Lightroom: Keyword options no longer available in LR4

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When one has a keyword hierarchy:

In LR3, one could skip a level in selecting which keywords are exported. For example in the hierarchy A, B, C (where A is top parent) one could set A=Include on export, B=Do not include on Export + Export Containing, and C=Include on Export + Export Containing. In this way, on a photo with only keyword "C", on export we'd have A and C but not B.

In LR4 all my LR3 keywords that had this pattern were changed during catalog conversion and I can no longer set this pattern. Turning off "Include on Export" now turns off "Export Containing" and "Export Synonyms" rather than leaving them alone as in LR3.

This is a HUGE problem for me as I have my entire keyword hierarchy (over 3,000 KW's) designed to allow skipping levels. In addition, I have cases where the actual Keyword is for my workflow and convience but but the synonym is what I want exported (not the actual KW) which I can also no longer seem to do.

See screen shots below



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dan

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Posted 8 years ago

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jdv, Champion

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Yeah, I noticed this, too. I think the Lr3 behaviour was unintended, and was considered a defect by many.
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dan

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Be that as it may, it's a pretty bad pracitce to remove functionality in a new release that people may have come to rely upon. Being able to mix and match the 3 options (include on export, export containing, and export synonyms) is great feature and adds tremendously to the funtionality of the product. I use virtually all combinations of these three items for different situations and right now am hard pressed to figure out a way to acomplish the same thing with in LR4 that I had with LR3.

Not only that, but now I'm faced with hours of work just to get back to a state where the same keywords are exported for an image in LR4 as were exported for the same image in LR3 - and to get to maintain that state will probably require clicking several keywords up the hirerarchy chain whereas in LR3 I only had to click the lowest level keyword and the parent took care of themselves (some included, some not).

What is really infuriating is that when you toggle "include in export" off, LR4 saves the settings of the other two someplace before it unchecks them. Then replaces puts them back if you once again if you check the "Include on export". I'm sure the fix is really quite simple - just dont clear those two check boxes when the top one is turned off. All the rest of the code should still work the same.

For me, this is a giant leap backwards in ease of use, funtionality, and usefulness.

Dan
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jdv, Champion

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My comment was only meant to suggest that many people considered the previous odd behaviour (check export, check export synonyms, uncheck export) unintuitive at best. The behaviour always seemed kludgy, as if it was a side-effect of some other change.

Of course, the problem is that if it was a kludge it can easily be reverted by accident.

The problem is that this interface is not a simple set of checkboxes -- as you have noticed, there is some observer feedback going on that creates a bit more of a complicated interface.

Or there was a decision to not persist what was considered bugwards compatible behaviour. No one really knows.

Personally, I'm hoping that this was an oversight, and that eventually we will have a way to maintain full keywords, but have substitutions for exporting. At the very least Adobe doesn't generally like to violate the principle of least surprise, which is definitely the case here.

We'll continue to merge problem reports here, as more and more people are seeing that keywords on export are not what they were in Lr3.
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Ole Jørgen Liodden

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This is also a BIG PROBLEM for me since I'm selling hierarchy structured Keyword lists containing ten thousands of keywords, which worked perfect in LR3 and LR2.5. In LR4 I loose many of the exported keywords since it's not possible to "Export Containing Keyword". I hope will be fixed very fast since it's a big step backward from the LR3 version
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Ole Jørgen Liodden

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In LR 4 there seems to be a problem under the "Edit Keyword Tag" box. It is not possible to not include keywords on export, but export containing keywords and synonyms (this is possible in LR3). You have to Include the keywords or none at all. This is a BIG problem when you have thousands of hierarchy keywords, where some keywords in the structure should be exported and some not.

In LR 3 this was not a problem, so maybe this is a bug??

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Keyword Tag Option problem.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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John is correct, this was a defect in Lightroom 3, which prompted a lot of complaints. I understand that it can be frustrating when a behavior you'd found a use for is changed, whether or not that behavior had been intentional. We're always very cautious about fixing bugs that some people may actually like. :-) In this case, however, we considered it pretty important to fix this issue because it was a potential privacy concern. Most people expected that when they set a keyword to "do not export" that it's synonyms and parents would also not export, and the fact that they sometimes did meant that you could unintentionally reveal certain keywords to an outside audience (clients, the internet, etc.), which was potentially embarrassing, or worse.

