i have read all day about keywords, tags, #hasttags and it confuses me. Whats the difference between Keywords and terms/termsets?

I have tagged documents with keywords, but i want to use terms instead so i can build a structure in termstore. Like this:


      England - London
      Sweden - Stockholm
      France - Paris

Then i can choose to tag a document with ex. "London", becouse with keywords i can add any "under heierarchy", how can i acchieve this?

2 Answers 2


Terms are the basic unit or smallest item in Managed Metadata or Taxonomy. TermSet is just a collection of Terms.Like say if you want to create a taxonomy for countries and their cities. Country will become the TermSet (eg:England) and cities will be Terms inside respective termsets ie London will be term inside England.

Tags are special terms , they are stored inside Keywords termset in a internal taxonomy group System. You can add tags to documents and pages.After tagging with the help of tag cloud you can easily track documents, pages and other activities.

#HashTags are again special terms stored in HashTags Termset in System taxonomy group.#Hasttags can be used in newsfeed , blog posts, discussions etc, to make them more social.It is very much similar to twitter,FB social hash tags.

OOTB tags & Notes always works with Keywords termset and hence you can only create tag and add tags from Keywords termset only.

See this article for Tags & Notes

  • Thanks for information. Lets say an organisation wants to have predfined tags that are in a hierarchy, and users are not allowed to add new tags. They also want to use them to tag things/sites etc Then i must use Terms and not keywords?
    – Anders
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 14:17
  • 1
    sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/94595/… Check this
    – Unnie
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 19:19

The big difference between Keywords and Terms are that Terms are controlled by you (normally) and Keywords are controlled by the users. Sometimes Keywords are referred to as Folksonomy whereas Terms are referred to as Taxonomy. To use Terms to tag a document, create a custom Site Column and map that to a TermSet (which is a collection/hierarchy of Terms), and don't use the default Keywords column.

  • A very good distinction between terms and keywords. If you don't mind I'll borrow this one from you :-)
    – Benny Skogberg
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 6:43

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