Confirm adding new keywords

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  • Updated 11 months ago
As someone who will sometimes have a typo in a keyword, it'd be really useful to have to confirm adding a new keyword to the keyword list, by, say, hitting enter twice, instead of having to manually remove "Architectrue" and such from the keywords manually.

(this would also eliminate ending up with keywords that are strings of random letters/shortcut keys that i may have punched in before realizing the focus is still on the keywords field)

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Tonci Zonjic

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Posted 11 months ago

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Yves Crausaz

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Well, we know that we must be careful, however, the most useful would be that during the creation, the renaming of a keyword, an automatic control can detect duplicates and a help to input allows to detect if the key word already exists, that this test is done in the complete list of the key words.

And as for the spellchecker, that it remains always active if we decide to use it, currently we must re-engage at each new session of LR Classic.


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Edmund Gall

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Just remember the proverbial law of unintended consequences. If you force LR to ask folks to click twice for each new keyword, then you're forcing *everyone* - not just you - to spend a bit more time to enter *every* keyword. That might not seem like much for a single keyword, but it becomes significant when you create hundreds/thousands. By contrast, I'm sure you're not making errors on every keyword - so if the extra time is only incurred to correct errors, you're better off timewise. That's important to busy people.

Similarly, for every new feature you add to an app that's required to live in memory, you potentially slow the app's performance (I'm simplifying - other factors at play). So do we really want to add a spellchecker to LR (with so many threads on here complaining about LR's performance already)?

If making typos is frustrating, then two suggestions:
  1. Perhaps you can just change your keyword entry workflow to manually add a proof-read step (e.g. copy the word to Google and search for its definition, or confirm spelling if it's a name).
  2. Search online for tips on how to import keywords. Thus, you can type your keywords in a separate tool with embedded spell-check and then import it.
Finally, Tonci, you mentioned you manually removed typos - you could just right-click on the typo keyword and Edit it instead to change it and it'll be corrected on each photo with that keyword in your catalog (though you'd have to re-export any photos already exported with the typo).

Hope this helps.
Ed
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Tonci Zonjic

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I think you misunderstood what I mean by "new" keyword-- I mean keywords not already in the keyword list. So the "wasted" time would only be the first time keywords are ever added. Typing in a keyword and hitting enter twice isn't much slower than typing in a keyword and hitting enter once.

In any case, adding a tick box for this behavior in the preferences really shouldn't be a drain on the performance in the year 2019.

Spellchecking isn't it, either-- just avoiding mistyped duplicates, and having to hunt them down in the list, selecting the pictures with the mistyped keyword, correcting the keyword, and deleting the typo from the keyword list so it doesn't show up as a suggestion next time.
Editing the keyword unfortunately doesn't work for this purpose because it gives a warning that the (correct) keyword already exists; it doesn't merge them into the existing keyword.
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Edmund Gall

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Thanks for clarifying, Tonci. I don't think I misunderstood what you originally wrote above, and you new comment adds a new scenario to what you originally described.

Regarding your reply, I'll quote your specific points to be clearer on what I'm responding to.

"Typing in a keyword and hitting enter twice isn't much slower than typing in a keyword and hitting enter once."
  • Agreed. In fact, that's what I indicated above ("That might not seem like much for a single keyword, ..."). However, my point was that your original request of inserting an extra step for every, single time we insert a new keyword adds up to a significant amount of activity over hundreds/thousands of keywords. So in the long-run, every user would get penalised time-wise (including those who already carefully proof-read their new keywords - or check for duplicates - before adding them).
  • Further, if hitting enter twice isn't much slower, then how effective would that really be as a tool to prevent typos - what's to stop you from just automatically hitting enter twice without proof-reading?
 "... adding a tick box for this behavior in the preferences really shouldn't be a drain on the performance in the year 2019."
  • Again, agreed. However, my comment above on performance impact was related to adding automated spellchecking (i.e. in response to Yves's comment above).
  • Further, the current process involves using the mouse to initiate adding a new keyword, typing in the keyword and then pressing Enter. Adding a tickbox involves doing the above and moving from the keyboard to the mouse again (to check a tickbox). That adds time for everyone for every keyword - not just the few instances of typos.
"Spellchecking isn't it, either-- just avoiding mistyped duplicates, and having to hunt them down in the list, selecting the pictures with the mistyped keyword, correcting the keyword, and deleting the typo from the keyword list so it doesn't show up as a suggestion next time."
  • Now you've hinted at something that might be useful: as you type in the new keyword, LR could show existing words that match from the first 3 letters onwards, and give users the opportunity to select an existing one (which automatically stops the adding of a new keyword and just assigns the existing, chosen keyword to the photo). However, that ability already exists: if you start typing a keyword in the Keyword Tags field with "Enter Keywords" in the droplist, LR already starts suggesting existing, matching keywords based on the letters you typed in (so you can already check if you should select an existing one).
  • Or, if you wish to go the long route of adding a keyword to the Keyword List first before linking it to a photo, then you can use the existing keyword search field there to check if a new keyword already exists before initiating the add keyword process.
"Editing the keyword unfortunately doesn't work for this purpose because it gives a warning that the (correct) keyword already exists; it doesn't merge them into the existing keyword."
  • True, editing a keyword won't work in your example, but that was not what you described in your original post. The scenarios you gave in your original post that kicked off this thread concerned typos in new keywords (e.g. "Architectrue", or "keywords that are strings of random letters/shortcut keys that i may have punched in before realizing the focus is still on the keywords field"). So I recommended using edit keyword because it sounded like you just wanted to correct typos (i.e. change "Architectrue" to "Architecture") in otherwise valid keywords, not deal with duplicates.
My overall point is this: instead of forcing every user to spend time dealing with a low probability event (i.e. a typo) on every, single addition of a new keyword (or editing a new keyword - because if you modify the add keyword process, you should also modify the edit keyword process) - we can just take responsibility for our own risk by proof-reading (and checking for potential duplicates) with current functionality before hitting Enter. There is minimal benefit to increasing the default process length for inserting/changing keywords, but relatively significant costs time-wise when you create & manage a large keyword database.

While you're asking for a technical solution, your problem scenarios suggest to me that something else might be required (e.g. making use of existing functionality). Unless I've misunderstood what you've described...
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Tonci Zonjic

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Thanks for the thorough reply, Edmund--

this bit relates to how I use the keyword workflow:
  • Now you've hinted at something that might be useful: as you type in the new keyword, LR could show existing words that match from the first 3 letters onwards, and give users the opportunity to select an existing one (which automatically stops the adding of a new keyword and just assigns the existing, chosen keyword to the photo). However, that ability already exists: if you start typing a keyword in the Keyword Tags field with "Enter Keywords" in the droplist, LR already starts suggesting existing, matching keywords based on the letters you typed in (so you can already check if you should select an existing one).
The original example I used of "Architectrue" was perhaps too simplified. What will happen is I will move the mouse over to the keywords input box and start typing "arc" and Lightroom will suggest "architecture" and I'll hit enter to complete it. Done. Generally works great. I can type in part of the word, it'll autocomplete it for me, and I'll get through a lot of it very quickly. 

With shorter keywords, I'll usually type the entire word out -- "cars"; I might type in several separated by commas. Or I might type in "cars.street, sunset", hit enter, and end up with a new keyword "cars.street" (and "sunset") because I'd typed in a period instead of a comma.
I will probably not notice this until the next time I am typing in "car" and it suggests "cars.street" in the autocomplete field; or until I look at the keyword list.  Then I have to go through the previously described procedure to get rid of the unwanted keyword.

Note: all of my keyword adding is done by using a keyboard, and speed is definitely an important factor. Using computers extremely deliberately would prevent typos but software can be made robust enough, through very simple mechanisms, to withstand even less than deliberate use. This is why I bring this thing up.

My entire suggestion, basically, would be to have an additional option in the Lightroom preferences (under interface / keyword entry -- not in the keyword panel and definitely not per-picture) that says "ask to confirm new keywords" that can be unchecked by default, thus leaving the behavior of the program entirely unchanged for anyone who isn't bothered by this.  

But having it checked would, after I type in "cars.street", pop up a warning (I won't get into the minute details of the UI but this can be unobtrusive enough and easy to handle without switching from keyboard to mouse and back) saying something to the effect of " 'cars.street' is a new keyword. Add?"
The 'ok' button can be already selected, so hitting enter another time would confirm it without having to switch to the mouse.

I don't think I can put it more simply than that. On the technical side, it would be about the simplest possible thing to implement.

It may be too slight quality of life improvement, or it may turn out that I'm the only person in the world whose workflow is affected by this, but this forum was the place I was directed to while trying to find where to suggest features -- not sure where else to bring it up.




(Edited)
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Edmund Gall

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That's an excellent idea - making it a feature that can be enabled/disabled via preferences would allow users more control & protection when they need it.

Cheers!
Ed