Lightroom Classic: Better keyword management

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How about some better support for keyword management. It's very basic now. I would like to do the following tasks:- Delete multiple keywords at once. Not all plugins do handle hierarchy keywords well and add all the keywords to the root level. It's a tedious task to delete them one by one.- Search for duplicates.- Merge keywords. With lots of tricks, it can be done, but it's so inefficient.- Import keywords from within any level in the keyword hierarchy. Now you can only import keywords to the root level.- And for now last but most important: Real external editing of the keyword list. Moving keywords around and doing real heavy reorganization is difficult in LR. I would like to have an editing option like exporting and when reimported all changes are reflected in LR.
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Joop Snijder

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Posted 8 years ago

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Paul

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: Ability to merge two or more keywords.

I know there are other threads on here that document extensive ideas around managing the keywords library.  And I thoroughly support them.  However the combined ideas represent a huge body of work.  In the meantime I (and many others on the forums) would like one very simple change:

  - The ability to merge multiple keywords 
The ugly workaround is to select the unwantedkeyword, display the images , select all, click and drag the wanted keywordonto the images, then delete the unwanted keyword.  This is a long-winded and error pronemethod.  I should be able to select the keywords, right click and choose 'Merge Keywords." (yeah, there would need to be some way to identify the keyword into which the others should be merged)
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Lucinda Lewis

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In general, Lightroom needs much better data management. Merging is critical, but there are many other deficits.
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Erik Stensland

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That would be very helpful!!!
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Assoc Prof karl Reed

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The responses have been very interesting.  my needs were much simpler. I'd like Boolean searches. Plus, default "and" for a list of keywords, i.e. if i have a list k1,k2,...,kn, then, a search is formed for k1^k2^...^kn. This means order is irrelevant and, one doesn't need to know what filed the ki are in. Works extremely well.
I'd also like wild character searches and regular expressions.
The funny thing about all the searches i use, is that NONE of them behave intelligently! I taught file design and database at a uni for a few years, and, it seems none of this has made it into the modern real world!
My main concern with loosing LR on a disc is that I have some 20,000 images which have some kind of LR processing. I don't want to spend the rest of my life reprocessing what I have already done!
Not good!
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Ian M Butterfield

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Karl,
If I need to do those kinds of boolean searches - I use a smart collection.  If you haven't found it yet try holding down the ALT key when clicking "+" button when adding a rule while editing a smart collection.!  ;-)  It allows you to create some very complex rules.  If it's a one-off search I prefix the smart collection name with "tmp" so I know I can just delete it later on.

20,000 images.... I wish that was my concern.  237,000 images in my catalog.  
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Paul

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16,000 images here.  I use Daminion to manage it.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Deb Snelson asked, "I'd like to see a batch method to remove a single or multiple keywords from MULTIPLE photos at a time."

There are two ways to do that.  First, select all the photos from which you want to remove the keywords. Then look at the Keyword List panel on the right side of Library:



A check indicates the keyword has been applied to all the selected photos, while a "-" indicates it's been applied to some but not all of the photos.  To remove the keyword from all the selected photos, click the check once or the hyphen twice, until it's blank.

Alternatively, look at the Keywording panel just above:



This shows all the keywords applied to the selected photos. An asterisk indicates the keyword has been applied to some but not all of the photos.  To remove the keyword from all the selected photos, just select it with the mouse (and any trailing asterisk) and hit the delete / backspace key.
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Alan Harper

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"Champion" my ass, Victoria. You are a "Lightroom whisperer!" It's amazing the arcana that you know about this program. (No comment on why Lightroom has so many exceptions and inconsistencies!)

May I take this as an opportunity to plug your books? Anyone who is coming to this site for help could probably usefully start with a good couple of hours first reading them.

https://www.lightroomqueen.com
(Edited)
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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LOL Thanks Alan. It's easy when you know how. ;-)
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Deb Snelson

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Thanks Victoria!  Good to know!
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Paul

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Does that just remove the keyword from the LR database or does remove it from the image's metadata too?
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Ian M Butterfield

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Paul, to ensure that the keyword is removed from the image as well, you need to either hit "CTL-S" (win) "CMD-S" (Mac, I think) to force an update to the the image's XMP.  Alternatively, you should have "automatically write XMP" set in the catalog settings, which will get LR to write the XMP.... well... automatically, without you having to press CTRL-S.
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Ian M Butterfield

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Please can we have Improved Keywording Support - we've been asking for TEN YEARS.....

I know this has been raised many times before, but Lightroom needs better keywording support.  As a professional photographer here's what we need.  There's TEN of them - one for each year we have been waiting for improvements.