Thanks,
Ben
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Ole Jørgen Liodden

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Hi Benjamin

Maybe LR3 had some defects, but it worked very well with hierarchy keyword lists, of serious keywording. I'm selling keyword lists containing up to 80.000+ keyword and now LR4 have messed it up! I think this is not very serious for a company like Adobe.

I recommend to make an option in Lightroom Preference to keep the possibilities like in LR3, where it worked very well.

I am a professional photographer and I have promoted and arranged LR classes for many years, but now I feel that Adobe is doing something very bad. For me and my clients this is a problem.

The main advantage of Lightroom regarding Aperture and other programs is the great keywording features in LR3...

I really hope Adobe is taking this issue serious and don't file it as "not a problem". I'm getting quite frustrated about this issue.

OJL
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john beardsworth

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The Include on Export setting is fundamentally too blunt to hope to satisfy two conflicting needs. Rather than restore the buggy behaviour and p off the group of users who do want the parent keyword to control its children, perhaps what is needed is a second check box "Export Children"? This would mean the parent keyword might be set so it itself will not export, but its child keywords would be.

But this needs a lot of care, and I can't see it being resolved quickly. Apart from issues such as top-down control and privacy, users could get themselves into trouble with different settings at different levels.

I've always thought hierarchical keywords are more trouble than they're worth!

John
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jdv, Champion

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@Benjamin,

I was afraid of this. Unfortunately, I also used the bugwards compat behaviour to allow for tagging substitutions (e.g., my daughter is tagged with her full name, but her internet nickname(s) is/are exportable). My bad, as I knew the Lr3 behaviour was probably a bug -- greying out set controls is an obvious warning sign! It was pretty clear I was relying on a kludge.

I'm going to think hard about a solution, but I'm pretty sure that a possible solution will use Friedl's Metadata Wrangler, which is a pretty tight piece of kit. I think it has an ill-used (by me) regex tag substitution panel that should fit the bill. I urge others to look a this plugin if they are heavily invested in keywords. (It also happens to fix a MacRoman conversion problem in some unicode chars in keywords on some Macs, but that is a different story. I suppose I should check to see if Lr 4 has fixed that yet.)

I think it is worth mentioning two things:

1. This change didn't change the tags as they are applied to photos in the catalogue, or the list of keywords.

2. This change does change metadata on the keywords (or is that meta-metadata?) that has the effect of suppressing keywords as they are applied to renditions.

As for (2), we have a situation where keywords were not leaked in renditions. In cases like this, where difficult decisions have to be made, it is always better to err on the side of safety.

So, it isn't completely the end of the world. Just another step closer to the heat-death of the universe.
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Ole Jørgen Liodden

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@ Benjamin

I agree that keywording in LR3 was not perfect, but still the best keywording software available on the market. In fact the use of hierarchy keywords list in LR has been my main reason why I have used LR since LR1.5. Most of my image editing is done in Photoshop + Nik Software.

I also agree that keywording in Lightroom has some limitations and potential confusions (if you don't know what you are doing). For my commercial keyword lists I have written keywords in large spreadsheets and developed (together with a programmer) a software for convert CSV-files to Lightroom-friendly UTF-8 txt-files (which are imported into LR).

The last 5 years I have worked hundreds of hours making hierarchy keyword lists, mainly for nature photographers and in norwegian language: http://www.naturfokus.com/webshop-no/... and now I'm done with some advanced Keyword lists for all the birds in the world: http://www.naturfokus.com/webshop-en/... (was planned to be released this week). These keyword lists with up to 80.000+ different keywords (for 14.474 different bird species) worked perfect in LR3 and in the LR4 Beta, but not good with LR4.

The structure of the imported txt-file in my system is like this:

[BIRDS_of_the WORLD-vENG10D]
........Wildlife
................[Birds]
....................... {Bird}
....................... [GAMEBIRDS]
............................... {Gamebird}
................................[Grouses]
....................................... {Grouse}
....................................... Ruffed Grouse
................................................{Phasianidae}
................................................{Bonasa umbellus}

........ = TAB (this feedback site don't show TAB right)
[ ] - not exported keywords
{ } - synonyms

What's visible in Ligthroom LR3 and LR4 for this example is:

BIRDS_of_the WORLD-vENG10D
........Wildlife
................Birds
........................GAMEBIRDS
................................Grouses
........................................Ruffed Grouse

If you select keyword "Ruffed Grouse", the following keywords will be exported in LR3: Wildlife, Bird, Gamebird, Grouse, Ruffed Grouse, Phasianidae and Bonasa umbellus, which is what my clients want to have.

