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Often I create a relation for an object and want to copy the tags from a node that was used to describe the object. This often happens when I want to use the tags from a GNIS node that was meant for an area but was imported years ago as a simple node.

I've tried many things (Copy tags, Paste tags, etc.) but nothing seems to give me the desired result. I can get the tags to the "outside" of the relation but cannot get them applied to the inside.

It's hard to explain exactly what I mean but many of you work with relations all the time and might have some method or insight to share.

asked 28 Oct '18, 12:08

AlaskaDave's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

Try this:

  1. Select/activate the node from which you want to copy the tags
  2. Press CTRL+C
  3. Select/activate the new relation and open the relation editor
  4. Press "paste tags from buffer" (the symbol below the dust bin on the left side)

The new tags should now be visible "inside" the relation, or more precisely in the relation editor as shown here .

I hope this solves it. It took me years to figure that out ...



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answered 28 Oct '18, 14:07

BAK365's gravatar image

accept rate: 66%

I find it more useful and easy to not use the relation editor pop-up window. But likely that is a matter of taste. See my adapted answer.

(28 Oct '18, 15:34) aseerel4c26 ♦

The following works with all types of objects, but also for your special case (node→relation).

  1. Select the node from which you want to copy the tags
  2. Press Ctrl+C (to copy the currently selected object to the clipboard)
  3. Select the new relation (check your current selection in the selection window)
  4. Press Ctrl+Shift+V (to paste the tags from the object in the clipboard to the currently selected object)
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answered 28 Oct '18, 15:32

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 28 Oct '18, 15:34


When I learned how to do this, the critical UI hurdle was figuring out how to select a relation. (There are several options, such as right click -> select relation when you have one of the relation's members selected, or alternatively, double-clicking the relation in the relations window.) Your answer is already helpful, but I believe it would be improved by explaining that particular step in more detail.

(28 Oct '18, 20:02) Tordanik

Thanks to all. During the night after I asked the question the answer came to me because I had read it somewhere else a couple weeks ago. The "three pluses button" on the left side do the pasting. Unfortunately, it's not at all obvious how to do it when you're looking at the Relation Editor.

(28 Oct '18, 23:26) AlaskaDave

@Tordanik: yes, it is a bit tricky to find how to select an relation, but how-to depends on if the relation is already existing or was/will be created newly. An own question for this site. ;-)

(29 Oct '18, 06:26) aseerel4c26 ♦

Both ways will overwrite(!) possible existing values of tags.

Is there a way to merge values like Crtl+Shift+G for merging nodes in ways with warning if there are conflicts?

(04 Mar '20, 10:20) PHerison

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question asked: 28 Oct '18, 12:08

question was seen: 3,240 times

last updated: 04 Mar '20, 16:21

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum