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Can I repurpose labels from a board?

khodge July 15, 2022

I have a board I'm trying to clean up and I'm re-evaluating/changing some labels.  If a list with cards have labels assigned to them and I move the list, then I change the labels from the originating board, will the labels change or stay the same on the cards that get moved?

I don't want those cards to lose their original labels but I need to repurpose the labels for the cards still on the board.



1 answer

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AndrewW July 15, 2022

Yes, all the labels for cards on that board will be changed — including those appended to archived cards / lists.

This is where the ability to non-destructively 'retire' or archive labels would be useful — so that internally coherent but now perhaps redundant labels on an older project don't become meaningless if labels are edited or deleted.

The way Trello currently operates, there is the potential for the number of labels added over time to keep increasing and become unmanageable. As far as I'm aware, the only solution appears to be to archive boards every so often, and begin afresh. Not ideal, I grant you.

Hopefully, Trelllo will get around to addressing issues with their labels setup at some point.

khodge July 18, 2022

Good morning - thank you for your response, but I'm still not 100% clear.  So if I move lists to another board, they will retain their labels if I change the labels on the originating board - is that accurate?

Thanks again :)

AndrewW July 18, 2022

Hi Khodge,

Apologies for any confusion with my answer. To be clear, labels are 'board limited', in that if you edit a label on a board, all existing cards with that label on that board — whichever list they're in, or whether cards are visible or 'archived' — will have their label edited too.

Labels are common to all cards on a board. But if you have a card marked, for example, with a red "Urgent" label, and you move this card (or copy it with its label) to another board, then effectively you are adding a red "Urgent" label to the set of labels on this second board. If you then edit the label text or colour on the first board, only cards on that board with the label will be affected — the label on the second board will remain unedited.

As far as I'm aware, it's not possible to set labels — or edit them — globally (i.e. on all boards). If you have a set of labels you want to be common to multiple boards, the easiest way is to add all these labels to one card (for example, entitled "Board labels") and then copy this card to your required boards. This will have the effect of copying all the labels on the card to these boards, too.

I hope this is helpful. Labels are a feature from the original Trello, and could probably do with an update to make them more akin to the 'Tags' that people are used to using in other applications. For example, it would be useful to have a global 'Label manager' (or 'Tag manager') feature that allowed labels to be managed at a global level, or turned on and off for particular boards, or 'archived' / hidden when the project they refer to is no longer current. Hopefully, the labels feature is something the Trello developers are looking at... 

khodge July 19, 2022

Good morning;

OK great - I do understand it now.   We started assigning members instead of using labels for the people we assign tasks to so that was the 1st step,  Now repurposing the labels is next. Thanks so much for your assist - it's much appreciated! 

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