I have components and pages in my publication, but also I want to implement some categories and keywords in publication.

Is there any reference on this topic?

2 Answers 2


The question of how Categories and Keywords are used within Tridion are fairly basic, and can be found in the online documentation and Content Editors' Manual (login required).

The question of why Categories and Keywords are used is more interesting...

The Tridion Taxonomy (the collection of Categories and Keywords) is primarily used to classify the content that you have within the CMS. For example, you may want to classify a News article Component with the location or audience that it applies to. In this situation, you would probably have Categories for 'Location' and for 'Audience', and Keywords within these, such as Europe, Asia, Americas (for Location) or Executive, Developer, Student, OAP (for Audience).

This classification is often used for filtering the content once it has been published to the website.

As Keywords can be nested under other Keywords, and these will all sit within one Category, there is a hierarchy to the Taxonomy. This structure lends itself well to representing content that naturally hierarchical. For example, using the 'Location' example, you may have a Keyword for Europe, which then contains sub-Keywords for Belgium, France, Italy, Spain. Each of these Keywords can then have sub-Keywords again.

You can set a Keyword to being 'Abstract' if you need it, in order to represent an item within the hierarchy, but do not want an editor to be able to classify their content with it.

A third use of Categories and Keywords can be to define a set of constants. For example, the options for a Field within a Component could be "Yes", "No", and "Maybe". Rather than constraining these options within the Schema, you can also set this up as a Category (e.g. 'Choices') with the Keywords "Yes", "No", and "Maybe". This is often done if the same set of field values are available across lots of fields (probably within different Schemas)

Two additional things to note:

  1. All Keywords must be unique within the Category. For example, you cannot have two Keywords named 'Unknown' within the same Category - even if these are nested within different sub-Keywords
  2. You can set the Tridion Security on a per-Category basis. This is extremely useful if you have 'system' Keywords (such as "Yes", "No", and "Maybe") that you don't want editors to change, or if you want certain Groups to be able to classify content (setting Read permissions), but not update the Taxonomy.
  • 1
    Nice answer Jon - you start early by the look of it!
    – Neil
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 7:36
  • Thanks Neil. I find that getting up early gives you the pick of the Categories & Keywords questions ;) Commented May 13, 2014 at 8:56

Jonathan gives the delivery-side functionality answer. Let me add Content Management side. SDL Tridion's Content Manager has features that use Categories and Keyword:

  • Search
  • Virtual Folders (based on searches)
  • Taxonomy classification (in bulk across multiple items)

With Categories set up for text fields in schemas, content authors can then:

  • Search for specific keywords
  • Go to a virtual folder to find all items classified a certain way
  • Change values in bulk (rather than one-at-a-time in components)

The point is the selections themselves are managed, which means you can do create, read/review, update, and delete (respecting dependencies) how these are used across the system.

To take advantage of the above features I would recommend against "Boolean" type fields. Taking a feature-based approach will give you:

  • Search for these features in the CMS by keyword (rather than looking for "yes" for a given field)
  • Add new features without schema changes (just code changes as needed)
  • Shorter content forms, possibly faster entry, bulk classification, and easier templating (no need to check for a Yes/No value, just look for or output the field)

So rather than:

Include this feature?

( ) No ( ) Yes


[ ] Feature

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