An Essay on Derpibooru Tag System
in addition to the official Tag Guidelines
(based on the source code and field research)

Tags and Tag UI

Within the scope of Derpibooru,

Tag is a generalized text label that can be attached to (or removed from) an image, and describes a certain aspect of that image. Tags, attached to an image, are listed below the image on the view page. You can search for images that are, or are not tagged with a specific tag(s), and thus to find exactly (well, ideally) images you want to see, excluding images with content you prefer to leave unseen.

Tags, attached to an image (displayed under the image on its view page), or involved in a search query (displayed under the search bar), appear as colored "plates". A tag plate contains the tag's name in the middle, on the right is the number of images tagged with this tag, and on the left is one or several symbols: "+" for an unwatched tag, "-" for a watched tag, "S" for a spoilered tag, and "H" for a hidden tag.

When logged-in, and hovering mouse over a tag plate, a drop-down menu will appear that allows you watch, spoiler, or hide the tag respectively; the latter two — only if you use a custom filter, otherwise there will be a single line "Filter", bringing you to the Filters page, where you can choose a standard filter, or create a custom one.

Images with tags you watch will appear in your Watched feed, those with spoilered tags will be covered with a "Tag Hidden" overlay unless explicitly searching for that tags (to see the image anyway, hover over its thumbnail, or click if on its view page), those with hidden tags will stop exist for you even if explicitly searching for that tags. You can centralizedly manage the tags you watch in your Settings ("Content Settings"), and spoilered/hidden tags — in your Filters.

Categories and Sorting

Derpibooru tags are divided into several categories, recognizable by their unique colors. When displayed under an image, tags belonging to the same category are grouped together, and sorted alphabetically within their group. In turn, the sorting order for the groups (categories) is defined in Derpibooru's source code, as follows (the links lead to the tag search page with a query for a corresponding category):

- Error (tags: "artist needed", "photographer needed", "source needed", "dead source", "useless source url");
- Rating ("safe", "suggestive", "questionable", "explicit", "semi-grimdark", "grimdark", "grotesque");
- Origin ("artist:…", "colorist: …", "editor: …", "photographer: …", "… edit", "… screencap", and such);
- Character (canonical character name tags);
- OC ("oc", "oc only", "oc: …");
- Species ("pony", "… pony", "pegasus", "unicorn", "human", and such);
- Body Type ("anthro", "unguligrade anthro", "plantigrade anthro", "semi-anthro", "digitigrade anthro", "taur");
- Fanmade Content (titles of fan-made (non-canonical) stories, comics, universes, blogs, events, and such; interestingly, "princess molestia" lies in this category, but there must be a perfectly reasonable explanation for that);
- Official Content (the same as for Fanmade Content, but for official (canonical) titles);
- Spoiler ("leak" and "spoiler: …" tags, mostly for seasons/episodes/issues you have not seen and don't want to spoil);
- Uncategorized (all other tags).

An interesting fact: in the source code, tags in namespaces ("prefixed with") "artist:", "colorist:", "editor:", "oc:", "photographer:", are treated as "underscore safe"; supposedly, underscores in other tags are replaced with whitespaces.

Another two beasts you may encounter on Derpibooru, are

Tag Aliases and Implied Tags

Sometimes, more than one tag can describe the same thing. It may involve synonyms, contracted forms, different word order, common misspellings, and so on. When such a situation arises, a good solution is to merge the tags. One tag becomes canonical; the rest (aliases), when occurs in a search query, or is added to an image, is automatically replaced with the canonical tag. Thus, people can use contractions to speed up their image search, or still get results while searching for a mistyped tag or a rare spelling.

Also, when tagging an image, it often happens that adding a certain tag necessitates adding one or more other tags that describe some characteristic aspects of the first tag (like, when adding the "humanized" tag, you want the image to get "human" as well). To automate it, a tag can be assigned with "implied tags", which will be added automatically once a user tags an image with the master tag.


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Syntax quick reference: *bold* _italic_ [spoiler]hide text[/spoiler] @code@ +underline+ -strike- ^sup^ ~sub~
6 comments posted
Liberty Belle - Sings the song of the unchained

Importer Buggo
I mean, I'm a pretty big fan of anthro, but can't stand seeing human feet in anthro, so I always appreciate the possibility of filtering that
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Azure Fang
Liberty Belle - Sings the song of the unchained

Oh no, he's here?
planti- and unguli- are important distinctions: some people may prefer kemonomimi-style representation (secondary features only, such as ears and tails) which covers plantigrade anthro, while others might prefer characteristics closer to the original character while still appearing more humanoid (behooved feet, hands optional, humanoid bearing/structure) which covers unguligrade anthro. There is a significant enough distinction. digiti- is a given under context for non-ponies (cats), but is a bit of a stretch considering their scarcity within this specific fandom outside of a handful of special characters and OCs.

"semi-anthro" is the one that always confused me, as it's been used for everything from fighting over planti- usage to ponies standing upright to human genitalia on feral forms; even among furry communities, where bickering over anthroform definitions tends to produce epic wars, "semi-anthro" is hardly ever used as it's so ill-defined.
Liberty Belle - Sings the song of the unchained

Ghibelline Dominatus
I don't know why digitigrade and unguligrade anthro are their own tags. I never got that. Is anthro not just anthro? Is there really a need to have three separate tags for what shape the legs on an anthro pony are?
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Liberty Belle -

Site Moderator
Hopeful But Cynical
Oh wow, a pretty comprehensive guide for figuring out how tags work. It works almost perfectly for Ponybooru too, which is nice.

Just ignore the whole 'bodytype tag' thing and the fact that a bunch of aliases aren't in place yet. All in due time.
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