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"#" to add a label while adding a card

carsonevans June 3, 2023

I believe we used to be able to type "#label" when adding a card to create a new card with a label. I think there were other "shortcuts" too. Unfortunately "shortcut" is also what we call the hot-keys so searching for how to enable this is not finding much.

I have been out of pocket for a few months and when I came back this isn't working. Did I miss a update that got rid of this feature. I really hope this is still a thing.

6 answers

2 accepted

2 votes
Answer accepted
Andrea Crawford
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June 6, 2023

Hi all, 

Thanks for your question. Trello has recently decided to remove the Card Composer Options feature. The Card Composer Options feature allowed people to add members and labels to cards before they were created. While this feature was certainly useful for some users, it also represented pretty significant technical complexity and maintenance effort that didn't match up with how much it was being used.

By removing the Card Composer Options feature, we are streamlining card creation and laying the foundation for better card creation improvements in the future. There are still a few ways to use shortcuts to add members and labels to cards that we recommend:

1. You can use the 1-0 keys or the L key to apply labels to a card while hovering over it in the board view, or while a card is open.

2. The M key will let you add members to a card, also while hovering in the board view, or while the card is open. If you'd like to add yourself, the spacebar key does this.

3, When creating a new card, type the card title then press Shift+Enter to create it (instead of Enter by itself). It will create and open the card at the same time. This makes the L and M shortcuts a bit more accessible!

Last, it may be worth having a look at our Automation tool to see if any of your regular label or member workflows could potentially be done automatically: https://trello.com/guide/automate-anything

I recognize that's not entirely ideal, but hopefully these options give you a few different ways to speed up your workflows in Trello without those Card Composer Options.

Daniel Stock June 7, 2023

This is a bit disappointing, I constantly used the hashtag to add labels as I created a card. I understand that maintaining the card composer must have been a real headache, but maybe this one feature could be brought back as a standalone? (Maybe with the @ as well, though I didn't use that one myself.)

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Daniel Stock June 7, 2023

That said, it looks like I can mostly replicate my workflow with the Automation tool, as suggested. Posting my steps here, in case it's useful to anyone else.

  • Add an automation rule, with a Card Content trigger: when the name of card contains #label1
  • The first action for the rule, under Add/Remove, will be add the label1 label to the card
  • The second action for the rule, under Content, will be rename the card to {textbeforematch}

Now, any time you make a new card ending in #label1, it will add the label, and remove the extra hashtag text. (If you want to put the hashtag at the start of a new card and not the end, use {textaftermatch} instead.)

Note that you'll have to make a separate rule for each label, which is a bit annoying but fine. You can also change to trigger to be anything you want, e.g. #L1 instead of #label1 .

PS it didn't seem possible to find the {textbeforematch} trick in Trello's automation rule-maker -- I got it from here instead: https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Trello-questions/Remove-matched-text-using-Butler-powerup/qaq-p/1054365

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carsonevans June 13, 2023

@Andrea Crawford Thanks for the information. It is disappointing and my use of Trello has gone down significantly without this feature, but there is nothing better on the market and the switching costs are too high so I'll just deal with it. 

@Daniel Stock Thanks for the automation suggestion. It is definitely not ideas as I have a lot of labels, but it is a workaround.

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Joe Previte
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June 13, 2023

Looks like this automation rule will work even if you use multiple labels in the title so thank you Daniel!

Vongsawat
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June 16, 2023

Well this is disappointing indeed.

You'd think Trello would make a replacement feature before just straight up removing features but ok... I'm really hoping you guys hit the ball out of the part in these future improvements to card creation... because now its just a worse version of card creation.

Really, I wish Trello had advertised it a lot more. Looking back, it would have been pretty amazing to just @ tag someone in the card creation process to add them to the card immediately. Would have been nice to know, when bashing out multiple cards in the middle of a meeting.

Maybe this is the Themes shenanigans spilling over, but streamlining a feature just means making it work better for a small demographic, and markedly worse for everyone else.

The alternatives just don't cater to how people are (or could be) using Trello.

  1. Number and L hotkeys requires breaking the flow of card creation, an extra two steps to mouse-over etc. Leads to team members just avoiding labels altogether.
  2. Same with the M hotkey. 
  3. Shift+M breaks the flow of card creation entirely. The one thing we're avoiding. We're listing out multiple tasks in a row, going in to details is the opposite of what we want to do.
  4. Automations puts the maintenance work entirely on the teams instead. New label? new automation. What happens if you hashtag in the middle of a card, at the end? What about multiple labels? Do we handle all abbreviations of the hashtag? Ensure that you have to type atleast the first 3 characters? What if you misspell it. Is 10 automations per label even enough? And what happens when you require changing something about the label? Do I need to go learn RegEx to get this to work? Or would Zapier suffice? Because getting it to work via Automations-only looks like I'd need to have a look-up table for every variation, and some way to extract multiple portions of the title to run its own threads...hm... a very complex solution if it was at all possible. And would likely disable the native Notifications feature to run properly (off the top of my head) due to bad matches.

...

Those better card creation features better be amazing for what we're giving up.... And I can't quite imagine what feature it could add that'd make up for this.... except to add back in the same exact feature, but with extra bobbles and better communication about its existence and usage. Which would've been a great salve to take away the pain of taking away a feature, hint hint.

Kinda hate that all these changes making Trello a worse product are all being hidden in the forums though. Some of them not even getting a stickied post like this one..

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pbjorklund
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July 4, 2023

Man I wish I knew this before migrating back to trello. Was a heavy user of this for many years. Disappointing.

caifara
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September 19, 2023

We used this feature literally on every card creation. This is an absolute bummer.