In LR4 only 3 keywords will be exported with this list: Ruffed Grouse, Phasianidae and Bonasa umbellus which is not good at all.

To get all the desired keywords I have to redesign the Keyword lists to this structure:

[BIRDS_of_the WORLD-vENG10D]
.......[Wildlife]
................[Birds]
........................[GAMEBIRDS]
................................[Grouses]
........................................Ruffed Grouse
................................................{Phasianidae}
................................................{Bonasa umbellus}
................................................{Wildlife}
................................................{Bird}
................................................{Gamebird}
................................................{Grouse}

This is in my opinion back to the stone-age, and Synonyms like Wildlife and Bird will be written 14.474 times (under each keyword for bird specie) instead of 1 or a few times. The user may not easy activate or dis-activate a keyword, but have to do it under each of the 14.474. If one word is misspelled I or my clients have to correct it hundreds or thousands of times. You can still call it a "Hierarchy" based keyword list, but it's a big step backward.

The open structure in LR3 was brilliant for making advanced keyword lists.

My questions for you or someone else in the Adobe team:

1. Did Adobe know about this issue in LR4 for advanced keyword lists, or was it a big surprise Adobe as for me and many other photographers?

2. Why is this page filed as "Not a problem". Does the Adobe Team not understand the problems with advanced Keyword lists in LR4?

My recommendation: Make the system open (as in LR3), but make it clearer for the user what to do or not for the keywords you want / don't want to be exported.

Best regards
Ole Jørgen
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Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

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What are all those plurals for?
Why not just make it lke this?

[BIRDS_of_the WORLD-vENG10D]
........Wildlife
................Bird
....................... Gamebird
................................Grouse
....................................... Ruffed Grouse
................................................{Phasianidae}
................................................{Bonasa umbellus}
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Ole Jørgen Liodden

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Dorin
.......... = TAB
I had to write it like this because this feedback-site don't show TAB-separated fields correct.

The imported TXT-file with keywords for Lightroom is TAB-separated

OJL
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Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

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No, I was not talking about tabs.

Why write, for example, Birds twice — Birds in plural, then Bird in singular as synonym? Isn't just Bird (without synonyms) enough?
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Ole Jørgen Liodden

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Dorin

Some like the keywords in both Singular and Plural. In this example the exported keywords are in singular, but it's easy (at least in LR3) to change some of the non-exported plural keywords, so they also will be included in the export.

NB: This is only an example to show the problem with LR4, not an example of best practice in keywording.

OJL
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Jostein Øksne

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Dorin,
The plural form works best as keyword because a search for "bird" will make hits on both "bird" and "birds". if you use the singular form and search for "birds", you get no hit at all. English is pretty nice that way; there are only a few exceptions, like goose/geese for example.

Btw, using plural for group names and singular for species names seems kinda logic to me... :-)
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dan

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This is related to a prior post concerning Keyword options that are no longer available in LR4

It seems that during the converson of my LR3 catalog to LR4, it changed things such that I don't get the same kewords exported in LR4 that I did in LR3. This is a huge issue for me that was not apparent during the LR4 Beta. I have over 2500 keywords in my KW List, all are very well organized and used on over 24,000 images. So, I am pretty upset that Adobe decided to change the rules and alter which Keywords export for any particular photo.

Here's what they did. In LR3, it was entirely possible to have "Export Containing Keywords" and/or "Export Synonyms" turned on (checked) while "Include on Export" was turned off (unchecked). This is a great feature and I used it regularly in two situations. One situation is where I have a multilevel hierarchy and I want to not export one or more of the keywords in mid hierarchy. For Example, in the hierarchy: "Location -> North America -> United States -> Western States -> California -> San Francisco", If I have a photo tagged with KW "San Francisco", on export in LR3 I'd get keywords "San Francisco", "California", "CA" (synonym of California), "United States", "USA" (syn of United States) and "North America". I would not get "Western States" (or it's synonyms) or "Location". After converting to LR4, this image only gets "San Francisco", "California" and "CA". It no longer exports "United States", "USA" or "North America".

