Lightroom 4 looses keywords when updating multiple images at once

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  • Updated 6 years ago
There seems to be a terrible bug relating to changing keywords to multiple images at once. If for example I have the following images:
A with keywords "Art, Autumn, b&w, Landscape, peleng 3.5f 8mm Fisheye, tree"
B with keywords "Art, Autumn, b&w, Landscape, Peleng 3.5f 8mm Fisheye, Sepia, Trees". Note the capital change in the "peleng" keyword.

When I select both of these images in grid view and try to add a new keyword C (or actually do any kind of change) to the end of the keywords list, image A works at it should but image B results having the following keywords: "Art, Autumn, b&w, C, Landscape"!! It doesn't matter in which order I select the images.

So it seems to happen because one of the keywords is written with capital in the other image and with small letters in the other. If I select more images, all images will loose the keywords (execpt the one that works). I never had this kind of problems in Lightroom 3. I just updated to Lightroom 4 and this has to be fixed.

I can also record a video about this and upload it here somehow or to Youtube.
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timo Ruokonen

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Posted 6 years ago

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I think the core problem may be that you've got two keywords in your catalog that differ only in case, "peleng 3.5f 8mm Fisheye" and "Peleng 3.5f 8mm Fisheye".

Normally, LR ignores the case of keywords, when you create keywords from within LR or when you import photos already containing keywords. For example, if I import two photos with the keyword above, one photo with a lower case "p" and one with upper case "P", there is only one keyword created in my keyword list, "peleng 3.5f 8mm Fisheye".

Somehow, you've managed to create two keywords that differ only in case. Do you have any ideas what steps you took that might have done that?
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timo Ruokonen

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Thanks for your answer John. Yes, it is caused by the different case. But the thing is that the LR engine just stops processing the keywords when it finds this mismatch and also deletes all the keywords that were after the "broken" keyword... In my example case above keywords "sepia, Trees". It happened before that the "broken" keyword was the first one, and that of course resulted almost all keywords to be deleted.

I do not know how my keywords have came to be like this. I've been using LR since 2.0 (through LR3) and haven't really paid attention to case when entering keywords. I can see that at least LR4 now automatically fixes the case but if I remember correctly in LR2 you could really have the same keyword written with different case...

It is just that I do not know any way to get over this now. There is no case sensitive search for keywords (I could just replace those all with the right case) and if I try to change them all this happens... REALLY ANNOYING!
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Sounds like this might be due to a problem with the upgrade process from version 2 to 4 (where 4 requires that keywords be case-insensitive, but the upgrade process didn't ensure that).

Here's one tedious way that you might get rid of the case-sensitive keywords: Do Metadata > Export Keywords to export the keywords as a text file. Use your favorite text editor or Excel to sort the lines by keyword, which whill make it easy to identify case-sensitive duplicates. Then for each duplicate, find it in the Keyword List pane on the right side of the Library module. Click the right-arrow to the right of that keyword and then select all the resulting images. Assign a temporary keyword, e.g. "temp", to all those images. Then in the Keyword List pane, delete the duplicate keyword. Then select all the images with "temp" and assign to them the other version of the duplcate keyword.