10 Tips for Creating Great Tagging Windows

By Duncan Ritchie

08-May-2023 on Tips

11 minute read

Designing a well organised, functional tagging window is absolutely key to performing a good analysis. Simply put, if you don’t have a functional tagging window, you’ll struggle to collect all the needed information. In order to analyse any game concept, you must have a button on your tagging window that corresponds to it.


Similarly, if your tagging window is messy and disorganised, it will be difficult to work with it effectively, meaning that you may miss some important data during a game.


In this article, we’ve compiled a series of tips for creating organised, functional tagging windows. Everyone can benefit from following these tips, from novice analysts to the much more experienced.


So, let’s get started…


*This article was updated on 8/5/2023


1. Good Planning Is Key


This is the first tip and, arguably, the most important...


As we said, a good tagging window is the key to a good analysis, no matter what the sport. So, before you even switch on your computer, sit down with a pen and paper and jot down some ideas about what exactly you want to achieve with your analysis.


Which aspects of the game are important for you to analyse? Corners? Shots? Freekicks? Possession? Something deeper? Write them down, maybe sketch a couple of ideas for your tagging window. It might also be worthwhile speaking to your fellow coaches and colleagues at this point, as they may have some great ideas about what to analyse that you haven't even considered.


The more time you spend on this process, the quicker and easier it will be when you open the software.


But remember, once created, you can edit your tagging window as many times as you need to until it's perfect for your particular analysis workflow. In fact, we don't know any Nacsport users who stuck with the very first tagging window that they created. This is a process of constant evolution.


plan nacsport tagging window on pen and paper


2. Use Different Colours, Shapes and Sizes


Group buttons with a similar functions using similar or contrasting colours. By doing this, you’ll be able to easily recognise them when working with the tagging window. 


For example, buttons for your own team and those for the opposition will have different, contrasting colours. Likewise, you might group all the buttons which relate to transitions, for example, under the same colour palette with slightly differing shades.


basic plus football tagging window

3. Size Does Matter


Play with the size, shape and colour of buttons to create a tagging window which is organised and visually appealing. Resize buttons so they fit logically, don’t just stick to defaults or you’ll end up with a tagging window which is dull and lifeless.


Remember, you can also increase or decrease the size of the tagging window itself. Get the size that is perfect for your workflow needs.

4. Inactive Buttons Improve Organisation


Inactive buttons can be placed on your tagging window. These cannot be clicked whilst tagging a game and are simply used to make your tagging window more organised. There are two ways in which these can be used.


The first is to use them as simple headings. Add titles to different sections of your tagging window. Got a column of buttons related to set pieces? Add an inactive button at the top of the column which indicates this.


The second is to use them to group different concepts on your tagging window. Do this by creating a large button and placing other buttons on top of it. 


In the example below, for example, the large grey Puckout, Possession, Shots and Discipline boxes are inactive buttons, whilst the smaller buttons within each box relate to these concepts. 

In short, they give order to the window.


inactive buttons

5. Tagging Chains


You may not have even considered this when designing your tagging window but, believe us, order and logic are needed when it comes to tagging a game.


There will be certain combinations of buttons which you use over and over again


For example, you may often tag a main action + a player + good or bad + zone at the same time. This is what's known as a tagging chain and, therefore, it is important to put these in a logical sequence, close to each other on your tagging window.


Being aware of tagging chains will make the whole process much easier.


tennis tagging window


6. Make Tagging Windows More Visual


After analysing several matches, this may not matter too much as you’ll practically be able to tag a game with your eyes closed, but our advice is to use images instead of text wherever possible. For example, if you have buttons for your players, replace their names with their photo or shirt number.


Or when tagging areas in the field of play, divide an image into several pieces using a photo editor and place each part as a button to represent that area of the field.


Visually, this makes your tagging window much more visual and, therefore, better organised.


waterpolo tagging window



7. Hotkeys


You can assign a hotkey to any button you create, making it possible to tag actions with the keyboard instead of the mouse. This can make the registration process a breeze and much quicker.


There is a total of 173 hotkeys which can be assigned, but you can get great results by just using a few of them. “S” for shot? “C” for corner? Numbers assigned to players?


How you do it is entirely up to you, but hotkeys are huge in terms of easy tagging.


You could also add stickers to your keyboard as shown in the photo below to make things even clearer.



8. Arrange and Align Buttons for Better Visibility


There are several tools within Nacsport's tagging window creation tool which will help you arrange and align your buttons.


For example, you can activate a grid over the tagging window and turn on the Snap Button to Line option, which ensures your buttons stay in alignment. Right clicking on the tagging window reveals the Align Selected Buttons to Reference option, which will align all your buttons in a column under a reference button.


Achieve zen-like order with these options.


alignment options

9. Exclusions


Exclusions are great for measuring actions such as ball possession. Create two buttons “Team A” and “Team B”, set them both to “Manual Mode” (in “Behaviour” tab) and set them both to exclude the other (also in the “Behaviour” tab, appears when both buttons are set to “Manual Mode”).


This means that when one is activated, the other is deactivated automatically. By doing this you can measure the time one is active and the other not, giving you an accurate measurement of possession time (can also be set to percentage).


football tagging window


10. Layering


You can overlay buttons in different layers, which can be useful if you don’t have much space to spare. If you need to overlap buttons to make them fit on the template, make sure that they are organised logically. Maybe you want Categories at the front and descriptors at the back, for example.


To do this, right click on button and “Bring to Front / Send to Back”.


In Nacsport Pro and Elite, there is also the Clustered Buttons option, which allows you to tag various overlapped buttons with a single click. A great tool to save time for the busy analyst. This tool is also available for Nacsport Tag&view, our mobile app for iOS.


goalkeepers tagging window



Now Get to Work!


So, there you have it, 10 Tips to Help You Create Your First Button Template. We hope this is useful in getting you up and running with the software. If you have any other questions about this process or anything else about the software, get in contact with us at info@nacsport.com or find us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.


If you are not yet a Nacsport user, click here to download a FREE 30-day trial of the software and get to work on your first template!


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