In another example, I have a hierarchy for the age group of my models. My keywords are such that the age groups display in LR in ascending order. "00-01 Baby", "02-05 toddler", "06-12 Youth", "13-20 Teenager", Etc. Each of these has synonyms. For example, "00-01 Baby" has "baby", "child" and "Infant" as synonyms. "03-05 Toddler" has "toddler" and "Child", etc. I had it set in LR3 such that only the synonyms would export (not the actual KW name). So a photo with the "00-01 Baby" keyword would export with "Baby" and "Child". Now, after catalog conversion to LR4 I get no keywords exported for this hierarcy at all.

What happened is this. During catalog conversion if the "Include on Export" was unchecked in LR3 (as it was for "Western States" and all of my age groupings) the the conversion ignored the LR3 state of the other two check boxes and forced them to be unchecked.

These are only two examples but represent quite a few instances of the same problem, and to be honest, this is quite terrible. What makes it worse is that in LR4 there is now no way to skip a level in a hierarchy without having to remember to also assign the keyword just above the one I want to skip in additon to the one at the bottom of the hierarchy. And, I have no idea how to simulate my age group pattern where I need just the synonyms to export but not the keyword itself short of making all the synonyms into KW's and then having to assign several of them to each photo (and remember which onces go with each group).

Geez, I thought new releases were supposed to make workflow easier not harder. I guess I got that wrong. I sure do hope that Adobe sees the pain and aguish this has cuased and sees fit to not change these check boxes during catalog conversion and in LR4 itself remove the automatic uncheking and graying out of the "Export containing keywords" and "Export sysnonyms" when the "Include on Export" is unchecked. In the mean time, even though I really love the new Develop Module changes, and the Map module, this keywording problem out weighs those new features and I've gone back to LR3.

Dan

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
LR3 to LR4 Catalog conversion changes which keywords export on photos.
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dan

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Benjamine,

Thanks for your reply, but unfortunatly you got it wrong this time.

I can't imagine that you smart folks at Adobe can't figure out a way to word the 3 chhoices (check boxes) that make it clear what is going on and thus avoid the "Privacy" issue you allude to. Perhaps a warning pop up when you uncheck the "include on export" box while still having one or both of other check boxes turned on, Something like "Warning, you are excluding this keyword from export but your settings still allow synonyms and/or parent keywords to be exported. Click 'Continue' to leave the other two options as set, click 'clear' to turn off Export Synonyms and Export Containing Keywords" In this warning pop up you can even have text explaining your "privacy" concern That should not be too difficult compared to all the other wonderful things you've been able to program into LR.

If Adobe felt this "privacy" issue was so important that they just had to fix it, why didn't this change show up in one of the dot releases? After all privacy along with security has been a hot topic in the past several years and this capability you turned off in LR4 has probably been there since at least release 3.0 and perhaps even 2.0 or before. Evidently the "privacy" issue you refer is a pretty minor concern to let it stay in the code for so long before deciding all of a sudden to remove the functionality that a fair segment of your loyal users have come to rely on.

Don't just leave us hanging here with a cumbersome and time consuming workflow due to reduced functionality by marking this problem as "Not a Problem". This is a huge problem! Do the right thing and come up with a win-win sloution such as I suggest in the first paragraph that covers your privacy concern and at the same time allows us to use the functionality we've come to rely on

Dan
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Jostein Øksne

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Dear Adobe, here represented by Benjamin,

The argument about hierarchical keywords being a "potential privacy concern" doesn't smell good. Taking a function away from users who know how to apply it, because less competent users screw up, is at best a lame defence. A good parallell would be the provision for metadata in Word documents, where the same liability has been present for more than a decade. Cases exist where sensitive data has leaked through this functionality too. Yet most users of those metadata would be outraged if Microsoft just removed the option for "potential privacy concerns".

If you guys made this decision intentionally, it surely must be rooted deeper than that. If you didn't, which I think is the case, the argument is a sorry signal to send. Defensive, non-committal, and seeding speculation rather than ending it.

