Meta Data

Docspell Documentation


Docspell processes each uploaded file. Processing involves extracting archives, extracting text, anlyzing the extracted text and converting the file into a pdf. Text is analyzed to find metadata that can be set automatically. Docspell compares the extracted text against a set of known meta data. The Meta Data page allows to manage this meta data:

  • Tags
  • Organizations
  • Persons
  • Equipments
  • Folders


Items can be tagged with multiple custom tags (aka labels). This allows to describe many different workflows people may have with their documents.

A tag can have a category. This is meant to group tags together. For example, you may want to have a tag category doctype that is comprised of tags like bill, contract, receipt and so on. Or for workflows, a tag category state may exist that includes tags like Todo or Waiting. Or you can tag items with user names to provide "assignment" semantics. Docspell doesn't propose any workflow, but it can help to implement some.

The tags are not taken into account when processing. Docspell will not automatically associate tags to your items. The tags are only meant to be used manually for now.

Organization and Person🔗

The organization entity represents an non-personal (organization or company) correspondent of an item. Docspell will choose one or more organizations when processing documents and associate the "best" match with your item.

The person entitiy can appear in two roles: It may be a correspondent or the person an item is about. So a person is either a correspondent or a concerning person. Docspell can not know which person is which, therefore you need to tell this by checking the box "Use for concerning person suggestion only". If this is checked, docspell will use this person only to suggest a concerning person. Otherwise the person is used only for correspondent suggestions.

Document processing uses the following properties:

  • name
  • websites
  • e-mails

The website and e-mails can be added as contact information. If these three are present, you should get good matches from docspell. All other fields of an organization and person are not used during document processing. They might be useful when using this as a real address book.


The equipment entity is almost like a tag. In fact, it could be replaced by a tag with a specific known category. The difference is that docspell will try to find a match and associate it with your item. The equipment represents non-personal things that an item is about. Examples are: bills or insurances for cars, contracts for houses or flats.

Equipments don't have contact information, so the only property that is used to find matches during document processing is its name.


Folders provide a way to divide all documents into disjoint subsets. Unlike with tags, an item can have at most one folder or none. A folder has an owner – the user who created the folder. Additionally, it can have members: users of the collective that the owner can assign to a folder.

When searching for items, the results are restricted to items that have either no folder assigned or a folder where the current user is owner or member. It can be used to control visibility when searching. However: there are no hard access checks. For example, if the item id is known, any user of the collective can see it and modify its meta data.

One use case is, that you can hide items from other users, like bills for birthday presents. In this case it is very unlikely that someone can guess the item-id.

While folders are not taken into account when processing documents, they can be specified with the upload request or a source url to have them automatically set when files arrive.

Document Language🔗

An important setting is the language of your documents. This helps OCR and text analysis. You can select between English and German currently.

Go to the Collective Settings page and click Document Language. This will set the lanugage for all your documents. It is not (yet) possible to specify it when uploading.