Lightroom: Getting all Keywords to export?

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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Why do some of the applied keywords in Lightroom not export and how can I get them to export?
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Braden gunem

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Posted 7 years ago

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Mark Sirota

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In the Keyword List, double-click on one of the keywords that doesn't export. Is "Include on Export" checked?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Braden, does that answer your question?
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Braden gunem

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No its not. Is there a way to make all of the keywords in the list export?
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Mark Sirota

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Not in one swell foop. Your choices are to go through them all, one-by-one, as described... Or export the keyword list (see the Metadata menu), edit the syntax of the file in a text editor, and re-import the keyword list. I don't remember the syntax that differentiates exporting keywords from non-exporting keywords, but if you inspect the file you can likely figure it out.
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Braden gunem

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Sounds like a real pain. Any idea how some of the keywords got checked to not export?
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Mark Sirota

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It's hard to imagine how that happened. Did you create your own keywords, inherit them from imported images, or import a keyword list you got from someone else?
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Benoit Boulinguiez

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Hi,

What I did was I selected a dumb picture and applied all keywords to it. Then use this picture as a keyword list backup or a list transfer from LR to CS5
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Steve Heap

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I was struggling with just this issue as I was finding that certain keywords were not showing up in the JPEGs I exported from Lightroom. I've no idea how some keywords because "unchecked" and so ignored in exports, but is there any way to see which keywords in my list may be in that state? I know of two because they are important keywords in my stock photo library and so I have found those, but how do I find out which other keywords are set not to export?

Steve
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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While the plugin SDK nominally allows you to get some (but not all) of the attributes of keywords, it's broken and won't let you get this information with a plugin.

I recall someone posting a SQL database script that would extract keywords and their export state from the catalog database. If you found that, you could use Rob Cole's handy plugin to run the script:

http://www.robcole.com/Rob/ProductsAn...

Another method would be to assign all the keywords to a dummy photo (select all of them in the Keyword List pane then drag them to the photo). Do Metadata > Save To File and then use the free Exiftool to extract all the assigned keywords from the metadata into a text file. In LR, do Metadata > Export Keywords to get all of your LR keywords into a text file. Sort the two files and compare to find keywords in LR that didn't make it to the dummy photo.
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Steve Heap

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Thanks for the two ideas. I think I must be pushing the limits of the program as I came across two issues in trying the second one. The first is that I can't display all my keywords in the Keyword List. The list stops scrolling at the "P's". Even stranger, I can only select a keyword down to the "F's"

So, I don't seem to be able to add all the keywords to an image by selecting and dragging across to the image. I just purged any keywords with no images, but that didn't make much of a difference to the Keyword List.

I'll search for the script next.

Steve
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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LR Windows has a long-standing limitation on the number of keywords that it will show in the Keyword List pane -- it silently fails when you have too many.

A workaround is to create an artifical set of, say, 10 top-level keywords, and you drag large groups of keywords under each. Then you'll be able to expand and collapse each of the 10 top-level keywords in turn and drag their contained keywords onto the photo.
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Steve Heap

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I got to the bottom of this.

I was an early Lightroom user in version 1. In those days I added many of the basic keywords that we all start with - tree, flower, cat, washington, virginia, cloud, arizona etc. As Lightroom was enhanced through the versions, I upgraded and the database was converted as new functions were added. Somewhere along the way (I suspect between V1 and V2) Adobe must have enhanced the keyword tables to allow you to choose which keywords are exported. The initial ones in the database were set to "No." All new keywords appear to have the default of being exported. End result for me is that 3000 files are online with some of the most obvious keywords missing :'(

Luckily, some sites pick up the words in the description and I probably put the obvious keywords there as well, but it is a bit of a bummer.

I've found a way to look at the underlying database in the Lightroom catalog and find which keywords are in this state. I've written a detailed post about how to do this if anyone thinks they have a similar issue:

http://www.backyardsilver.com/2012/02...

If you were a user of Lightroom 1, it may be worth checking this out.

Steve
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john beardsworth

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Back when LR2 was released, there was a bug which messed around with the keyword export settings when LR1 catalogues were upgraded. I can't recall what it did, and a script was released to fix it.
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Steve Heap

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Thanks John, I obviously missed this script at the time! A poster on a different site also suggested that I could have done the keyword export, and looked for keywords with square brackets. These keywords are ones that are not set up for export.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Looking for square brackets was clearly the simplest -- should have thought of it!

Beware, though, there is another keyword attribute, Export Containing Keywords, that also affects keyword export, and that attribute isn't reflected in the exported file. Didn't matter in your case.