I would like to request a better answer, please.

On the technical side, I can't help but wondering if the real reason is that the programming code needs a larger overhaul than Adobe wanted to shell out for in the update to version 4.

From looking at the syntax of controlled vocabularies (CVs) to be imported in Lightroom, I would say that it's rather fragile, using special ASCII characters and indentation to organise the terms. To restructure this to use XML, for example, would require a fair bit of programming. It may possibly also require a database restructuring, for all I know.

On the other hand, that's really where I wish Adobe would go. My wish, and call it a feature request if you like, is that Adobe could abandon its proprietary way of denoting keyword hierarchies all together and concentrate on the IPTC Dublin Core recommendations. In XMP files, keywords are duplicated (if the option "write keywords as LR hierarchy" is turned on) between the blocks containing Adobe's own system, and adhering to the Dublin Core.

Adobe could very well keep a proprietary structure, but shaped more akin to the dc: structure, with a syntax that could be enriched with tons of functionality through XML attributes, and a hierarchy established simply by nesting XML elements.

In particular, I dream of life cycle management of CVs. Take scientific classification of species for example. Most nature photographers would love to have a keyword hierarchy adhering to taxonomic classification. Scientists do however rearrange taxonomical hierarchies occasionally. Species may be transferred from one branch of the hierarchy to another, and receive new latin names to match. I imagine a way of managing metadata that can take such changes in a CV in its stride. Functionality like cross-referencing of terms, setting terms as deprecated to avoid assignment to new images while retaining them in old ones, and bulk reclassification. Maybe also a separate tool, akin to the Lens Profiling Tool, to manage the vocabularies separately.

But please don't answer this by just a "thank you for your thoughts". You really need to come forward with a better explanation for the current conundrum.
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john beardsworth

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What you fail to understand is that because Lightroom fails to offer custom fields, users are stuffing into keywords all sorts of information that doesn't belong there (under any interpretation of IPTC standards). So privacy is a valid concern. Users need to be able to quickly shut off exporting of such workflow or internal keywords, and fixing the bug has achieved that.
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Ole Jørgen Liodden

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John - So LR4 is now intended for "photographers" who don't know what should be in their keywords. What a silly answer (or a silly upgrade)! Are you answering as an Adobe employee or just guessing what the Adobe Team has done. In my eyes they have made a bug, not fixed a bug.

If the Keyword Options in LR3 is a big problem for amateurs, why can't Adobe make info videos about how to use keywords, how to include / exclude keywords and how to build hierarchy keyword lists (or where to buy them). This is not very difficult or complicated to understand.

If this "bug fix" in LR4 is intended for amateurs who don't know much about keywords, I recommend Adobe to offer a LR4 PRO version for photographers who know what kind of keywords they should use (IPTC standards) based on the LR3 keyword option (with bug). To be honest - I think this "bug" in LR3 is brilliant for large hierarchy keyword lists !!
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Jostein Øksne

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Thank you for pointing out what you thought I "fail to understand", John. If you read my post again you might see that's exactly what I too pointed at by my reference to Microsoft Word. There will always be users who misapply functionality. It is then the user that compromise his privacy; not the software maker.
So appparently, why Adobe cuts the hand of those who use their software as intended, at the benefit of those who don't; that's still the only thing "fail to understand".

That's why I call for better reasons from Adobe for putting a large number of Lightroom users in a very awkward situation, and I still don't think it's too much to ask.
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john beardsworth

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It would be more helpful not to distort when you paraphrase.... Frankly, "amateurs" are often professionals in their own fields and are very often more "professional" than those who just earn their living from photography. So let's dump the "for amateurs" stuff, please.

The fact is that people have been using keywords for a range of non-standard purposes (eg just today I read a post elsewhere where a "pro" adds a keyword "Out of focus") and I've given you one root cause. Adobe need to consider how people are actually using LR before deciding whether a bug is not to be fixed and is to be converted into a feature.

Adobe employees have the word "employee" beneath their icon.
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Jostein Øksne

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John, It would also be helpful if you don't presume to know what other people understand and not. I can perfectly empathise with your position that this function has created an awkward situation for some users. However the current situation has demonstrated Adobe's solution creates as many problems as it fix, and is therefore disqualified from being called an improvement. You are absolutely correct that "Adobe need to consider how people are actually using LR". Those who apply hierarchical keywords correctly are not "actually using LR" any less than others.

