I'm looking for software for macs geared towards organizing and referencing the text in notes. I'm currently studying pathology and would like to be able to "tag" a topic/heading within my notes (not the entire note itself) with a keyword that is searchable. For example, if I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, I'd like to be able to highlight it, and tag it with multiple keywords or hashtags such as "hypersensitivity reaction type IV" or "#hypersensitivityrxntypeIV" and be able to search those keywords and have any of those topics I've tagged show up in the results. Anyone have any suggestions?

  • 1
    Maybe this would have a better chance of being answered on AskDifferent?
    – F'x
    Sep 17, 2013 at 7:17
  • 3
    I believe this is not an academic-specific question, and would therefore propose it be moved to Software Recommendations.SE.
    – aeismail
    Jan 28, 2015 at 11:53

4 Answers 4


You may be interested in using MaxQDA, they are just now preparing to release a mac version. Although it is a software geared towards textual analysis and qualitative researchers, it can tag pieces of text pretty much like you say you want to do.

  • +1. organising and comparing text fragments by keywords is what textual analysis is all about.
    – henning
    Aug 30, 2015 at 15:20

MaxQDA and others such as Dedoose are useful and powerful qualitative software packages to tag and sort snippets of text in this way.

However you might want to try the free trial of Quirkos, which also has a Mac version, but is designed to be simple to use and quick to get started with.


For regular note taking, I use Evernote and Google Drive. Both tools are very useful for writing when you are 'in the wild' (e.g. at meetings or observing cultural behaviour). If tagging the specific file is sufficient, Evernote is brilliant for just this purpose.

However, for analysis purpose I have recently grown very fond of MaxQDA. Among a bunch of great features, this tool allows for 'coding' (tagging) paragraphs within notes and transcribing recordings. You can try it for free for 30 days.

I believe in using the right tool for specific purposes and will therefore recommend Evernote or Google Drive for note-taking and MaxQDA for the actual analysis.


Dude, try Evernote. They have a free and payed version, thats work very well. The most incredible feature is that you can search words (or Tags) in a pdf file. Try This.

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    Can you please say why you think it works well?
    – jakebeal
    Aug 30, 2015 at 12:40
  • I +1 for Evernote. It's available on all major platforms including mobile, and has robust search features. Just take a look at this table for all the ways you can search, including tags, which you mentioned. evernote.com/contact/support/kb/#!/article/23245321 Aug 30, 2015 at 14:00
  • 2
    I don't understand this answer; could you elaborate? Every pdf reader can search for words.
    – henning
    Aug 30, 2015 at 15:18

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