  1. We need an easy way to combe/merge keywords - yes it is possible at the moment but it is convoluted. 
  2. We need to be able to cut and paste keywords in the keyword list hierarchy, dragging them around doesn't really work when you have 10,000+ keywords in your list (as I have)
  3. For stock photographers, we need the ability to change the order of the keywords to put the most relevant keywords first on export.
  4. We need the ability to prevent 'third party' images or images which haven't been exported with keywords in a hierarchy from creating new keywords in the wrong places on import.
  5. We need the ability to filter on synonyms as well as master keywords.  Many a time, I have needlessly created a new keyword because I had forgotten the one I wanted was a synonym for a different keyword
  6. Autocomplete should autocomplete on synonyms and then replace with the keyword it is a synonym for.  Again we can't always remember which is the 'master' and which is the synonym.
  7. We need to be able to filter for keywords with spaces in the name if I want to filter for "Tower Bridge" I want to see just the "Tower Bridge" keyword not the keyword for every bridge and every tower that I have created.
  8. Keyword sets should not be limited to 9 keywords each.  It makes no sense. Allowing those sets to be of variable length would make a huge improvement to speed in which we can keyword. 
  9. We need the ability to work in a larger panel with larger fonts.  Managing keywords and metadata in a small side panel with tiny fonts is difficult on the eyes.  Many of us actually spend more time doing keywording and metadata than we do developing our images.
  10. We need to be able to do keywording in on our mobile devices AND have it sync back to LR Classic.  It's just crazy that it's now available there but doesn't sync.  We should have our LR keyword list available to us on the mobile devices.  Some of us have spent years building up custom taxonomies to support our business.

Getting any one of these fixed would make a real difference to professional photographers round the world.  LR is 10 years old - some of us, myself included, were raising many of these keywording issues when we were beta testing LR version 1 and TEN YEARS later there has been no improvement.

I had really hoped that we could have seen at least some progress by this stage.  I am truely disappointed in Adobe on this one.
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Dianne Arnold

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Hear, hear!!
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Paul

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I gave up waiting and over a year ago I switched to Daminion for my Digital Asset Management and I haven't looked back.  I never use LR now.  Anything I can't do in Daminion I do in Photoshop Elements.  Adobe have done sweet f*** all in 10 years despite repeated request - the idea that they are going to listen now is frankly delusional. You can download a free copy of Daminion here and the paid for consumer versions here

Daminion's handling of keywords is superb, although they don't have mobile apps.  I use Daminion for metadata management and Synology Photo Station for photo display (Synology does have mobile apps.
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uwemobil

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I fully support all requests regarding optimizing keywording and keyword-management. There are a lot of usefull and smart requests and suggestions. Ian M Butterfield last one is very good.
A DAM is for me as an enthusiastic amateur with only 25000 pics nevertheless essential. A lot of (good) competitors are lacking of a good DAM or are to expensive. Or if they have a good DAM are lacking of other features or a convenient handling compared to LR.
I always come back to LR because I CAN FIND AND ORGANIZE MY IMAGES - still there is potential for improvement.
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Ian M Butterfield

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I really didn't want this post buried 3 pages into a 7-year-old topic.  So not particularly happy that my thread has been merged into here.

In another attempt to get Adobe's eyes on this issue, I've converted my post into a blog post and open letter to Adobe - you can find it here:  https://www.ians-studio.co.uk/2017/10/an-open-letter-to-adobe-lightroom-keywording-ten-years-of-negl...

I'm trying to get as many people as possible to tweet or share the link on social media to try to get Adobe to pay attention.  If anyone feels they can share it or tweet it - please do so and tag Adobe, or Lightroom or any of the Lightroom Influencers/evangelists that you know.  Let's make some noise.... I'm not giving up on keywording in LR without a fight!
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Erik Stensland

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I have an extensive keyword list and I'm worried that Adobe may be putting its hopes in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) system they are developing for the new Lightroom CC. While I think that will be a helpful tool for finding many of our photos an AI system will never be able to apply all the very specific keywords that I need to track all of my photos. Will the AI be able to keyword the specific name of a little visited country bridge, will it be able to identify a particular trail in the forest, will it know that this photo is of my cousin or that this picture is a good metaphor for confusion?

AI can identify a lot of things, but it will always have limitations and so I really hope that Adobe will commit to improving the keywording system in LR Classic while also developing their AI cloud keyword solution.

One of my biggest gripes about the LR Classic keywording, apart from the overall clumsiness of applying specific keywords to each image, is the way that they get messed up, or rather orphans appear when you edit a photo in another application like PS and then bring it back into LR. In the next few weeks, I need to commit quite a bit of time to try and do my yearly cleanup of the LR Classic keywords. I'm not looking forward to it.  

Please give keywords some further attention Adobe! There are many of us here who rely on them! 
(Edited)
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Ian M Butterfield

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Erik,

I agree with you, as a stock photographer who has a particular interest in photographing ancient sites, when the AI system can correctly identify which Egyptian Pharoah is depicted in the statues I have photographed and tag them with the all the different spellings of the names and correct dynasty they belong to, then and only then will I start to take it seriously.  Until that time we NEED the tools to do it ourselves.  ARE YOU LISTENING ADOBE??