Btw, your suggestion above to have another checkbox saying "export children" is interesting. I see a a parallel to how file access rights are managed in operating systems.
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john beardsworth

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I tend to feel Adobe have made the right call that helps more people, but I don't pretend it's ideal for those who are purist about what belongs in keywords (which would include me) and also structure them in hierarchies (which I don't) and took advantage of the LR3 behaviour. I'd be pretty surprised if any real fix like "export children" change or keyword sets (my idea - an equivalent to collection sets) happened quickly though. That's just being realistic about the pace of change.

I'm not sure there's an obvious way forward for those who took advantage of the old behaviour. Can these do-not-export parent keywords be identified and killed after LR export? For instance, some people use ~ as a prefix for these keywords so an export post processing filter could manipulate them via Exiftools. Horrible, and only possible if there's a prefix or some other hook, but the plugin community might be able to fill that gap.
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Howard Lim

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Jostein, that is exactly how I feel about the issue - you've worded it more concisely than I could ever attempt to on my own. It is a great solution.
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dan

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I got an email reply on this thread from john beardsworth but can't seem to find it in the discussion so will do a general reply.

John says "......privacy is a valid concern. Users need to be able to quickly shut off exporting of such workflow or internal keywords, and fixing the bug has achieved that."

My Reply to John:

In LR3 users had an easy way to "quickly shut off exporting" by just unchecking three boxes in the same pop up rather than just one. I understand that there may have been some confusion whereby some uninformed users assumed that unchecking the "include on export" box stopped everything. I am not opposed to a change to eliminate this confusion or make the LR4 behaviour the default. However, eliminating confusion, or even making the default be "the more restrictive action" is a far cry from removing valuable functionality altogether.

In this thread we have seen suggestions that would satisfy both sides of this discussion. For example:

1) Provide a catalog preference such as "Allow 'export synonyms' and 'export containing' keywords to remain active on keywords when 'include on export' is deactivated' " (default = unchecked). This would protect the newbies who don't understand the options and just want to use the top check box while at the same time allow more experienced users to take full advantage of the funtionality from LR3

2) When turning off "Include on Export" on a keyword, pop up a warning dialog box if either of the other two options ("Export Synonyms" or "Export Containing") are turned on. In this new pop up, explain the risk and allow the user to either leave or turn off one or both of the other two options. Here again the default would be to "turn them off" (LR4 Behaviour) but allow them to stay on (LR3 Behaviour).

I can even live with the LR3 to LR4 catalog conversion opting for the LR4 behaviour but it would be nice to create some sort of log as to which KW's were affected so we could go back and fix them (once you provide a way to do so) - or, even better, give us an option when converting an LR3 catalog to LR4 as to which behaviour we desire.
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villmarksbilder

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It s not a god policy to change something that works well. In this case a lot of peopel use keywords lists, and when they earlier could choose what to be exported ore not, in L4 they cant do it anymore. Today in L4, the old keyword list has to be rewritten! A lot of work for many peopel! this can not be the goal for Adobe...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I made a proposal for a small change to the SDK that would allow plugin authors to provide keywording functionality for those users of large hiearchies whose needs aren't being met by LR:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Ole Jørgen Liodden

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@ John

More open SDK for keyword plugins is a very good idea John!
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Jason Hochstadt

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I just noticed this issue as well, and I'll be rolling back to LR3 until it's addressed somehow.

For tagging people, all of my keywords are set up as the full name of the person in the photo, but I obviously don't want to export that. I have just first names in the synonym list, and I'd like those to export, but that no longer works in LR4.

I think having a catalog setting, or some way to explicitly enable that functionality, would be a great way to protect people's privacy as the default behavior without completely breaking existing workflows.
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Asbjørn Floden

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I've jumped head first into the same problem with people's full name as keyword, and exporting a synonym with only their first name. Among other issues.

Have anyone thought of adding the chekboxes _after_ the input fields? Something like this:

Keyword name: [__________________] [x] Don't export
Synonyms: [__________________] [x] Don't export

[x] Export containing keywords

The "Export containing keywords" would only apply if either keyword or synonyms are exported.

