, I've mostly done [access], [office] and [remote] which were really too ambiguous to just merge them without intervention. Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 21:04
  • @DMA57361: @As nhinkle said, it is indeed a synonym so I'll update... Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 21:06
  • @random: This questions me, why is it still not handled by the moderators after 13 people agree on this question? Why do we, the community, have to do this manually to get a sense of consistence? Where is our human exception handler? Where is the moderator team's reasoning on the recent excel merge? Can you elaborate on this meta question because I don't get the point and am starting to get confused as I'm sure we are supposed to be a community? Commented Jun 24, 2011 at 23:02

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