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(In desktop MS Windows) I'd like to be able to enter text snippets -- from a phrase to a page or two each -- tag each snippet with multiple tags, and at any time pull together all the snippets with a given tag into a single file.

This is for entering and managing research ideas -- as I generate ideas I'll enter and tag some snippets, and then pull things together later organized by tag. This way I don't have to hunt around for the right tag-bucket for each snippet, and can direct a snippet into multiple buckets.

The gathering function might be done with #tags and a search function, though it would have to search across multiple files.

I can think of lots more features, but that's the minimum. Ideally it would work with snippets in MS Word, multiple snippets in a file, multiple files full of snippets.

MS Word is best because: (a) it's the target medium for the end-product writing; (b) I want to include Zotero citations in snippets. But I'm open to other ways of entering and editing the text.

Is there anything out there -- simple and reasonably priced?

If not, I might build my own with Word VBA and/or Ruby via a Word API. But I'd rather not reinvent the wheel. I realize this is somewhat like relational database functionality with textual data, but that makes interfacing with Word harder.

I see there have been similar questions in the past with little or nothing in the way of usable answers -- this, this and this.

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Here are two packages that might do the trick -- located via portable freeware collection with a search of "text tag" (thanks to Duarte Farrajota Ramos for the pointer to that site)

CintaNotes -- with tagging feature described below -- remains to be seen is tagging is many:many as I need (hierarchical organization of tags is a bonus, but not required)

Hierarchical Tags -- If you take a lot of notes every day, the list of your notes might soon become unmanageable. You can solve this problem by using tags – keywords which describe and classify your notes. With the help of tags you can organize your notes into a tree-like structure. Keep your notes neat and organized.

RedNotebook -- also need to check for many:many tagging

It lets you format, tag and search your entries. You can also add pictures, links and customizable templates, spell check your notes, and export to plain text, HTML, Latex or PDF.

I'm still interested in others before I move into evaluation. If anyone can suggest other software search sites, that would also be helpful.

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Seeing text expanders seem to be the opposite of what the OP asked, TiddlyWiki seems to be what you need.

It is loca wiki runnign either from a single HTML local file, or from a node.js server that has extensive tagging and searching capabilities.

It can also be extended and customized with scripting, macros, plugins and themes.

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Looks like you are searching for some sort of text expander. There are many tools like it, that allow incrementally searching and inserting pre recorded text snippets, though I'm not sure any of them have any tagging capabilities.

They vary in price from web services, to free, and commercial.

TextExpander seems to be some sort of web service, or at least uses some from of cloud storage or login system.

Lintalist is a free portable simple solution

Phrase Express is freemium and seems pretty feature complete with comprehensive organization features.

Beeftext is a free text substitution tool

Fastkeys also seems to fulfill your requirements with a fremium model

And a quite few more

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  • Thanks! This is kind of the inverse of what I want -- not expanding tags into text snippets, but reducing snippets to tags. And it's crucial that snippet:tag be many:many. But the portable freeware search site you mentioned ("quite a few more") yielded a result when searching "text tag" that might do the trick -- so I am grateful -- cintanotes.com – David Lewis Apr 23 '18 at 16:26
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    In that case look into tiddlywiki.com. It is pretty much like Cintanotes but is multiplatform, runs directly from the browser and is a lot more flexible. – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Apr 23 '18 at 16:37
  • TiddlyWiki looks like it might do the trick. I saw it many years ago when it was first out, but it has apparently matured a lot since then. Make an answer out of it and I will upvote. Thanks! – David Lewis Apr 23 '18 at 16:48
  • Done, upvoted yours also. – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Apr 23 '18 at 16:56

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