Whatever the outcome is, I would really appreciate a solution that re-enables the keywords behaviour from all previous versions of Lightroom into Lightroom 4.
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Daniel Gasienica

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I have the exact same use case as Jason which worked in Lightroom 3. I use full names for keywords and list first names and nick names as synonyms and then only export the synonyms. Please restore this behavior from Lightroom 3.

Proposal: Don’t make ‘Include on Export’ and ‘Export Synonyms’ mutually exclusive.
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Terry Deadwyler

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Can't export synonym without keyword tag. This works in LR 3 but not in LR 4.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Export Synonyms not working in LR 4.
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Daniel Gasienica

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+1
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dan

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Terry D --

Yes, There are several take away's in LR4 that this thread is complaining about. Unfortunatly the only response we've gotten from Adobe was around March 21 from Benjamine Warde who declared this as "Not a Problem" along with an explaination that so far most people have considered as unacceptable.

Since then Adobe has been silent on the subject. I don't know if they're just ignoring a growing number of angry customers, are busy with other things and will get to us shortly, or are debating the issue internally.

Benjamine Warde: ARE YOU LISTENING?

Dan
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Hi Dan,

The team hasn't been silent on the subject. Ben's explained why the change was made and John Beardsworth has also provided some explanation.

Yes. The team is looking to see if both the old behavior and the new behavior can be supported - and we appreciate folks who have chimed in with how they used the old behavior, and suggestions to enable both workflows/concerns. The team is currently readying some other higher priority fixes so I can't give out any ETAs or venture to guess any outcomes at this point.
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dan

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Hi Jeffrey,

Thank you for your update. I appreciate your supplying input. Yes, I saw Ben's posting, but there were many responses ("rebuttals" if you will) contradicting - or at least arguing against - the position he stated and we did not get an Adobe responses after that.

I was not aware that John Beardsworth was an Adobe representivite as his posting did not indicate an Adobe affiliation as yours and Ben's did and he spoke of Adobe in the 3rd person ("I feel that Adobe....."). Thank you for clearing that up.

I am pleased that Adobe is continuing to look for a solution to this obviously sensitive and important topic and am optimistic that a win/win solution can be found. Perhaps even one of those suggested in this thread like making the choice of behaviour a catalog preference, or providing a warning pop-up. Both of which would mitigate the privacy concern yet retain the required functionality for those who choose to change the preference one case or override the warning in the other.

Please keep us posted on progress and feel free to contact me if you desire further input. I live not too far from Adobe HQ in San Jose so could even come in for a meeting on this subject if desired. You can contact me privatly through my web site www.danhartfordphoto.com

Thanks -- Dan (Ex-Adobe employee)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Thanks. Yeah. I'm hopeful a win/win solution can be found, too. John isn't an Adobe employee, but is very active in the Lightroom comment, so he's aware of why the change was made - and what he stated was correct.

Ben's also in SJ, but a fair amount of the team is here in Minnesota where I work.
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Jostein Øksne

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I have had a second look at the output from Lightroom in various settings, and have noticed a very interesting issue. It appears that the setting for whether or not to include the exported file in the LR catalog is the most important influence on how keywords are written.

In LR3.6, the export settings for the individual keywords are obeyed consistently in all situations except one:
"Add to this catalog" is turned on
"Write KWs as LR hierarchy" is turned off
In this situation, the full compliment of hierarchical keywords is written to the file regardless of reservations specified for the individual keywords.

In all other combinations of catalog/KW options, clever use of the parameters as described in this thread can tailor exactly which keywords are exported.

Synonyms are, in all cases, written to both and in a flat structure, as well as to the legacy IPTC-IMM section. It is only synonyms marked with "include on export" that propagate.

In LR4, the main difference lies in what propagates to the exported file in the above mentioned situation.

If a high-level keyword is marked as "do not export", the underlying terms are not included in the hierarchical list in the tag. However, the underlying terms still propagate as a non-hierarchical keyword to the tag, the section, and to IPTC-IMM, which explains why people did not notice the change from LR3.6 until the tick boxes were changed in the production version.

Synonyms are also omitted from the block, but do propagate to and to the IPTC-IMM section. Just as for v3.6, it's only the synonyms indicated for export that are included.