In fact, it was a major reason for Trello to get used at our company.

It was just so fast to organize and add new cards. Adding labels and people was part of the initial structure of the cards.

Now, we type the label, add @somename, see that - yes, that doesn't work anymore. Erase the @ part, add the card, open the card, add the people and labels and close the card again. Then we're so out of the flow that we forgot what the next cards were we needed to add. It's just too much work and too distracting.

I never encountered bugs and added hundreds of those cards. It may have been complex but it was also essential in our view and even the form I type this in has such a feature …

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Robert Talbert October 1, 2023

I just discovered this functionality was removed, coming back to Trello after a few months of not using it. It's disappointing, a bad idea, and definitely makes me disinclined to use the product in the future. 

I have a hard time believing that adding labels via a hashtag represents such a significant technical challenge, when there is so much functionality built into Trello that seems way more challenging and far less useful to ordinary people using the software -- and when you look around at competing or adjacent products, like Todoist, they somehow make it work. 

Does Trello actually speak to its users before it makes these decisions? 

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Allen Kwok
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November 16, 2023

The ability to label the ticket upon creation using the hashtag was pretty much the best feature of Trello. It allowed for streamlined creation of tickets. I don't understand how this represented such high technical complexity when the feature was already implemented. Product needs to review this one and whether they did enough validation before pulling the plug. 

nightpool
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November 26, 2023

This really sucks. I understand technical debt, but the seamless card creation feature was a great example of Trello's attention to detail and love for the product, and removing it really goes to show how far that team has fallen from the glory days. 

1 vote
Answer accepted
Daniel Stock June 7, 2023

(reposting as an answer)

Apparently the hashtag functionality was just removed.

That said, it looks like it's possible to approximate the feature as an Automation rule:

  • Add an automation rule, with a Card Content trigger: when the name of card contains #label1
  • The first action for the rule, under Add/Remove, will be add the label1 label to the card
  • The second action for the rule, under Content, will be rename the card to {textbeforematch}

Now, any time you make a new card ending in #label1, it will add the label, and remove the extra hashtag text. (If you want to put the hashtag at the start of a new card and not the end, use {textaftermatch} instead.)

Note that you'll have to make a separate rule for each label, which is a bit annoying but fine. You can also change to trigger to be anything you want, e.g. #L1 instead of #label1 .

PS it didn't seem possible to find the {textbeforematch} trick in Trello's automation rule-maker -- I got it from here instead: https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Trello-questions/Remove-matched-text-using-Butler-powerup/qaq-p/1054365

 

Brian Krupp
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August 18, 2023

Thank you for posting this workaround, it does work but I really do miss this feature of just using a #. I do hope Trello brings it back.

1 vote
Richard Dekker August 22, 2023

The 'L' workflow used to be a lot more easy. When that was changed last year I had to do multiple 'tabs' before continuing my workflow. Found the hashtag flow to be a good upgrade. Now that that's gone I have to start all over again. Too bad it's gone. I like it. It's also part of my workflow in google keep. Greenshot 2023-08-22 15.11.24.png

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Bartek
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January 4, 2024

I miss this function either. Maybe You can add a simple action for automation, that will bring this function back, so we can #label something. Now it's far more complicated to use Trello. I have many labels so the solution with parsing each of them is overkill.

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Ali Aslam
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July 28, 2023

Agree with the comments above - this change has been disruptive and not being able to add labels during card creation is annoying. My workflow for creating cards feels much more clunky now

0 votes
Brittany Joiner
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June 4, 2023

I think they changed some of the shortcut keys! Labels is now "L" key. You can see some updated keyboard shortcuts in this post!

carsonevans June 5, 2023

Hrm. I believe that before it was not a "shortcut key" but something that happened during card creation. If I typed "#label" and hit enter, or (at)name and hit enter it just worked. Similar to how typing (at)name in this message box works. Now if I type "#label" and hit enter I get a new card created with the description "#label". It is such an ingrained habit for me that I end up opening and changing a lot of cards. I am sure I can get used to hitting "L" and selecting a label eventually, but that is way less efficient than the old way.

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Lyn Wildwood
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June 5, 2023

I agree. Being able to add #1, #2, etc. to label cards as you create them was a lot more efficient than having to open each one to label them.

Brittany Joiner
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June 5, 2023

@Lyn Wildwood i think you can still do the numbers, although admittedly i dont entirely understand how they're set. But rather than pressing the #, try typing 1 or 2 and seeing what happens. It applies labels/searches for them on my cards

Vongsawat
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June 6, 2023

You can use the number hotkeys to bring up labels of a specific colour, or if there is only one applicable label it auto-applies it.

However there's a separate system where you can type out the label's name (preceded by the #) while you're typing the card name and Trello would search up the applicable labels. You could then apply them without ever moving your hands off the keyboard and go directly to the next card. Very efficient.

It used to be:

  1. start naming a card
  2. type #first-letters-of-the-label
  3. tab if there are multiple and enter; or click
  4. enter again to finish the card
  5. start typing the next card

Apparently you could also add members to the card by @-ing them, before you even finish card creation? according to some of the other posts complaining about this feature being removed.

I really hope this is just a mess-up by the Trello Team and not some kind of "improvement" by removing quality of life features...

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pbjorklund
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July 4, 2023

Answer aboves seems like it was in fact just a straight up removal.

The shortcut 1-9 doesn't seem to work if you have renamed the default labels either...

And previously when you pressed l and started typing to filter down labels pressing enter would select the first in the list, now I have to tab and press enter which often leads to errors.

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