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The option to manually set emblems in Nautilus has been removed starting with Nautilus 3.0. Applications can still add emblems (like Dropbox or Ubuntu One) through libnautilus-extension and gvfs but the option to add them via the preferences dialog has been removed from Nautilus.

Fortunately, if you really want to manually set emblems in Nautilus 3, there is a python script that lets you do that.

There are some limitations though:
  • you can't see a preview of the emblem you set (you can only see the name)
  • only a few emblems show up by default because the script can't detect all the available emblems (but you can add more, see below)
  • when removing an emblem, press F5 to refresh Nautilus or else the emblem will continue to show up until Nautilus is restarted/refreshed (this isn't required when adding an emblem so it's probably a bug in the script)

Install Nautilus 3 Emblems Menu python script

1. Install python-nautilus. In Ubuntu, use the following command:
sudo apt-get install python-nautilus

2. Download the python script from HERE (project page), extract the downloaded archive and copy the nautilus_emblems_menu.py file to /usr/share/nautilus-python/extensions/ (To be able to do this, open Nautilus as root: "gksu nautilus /usr/share/nautilus-python/extensions/").

3. Restart Nautilus:
nautilus -q

Now when you right click a file or folder in Nautilus, you should see a new item called "Emblems".

4. If you want to add some more emblems, there are a few options available:

a) you can manually add emblem images under the ~/.icons/hicolor/48x48/emblems/ folder and they should automatically show up under Emblems > User (remember to restart Nautilus after this). This folder doesn't exist by default so create it firstly:
mkdir -p ~/.icons/hicolor/48x48/emblems

b) you can add some emblems to the script itself. Open the script as root:
gksu gedit /usr/share/nautilus-python/extensions/nautilus_emblems_menuy.py

And add the emblems under "free_desktop_emblems" - you can find the filenames by looking under your current icon theme emblems folder (example: /usr/share/icons/Faenza/emblems/48 - but make sure you're using that icon theme).

c) you can directly add an icon theme emblems folder path under "USER_EMBLEMS_PATH" (example: /usr/share/icons/Faenza/emblems/48 - but make sure you're using that icon theme).

After making changes to the script, remember to restart Nautilus.

If you can help improve this script (like: retrieve the list of all available emblems, add pictures to the menu items, etc.), contact its author (info in the nautilus_emblems_menu.py file).

Thanks to Rmano @ AskUbuntu