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The Many Ways to Keyword in LrC

Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens)

Keywords: lightroom, keywording

There are a variety of software processing programs that allow someone to use keywords as a way to find an image.  As an LrC user I find that the keyword function allows me to find just about any image in seconds.  The search function in LrC is very powerful and using it to locate any one of your images via keyword or metadata can save you a lot of time when looking for a certain image. Given that so many of us have more time at home than we normally do you might consider using the time to organize your images via keywording.  If you don’t already keyword images I recommend that you do an outline on paper of how your keyword system will work.  Your system needs to be geared to your specific photography patterns, although you can buy a keyword list or use one from someone you know and then edit it as needed, LrC allows you to export or import a keyword list as a text file. You need to be in the Library Module>Metadata to find the selection of Import Keywords or Export Keywords.  

How to find the setting to export or import a text file of keywords to use in LrC. You can buy these text files or use one from a friend who also uses LrC.
Click for an enlargement


Once you have your keywords in LrC you can begin to use them to mark images as needed. Keywords can be managed by right-clicking on a keyword in the Keyword List panel and then clicking on the keyword choice you need.  In the example below, I right-clicked on ANIMAL and the options I would have to manage this keyword are listed, including the option to edit the keyword tag or to delete it. Arranging keywords with a main subject and then sub-folders allows you to view many keywords in a more compact format. Adobe describes this approach as “nesting.”  If you put a keyword on an image in a sub-folder it is automatically included in the parent keyword above in the main folder.  You also have the option to create keyword sets if you are using the same group of keywords often.  If you are clicked on a group of images in the Library Module > Grid View and look in the Keywording Panel and see an asterisk by images that connotates that a keyword tag is not shared by all of the images you have selected. If you want all of the selected images to have that keyword delete the asterisk.  Use commas to separate keywords as you add them when in the Keywording Panel.    

You can easily change a keyword for multiple images using the right click approach and choosing the option you want.
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If you “nest” folders, i.e., use main folders and subfolders, this will shorten your keyword list and make it easier to use.
Click for an enlargement


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Pauline Lord (paulinia) on October 24, 2020

very helpful guidance. Will enable be to reorganise my keywording which is chaotic at present. Thank you, Connie Cassinetto.

Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens) on October 23, 2020

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Richard, you might want to check out the website for the Lightroom Queen, I think it will supply you with a lot of technical knowledge about the program. From what I read doing some quick research on the web is that the second list will simply add to the first list but you will have to do cleanup work on the combined list to ensure it contains the exact words you want. Depending on the second list contents there could be multiple same words, an example would be dog, dogs, Dog, that kind of thing. I might run a test to see what happens as I am now curious about it and I will post that if I do.

Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens) on October 23, 2020

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Hi Richard, I'm guessing on this, but most likely it would overwrite. At least I've read nothing to lead me to believe that there is room for two lists, but perhaps, and I don't know this, the words will simply fall into alphabetical order. I'll see if I can find out any concrete information on this. A really good question!

Richard Venneman (rvenneman750) on October 19, 2020

If I import a list via text would that “add-to” or “overwrite” my current keywords? And thank you for this great review.

Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens) on October 16, 2020

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Hi Richard. You can do an online search for LrC keyword lists or you can use a list that a friend has and modify it to suit your needs. Or, simply sit down with a piece of paper and write all kinds of keywords on it that would fit the images that you most often shoot, then organize them and delete and add as needed. Once it's done on your paper, you can build the keyword list in LrC. Glad you enjoyed the article.

Richard Venneman (rvenneman750) on October 12, 2020

I really needed this article, especially since I decided to re-catalog my Lightroom Classic from sorting everything by date. Something happened to my catalog and for some reason all of my pre 2018 photos had incorrect dates going back as far as 1922. Now, if only I could find a keyword list to get me going.

Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs) on September 30, 2020

bgs is one of the two co-founders of Nikonians, with in-depth knowledge in several areas Awarded for his valuable Nikon product reviews at the Resources

@topper1946: Thank for rating :-) Your 5 star rating was used and then we show the average of all ratings.

judith dunn (topper1946) on September 26, 2020

Ribbon awarded for for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the 2019 Fundraising campaign Winner in the Best of Nikonians Photo Contest 2021 Donor Ribbon awarded for the contribution to the 2014 campaign Winner of the Best of Nikonians Annual Photo Contest 2023 Donor Ribbon awarded for the generous contribution to the 2024 campaign

I enjoyed and tried to give 5 stars but took only 4 and wouldn’t let me change.