How to add tags when using PaperUI?

Hi there,

I know that PaperUI does not yet support tags, and there are some workarounds like using the REST Api.

However, I’m wondering how most of you combine using text files for items and the PaperUI.
PaperUI is nice for automatically adding Things and Items.
Because I’m lazy I usually turn on and off Item linking - which is probably a very bad idea.

I want to still be able to add new Items via the paper UI but I can also see the benefits of having them in files.
I wondered if it’s possible (or if it makes sense) to export the items in Paper UI in the items format,
add them to the items files and add the groups there.

Does this make sense? How are you doing this “semi automatically”?

I only use paperUI for everything and Rest API for adding / deleting Tags.

I try to avoid using text file configurations unless I really have to.

This is a really big questions an there will be lots of different opinions on this. Here is mine.

If I could wave my magic wand and change only two things about OH, I would eliminate Simple Mode and eliminate the Control tab in PaperUI. These two well meaning features have caused more confusion and more pain for new users and for those of us on the forum who help the new users that they just are not worth it.

So my first recommendation is don’t be lazy, deliberately define your Items instead of using simple mode. When using simple mode you have no ability to customize the Items. You can’t even change their name.

Items are supposed to be your model of your home automation. Items are where you translate technology specific names like zwave:device:dongle:node2:switch_binary to meaningful names like LivingroomLamp. With simple mode you end up with Items named zwave_device_dongle_node2"switch_binary which are really meaningless when it comes to what you are actually trying to automate.

Beyond that I don’t have any strong opinions between PaperUI defined or .items file defined Items. Like Stuart said, if you go with PaperUI defined Items then you will have to use the REST API to apply tags to your Items. But I think everything else is supported.

Personally, I define all my Things in PaperUI. Links and Items are all defined in .items files. But this has as much to do with the fact that I’m an old timer and had a hundred or so Items already defined in .items files when OH 2 came out.


At the moment you are kind of forced to use item files. You should just know that they will slow down your oh instance on start up and cause rule reloading issues.

In the future (this year) you might need to migrate back to the internal stored items, but that will probably be done by a migration tool.

Thanks guys, I will probably stay with the internal version and use REST then

@David_Graeff what about external items such as mqtt mappings?

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I have searched in the topics about recommendations to have Simple mode = on or off and found this topic.
I have had Simple Mode=ON since I started with openHAB but because I use sitemaps I have created all my itmes in .items files.
In your last post you say “In the future (this year) you might need to migrate back to the internal stored items”.
Do you mean that you will then use automatically created items (Simple mode = on) or manually created items in Paper UI or Habmin (Simple mode = off)?

The sitemaps implementation is really, really bad and one of openHABs technical debts. For OH3 it is almost sure that it will go.

The item concept itself however is like it is because of sitemaps. As soon as sitemaps has been removed, the item concept might change as well. Especially the part about auto linking. But that’s ongoing discussion.

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