Really? would you go searching for just the right tag?Working through 45 pages of tags is just not going to cut it.

Most tags seem self-evident and would stand on their own. For more information, one could just click to display the full description.

Another way is to use the alphabet like: A, B, C, D....Z and link just the single word(s) to the appropriate letter, instead of pages of alpha tags and descriptions.

Since tags are very important here, I feel more care should be taken in their display, especially for new members such as myself.

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    We show tags in order by usage - most used tags first. Can you please talk about why you think alphabetical order is preferable to that? If users want a specific tag they can use the tag search. I'm not saying that having the option to view alphabetically is bad but I don't know that it's necessarily more useful to new users. What do you get out of having them in alphabetical order? – Catija Dec 18 '18 at 14:05
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    It's more the idea of Not showing the detailed descriptions making the whole list much smaller, perhaps printing a copy for referral until I was comfortable with the applicable tags. I thank you for your first statement, I did not know the most used were first, but as a newbie, I do not want to appear dumb (although probably am) so would like to scan all the tags in a Site before choosing the best one. I think the idea used by sites like Amazon are good, where you get " users who picked 'design', often also (Bought ) chose 'artistic', and 'activity' " – P Lloyd Dec 18 '18 at 14:19
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    @Catija Alpha ordering does help with the discovery problem - if I'm looking to post something on a site that's new to me, I have no idea what tags are appropriate, and a usage-ordered list doesn't really help with that. – ArtOfCode Dec 18 '18 at 15:34
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    On the tags page they are by default ordered by popularity, but you can also order them by name (i. e. what you are looking for) or see new tags. The tag wiki excerpt is already a short description and many tags don't have it. I consider it very useful, because if done correctly, the wiki excerpt tells me when to use that tag. – Anne Daunted Dec 18 '18 at 15:34
  • @AnneDaunted That's certainly true. :) It doesn't, however, have any sort of alphabetical pagination - allowing someone to easily skip to the Ks, for example. :) So it doesn't have quite the functionality the OP is looking for here, which would be an improvement. – Catija Dec 18 '18 at 17:52

The descriptions are most useful for people who don't already know our tag set. Hiding them is likely to increase the rate of mistagging.

Tags are ordered by frequency. If you're a new user you should be looking first at the most-frequent tags; unless your question is obscure you're probably going to want something on the first page or two. (This generalization might not apply to SO with its many languages and frameworks.)

The tags page has a search box, and as soon as you start typing the list is filtered -- so if you don't see what you're looking for immediately, type a few characters and see if that helps. The search box contains the hint text "filter by tag name"; does that need to be more obvious? (It's light gray and I admit I missed it

Finally, if you want to browse by name rather than searching/filtering, you can use the "Name" tab and then jump around in the pages to try to hit the right range. But filtering is going to be easier.

screen shot

  • This really helps a lot. Perhaps a housecleaning bot could, from time to time, examine those 45 pages of tags - I believe many with no descriptions, and recycle those not used in the past decade/month/year or so. – P Lloyd Dec 18 '18 at 23:44
  • @PLloyd that can sort of be done manually, but not automatically. If you ever want to do some tag cleanup, go to the end of the default (popular) list, look for tags that are only used once, and look at the questions to see if that tag makes sense. If not, delete it from the question, and unless there's a tag wiki to protect it, the tag will be auto-deleted. – Monica Cellio Dec 19 '18 at 1:35

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