I am trying to figure out how tags, terms and keywords are should be used in SharePoint 2013.

I have read a lot of articles about it and think that I understand the differences between these types.

But there are still things unclear to me: I have enabled the enterprise keyswords column in a document library. When I upload a File, I can edit its properties and enter keywords. And then there is the Tags & Notes button in the Ribbon. When the item has keywords in the taxkeyword column the Tags & Notes window does not show these keywords. Why is there a difference? Both fields can be edited by the users, right?

Thanks in advance.

best regards Alex

1 Answer 1


Enterprise Keywords is just a fancy name for a special term field that you can easily enable on lists, so users have a one universal field throughout the system for classifying content. So it uses Managed Metadata Terms, which can be centrally managed, e.g., some admin may be responsible for administering the Enterprise Keywords, and perhaps pre-populating, correcting, merging, removing keywords users have added.

Managed metadata terms are different from Tags you have in Tags & Notes. Tags are part of the social functionality of SharePoint and are not meant for taxonomy-type of usage, where as Managed Metadata Terms offer centrally managed taxonomy tools for creating Term Groups, Term Sets and actual Terms. Tags are/were to encourage social collaboration among users, and a shot towards having "Like" button in SharePoint, as everyone wanted that back in the days.

However, Tags & Notes have already been removed from SharePoint Online, so I'd say you should not rely on them on on-prem environments either, if there are chances you're upgrading your environment and you would need to take them with you to next SharePoint version - the functionality may no longer be there.

  • Thank you very much! That was exactly the answer I was hoping for!
    – AdelPoint
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 9:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.