Browser and Tags in Live 12 FAQ

As of Ableton Live 12, you can select and categorize sounds in Live's Browser with the help of tagging, and see previous results using search history. Sound content comes labeled with instrument categories and descriptors, or you can create custom tags. This guide answers frequently asked questions about the Browser and tagging in Live 12. 

Note: Take care when opening earlier versions of Live if you have multiple versions installed. Custom tag assignments may be removed if you use a version earlier than Live 11.2.x.

Browser and Tags in Live 12 FAQ

Using Browser Search
Filtering Search Results
Using and Creating Tags
Collections in Live 12

Using Browser Search

How can I access previous searches and Browser navigation?
To access Browser history and previous searches, click the arrows next to the search field.

How do I store the results of a search or filtered list?
To save your current Browser view, including any search keywords and any active filters, as a custom label, click the "+" button in the header of the Results view. A new label will appear in the sidebar, in the Library section.

  • To remove a custom label, select it and click Delete, or right-click and select Remove from Sidebar. 
  • To rename a custom label on Mac, select it and press [CMD + R], or right-click on it and select Rename. 
  • To rename a custom label on Windows, select it and press [CTRL + R], or right-click on it and select Rename.

What's the difference between the “Clear” button and the “x” in the search field?
The “x” button clears text from the search field. It does not clear currently selected filters. The Clear button clears the entire search, including filters and search field text.

Filtering Search Results

How do I narrow my search results?
After searching for a keyword, you can narrow the results by clicking on a label under the Library heading. You can also narrow the results by selecting one or more Filters. 

Why do some sidebar labels display a long list of different kinds of files?
Files in Live’s Browser are categorized into labels including Drums, Instruments, Plug-ins, and others. When you select a label, its contents are displayed alphabetically. Some labels, like All or Sounds, contain a variety of file types, including
presets, samples, and devices. These can show a large number of files, including multiple file types, depending on how much content is loaded into your Live Browser.

Why does my keyword search result in an unsorted list, including .wav files, .alc files, presets, and devices, all mixed together?
When you create an unfiltered search using a keyword, the results will include all relevant items, regardless of categorization, whether they are samples, devices, or presets. To narrow results to presets, devices, live samples, templates, etc, choose a label in the Browser sidebar, or a filter in Filter view.

Is it possible to sort results by Live device, when looking for presets?
Keyword search results are alphabetized and include all file types.

To generate a list sorted by Live device, you can leave the search field empty and select All or Instruments in the Library section. Then select one or more filters in the Sounds filter group.

Do third-party plug-ins and their presets appear in a filtered search?
Your installed third-party plug-ins and presets will appear in a filtered search, if you select either the All or Plug-ins label. If you have third-party plug-in presets stored in your User Library, those presets will also appear in the User Library label, in Places. However, third-party plug-ins will not appear in the Sounds label in the Library section, even if you have manually tagged them with a Sounds tag.

How can I hide the Cloud and Push labels in Live’s Browser?
In Live’s Preferences > Library tab, under Browser Behavior, you can disable the settings Show Cloud and Show Push.

Using and Creating Tags


How do I search for tagged content by tag?
In the search field, to use auto-complete search for a tag, type # immediately followed by a keyword. For example, search for #bass or #voice, then select the desired auto-completed result. 

How can I add a or remove a tag, or see the tags applied to a file?
To see which tags are applied to a file, select its name in the Browser Content Pane and open the Tag Editor by clicking on Edit, in the Filters header. To add or remove a tag, check or uncheck the box next to the relevant tag. You can apply multiple tags to the same file by checking multiple boxes. To tag several files at once, hold [Shift] and select multiple files before applying the desired tags.

How can I create new tags or tag groups?
To create a new tag, click Add Tag, located at the bottom of each tag group. To add a new tag group, scroll down to the end of the tag group list and click on Add Group. 


How do I allow presets saved in the User Library and in folders under Places to be displayed in the Sounds label?
Presets of Live devices (.adv and .adg file types) saved to the User Library, or in folders added to Places in Live’s Browser, will only appear in those labels respectively. They will not appear in labels in the Library section. To allow presets of Live’s instruments to appear under the Sounds label in the Library section, you can tag them manually. To tag a preset, select the file in Live’s Browser, and check the desired box in the Tag Editor. 

This file can now be found using the respective filters. 

If you select a label other than Sounds, such as All, or Plug-ins, manual tagging is not needed for the preset to be displayed.

Note: Only Instruments presets (e.g. presets for Analog, Operator, etc.) will appear in the Sounds label if tagged with a Sounds tag. Effects presets (e.g. presets for Delay, Reverb) will not appear under Sounds.

Collections in Live 12

What is the role of Collections in Live 12?
As in previous versions of Live, Collections offers a maximum of seven color-coded sections for quick access to your preferred presets, samples, files, and other content within the Browser.

Can I expand my Collections using the new tagging system?
Live 12 offers significantly more flexibility beyond the limitations of seven Collections. You can create as many different custom tags as you need to effectively categorize and easily access your content. For an introduction on how to seamlessly incorporate tags into your workflow, watch the video Learn Live 12: Live's Browser.

Can I still use Collections in Live 12?
You can still use Collections to organize content in Live 12, in addition to the expanded options offered by tagging. 

Can I transfer and sync Live 12 Collections and tags to another computer?

You can transfer Collections and tags made from Core Library content, Factory Packs, Collections, Devices, and Plug-ins by transferring your User Library. When transferring sample tags made in Places the external sample folder needs to be transferred.  For further guidance, check Using Collections.


More information

  • In Live, visit Help > Built-in Lessons > What’s New in Live > Browser Filtering and Tags.
  • For tips on most features, type [?] to show Info View, then hover your cursor over the relevant feature. For in-depth explanations, visit the Live Manual.

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