LR4, in my opinion, made a step forward with the handling of synonyms. It's no point in listing them non-hierarchically in the block when the other two does the job. If synonyms were to be included here, I would like to see them associated with it's correct place in the hierarchy, but that would be a hard nut to crack I guess.

What remains an issue is the hierarchy in the exported tag as described before in this thread, though.

Could it be a solution to replace keywords marked "do not export" with a UID or some other form of machine-readable token? This would of course wreak havoc for people who wants to look at the exported keyword hierarchy with other software, but the information would remain private. In addition, it would be possible for LR to reconstruct the entire keyword hierarchy from file as long as the catalog is the same.

And maybe LR could suppress assimilation of all the keywords duplicated in the IPTC-IMM and blocks if the tag is populated with a hierarchy? This would be also of great help to us who try to keep our controlled vocabularies from flooding with orphaned keywords. :-)
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dan

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Were any of these issues addressed in the 4.1 release candidate that is now available?
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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No, no changes to keywording were made in the 4.1 release candidate.

-Ben
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dan

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How dissappointing
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Adam Blake

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Has anyone found a serviceable workaround to this problem?
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dan

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No solutions have come forth from Adobe and I really don't understand why they don't seem to taking this problem all that seriously. Perhaps they are, but I have not seen any updates from them on this thread in quite some time. Maybe now that PS CS6 is released they can free up someone to implement one of the solutions proposed - or at least let us know they're working on it and intend to provide a solution.

As for a work around, there are really none that are satisfactory that I know of.

There are really two problems caused by Adobe's change.

1) Can't export synonyms without also exporting the actual keyword (which many times is not desired). The only workaround I know of is to take one or your synonyms and make it the actual KW instead, which, of course totally screws up your hierarchy sort order.

2) Can't skip a level in the string of parents that get exported. This one too does not really have an acceptable work around, however it does have a complicated, prone to error and difficult to maintain work around. Let's say you have a hierarchy of A > B > C > D > E, and if a photo is tagged with E, you want E, D, and B exported, but not A or C. To do this you would have to:
1) Set A and C to "do not export"
2) Set E (and optionally B & D) to "Export Containing"
3) Tag each photo that used to have juste E, with B as well (E brings along D).
Of course remembering where the breaks are in each hierarchy is a real pain. To aid with this, I renamed "A" to "A (NO EXP)" and "C" to "C (NO EXP)" so that when I add a KW to a photo using the Keyword List pane, I can visually scan up the tree and also click the check box on parent KW's that are above any that have the "(NO EXP) phrase.

Yeah I know it's a real pain and is a giant move in the wrong direction in terms of stream lining workflow (which of course is what LR is supposed to be all about), but untill Adobe steps up to this problem it's the best I can come up with.

PS - if this thread goes quiet, Adobe may think it's no longer an issue. So if you're reading this and feel that Adobe should address it, it would be good to hear from you.

Dan
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John Cothron

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I don't see the issue with privacy. Even though it is grayed out, it is very obvious the boxes are checked. I was actually happy when I first discovered it would do that. Needs to come back.
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Adam Blake

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I think I have found a possible work around to this problem. For all the keywords you don't want to export you can recheck the include on export box and instead identify them with a proceeding or trailing character. I surrounded keywords in the middle of a hierarchy with "~"s (ex. ~birds~). This symbol results in the keywords being sorted to the end of keyword lists as ~ comes after most letters and symbols in an alphabetic sort. For stem keywords I used a single trailing ~ so as not to interfere with keyword entry or search.

This process can be done quickly with empty keyword hierarchies by exporting the keyword list and using search and replace as keywords that will not be exported are surrounded with []. This method will not work with an existing hierarchy as reimporting the keyword list will create numerous duplicate keywords without photo assignments. You could try Keyword Consolidator but this may be more work then simply altering the keywords manually. Even for a manual sort the keyword list can be used to more easily identify the keywords that you have selected not to export.

With these identifying characters, you can then use Jeffrey’s “Metadata Wrangler” plugin to strip keywords during export. In the export window under the optional metadata wrangler tab added by the plugin there is an option to strip keywords during export. This blank allows the use of wildcards which can then be used to strip the keywords that you don't want to export (ex. ~*~ or *~ to strip the keyword with the identifiers I use above).

Hope this helps,
Adam