Ian.
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Sara Hedgpeth

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I'll also second the ideas presented by Ian M Butterfield and Erik Stensland in their posts. Although I'm happy to see the few changes made in the Develop module this time around, I am more than disappointed that there were no major changes to the Library module.

The new "Adobe Sensei" sounded interesting until I read that the keywords would not sync with a Classic catalog. Huh!!?? How helpful is that? Sorry, Adobe, but my catalog is never going to live in your cloud!

When I think of the time I have invested in LR over the years it makes me kind of sick to think about looking for a new software tool, but that's what I'll be doing.
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Ian M Butterfield

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Just for the record, Adobe - my thread (https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/please-can-we-have-improved-keywording-suppor...) that was merged into this one is getting "upvotes" (it has gone up to 6 votes in the time this thread went up by 3).  Therefore votes from people who want improvements to keywording are not being reflected in the count on this thread... which I thought was the reason for merging - to combine the votes.   

So not only have you hidden my suggestions on page 3 of a 7-year-old thread (the digital equivalent of filing it “in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.” - to quote Douglas Adams). but the votes people are giving the suggestion are not being counted.

If anyone is interested I've been blogging about this and my post here has become the basis of an open letter to Adobe.  https://www.ians-studio.co.uk/2017/10/an-open-letter-to-adobe-lightroom-keywording-ten-years-of-negl...
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Daniel

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom Classic: Lightroom CC: Need to manually manage keywords.

The new Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile app for Android are missing support for manual keywording.  Right now the search box produces a never-ending "Black Hole" error because Lightroom CC isn't smart enough to come up with any intelligent keywords for my images.

Also, keyword management needs to be completely revamped in Lightroom Classic CC.  Please see https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/better_keyword_management for an extended SEVEN YEAR discussion of how this should be improved.

Both Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC need to have a robust keyword management module that allows sorting, replacing, merging, deleting, stacking, and layering of keywords and bidirectional synonyms.  We need to be able to sync keywords across catalogs as desired, including into the cloud (or not at our choice).
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Patrickbennett

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: Ability to merge Keywords in LR future?.

So, eight years later I'm searching yet again for a better way to merge keywords and came across my post from 2010. https://forums.adobe.com/message/10423855#10423855 Still no good way to merge them that I can find, just one at a time selecting, adding keywords to the images of the same key and combining them in a terribly slow and laborious way only to have them all duplicated again the next time I import images from a keywording service. Wow, Aperture was capable of this in 2006 but Lightroom still can't do it in 2018. I suppose it's safe to assume the LR will never be able to do this and keywording will remain a huge spaghetti bowl.

To whom replied that didn't port over to this thread: Yes, my comparison to Aperture was unjust, outside of that one, single feature LR pretty much beat it in every other aspect. To fix the above once and for all I'm abandoning the hierarchy and will just have a super long list of words.
(Edited)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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As I think you've learned, to merge keyword A into keyword B:

1. In the Keyword List panel hover the mouse over keyword A and then click the arrow on the right that appears.  That will filter all photos assigned A.

2. Select all those photos and drag keyword B onto one of them, to assign B to all of them.

3. Delete keyword A.

If you want to merge a non-person keyword with a person keyword, make sure you merge into the person keyword, otherwise you'll lose all the face tagging of the person keyword.  

There's no good way to merge two person keywords and retain the face tagging of the source (A) keyword, though.  The photos will get keyword B, but the face tagging of keyword A will be lost.
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Dan Hartford Photo

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If I could expand on John's comment.....In John's step 1, you will only see images that are not buried in collapsed stacks so step 2 may leave some images still with KW A and not KW B.  There are two solutions to this wrinkle.

a)  Expand all stacks in your entire catalog before you do step 1.  (Could be quite time consuming)

b)  Create a smart collection with a name something like "all photos".  The only rule for the smart collection is Rating >= 0 stars which is every image there is  Now, after you do John's step 1 (which changes the source to the All Photographs in the Catalog panel), Close the lock on the filter bar (lock icon at right end of filter bar), and then click on the smart collection you just created.  This will put all images with KW A in the grid no mater stack position.

Dan
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Alan Bailward

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I think I get what you're saying, I'll play with that tonight.  I still maintain that letting the user have both a John Doe (non-person) and a John Doe (person) keyword would be nice for some use cases, and a visual differentiation in the keyword list (and the entry box as well) would be a nice addition.
But I appreciate the tips, I'll have a go with that to play around tonight when I'm home.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"letting the user have both a John Doe (non-person) and a John Doe (person) keyword would be nice"

You can have two John Doe keywords with different containing keywords in the keyword hierarchy. Is there something about the current LR behavior that's making that difficult for your workflow?
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"a visual differentiation in the keyword list (and the entry box as well) would be a nice addition."

I agree.