Lightroom: Add an option to always export complete keyword hierarchy.

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As of 3.5 a change was made in the export to always strip out terms that are not checked "Include on Export". Previous to the 3.5 release this option only affected non-hierarchical keywords and when you requested to export Lightroom hierarchies they were always exported intact.

Making this change makes sense since it makes the behavior with regular and hierarchical keywords consistent.

However, if you do as I do and turn off "Include on Export" to create private keywords and to add organizational levels this change causes problems any time you attempt to use export to batch process images that you want to import back into your catalog. It creates a bunch of brand new duplicate keywords. It is just as bad as not having any keyword hierarchy at all. My specific problem is that this change has completely broken keyword processing when I use HDR Efex Pro.

I think that in "Metdata" section of the export dialog that addition to "Write Keywords as Lightroom Hierarchy" there needs to be an new option in the export dialog something like "Always keep complete hierarchy".
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Louis Sherwin

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Posted 7 years ago

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Rob Cole

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Good idea, and I'd like to propose a more general solution:

Perhaps, instead of a checkbox for "Minimize Metadata", a radio button instead:

"Maximize Metadata"
"Minimize Metadata"
"Normal Metadata"

Where "Maximize Metadata" means "Preserve All Metadata" - used for converting "Masters" to another format... - it would preserve keyword hierarchy regardless of include-on-(normal)-export setting.

The reason I suggest this is Hierarchical Keywords is just one type of metadata lost when exporting as master. The other most notable at the moment is Custom Metadata, which is lost upon export, when re-adding to catalog.

Now that I think about it, a sheet with each item on it, would be even better (savable as preset). I think there is a plugin "export filter" to do this (? - jf maybe?), but it does not include custom metadata, nor does it work with publishing services. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong about that.

Plugin SDK Note: If that "transfer all or selected metadata" function were also accessible as SDK function (e.g. to go with catalog:addPhoto method, or stand-alone), then we'd really be having things... :-)

Cheers,
Rob
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Louis Sherwin

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Having a clean and robust interface to all metadata is definitely a good idea. Perhaps it should have its own topic created. I would fully support that.

For now I would hopefully like this topic to stay focused on just this one enhancement that brings back a feature that I and anyone else who uses HDR Efex Pro needs. I don't know of any other way you can batch process images out of Lightroom except for Export and it is now trashing my keyword database.

The fix should be pretty simple, just make the bug fix conditional and allow the users to select which behavior they want.

I am curious to see if anyone at Adobe will even comment.

tks,

-louie
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John Howard

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I have the same problem with export/import for HDR Efex, Photomatix, etc. editing. It's driving me nuts. How about also having a feature to simply LOCK the keyword hierarchy, so nothing can modify the keyword structure, unless you specifically authorize it. A blunt tool, but my first instinct with a problem is to put the solution (even if temporary) as near to the damage as possible, to prevent outflanking manouevers by the software.
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fritzmb

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Louis,
I would also like to see the option for this to work the way it did before LR 3.5. I need it to preserve my hierarchy as I export raw images to jpegs and keep them both in the same catalog. But when I export them for other purposes that do not support hierarchies (photo sharing sites like Flickr and PicasaWeb) and do not stay in my catalog , I have not included the top level hierarchy tag. (I have a hierarchy with only five top level tags for categorization: Event, Keyword, People, Place, Source)

Thanks,
Mike
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Louis Sherwin

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Your timing is impeccable. John also suggested this and I just now finished testing a workaround that uses Jeffery Friedl's Metadata Wrangler on the export to remove all of the keywords followed by Syncomatic after the HDR image is imported back into the catalog.

This is IMHO of course a kludgy workaround to an unnecessary problem created by Adobe by not really thinking through all the possible side effects of this "fix" to 3.5. However it does work so that I am no longer polluting my keyword controlled vocabulary that I have spent dozens of hours working on to get just the way I want it. So it is nominally better than having to use 3.4.1.

Yup, my attitude is showing... It is just that I am quite frustrated. I just spent the last 8 months working with NIK helping them sort out the problems they were having with keywords and just as that seemed all resolved Adobe goes and changes LR and breaks things again. On top of that, the one thing about that they choose to "fix" is something no one here is complaining about and any of the issues like, searching on synonyms, searching for keywords that contain spaces and many more have so far been completely ignored. (end of grumbling)
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Louis Sherwin

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PS I did the following search: "lightroom hierarchical keyword export " and nothing in the first four pages has any thing about the problem they fixed but there are many issues that if they were addressed would make some real improvements with working with keywords.
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Lee Jay

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This is listed in the "bugs fixed" area on Lightroom Journal:

"When exporting images with the “Write Keywords as Lightroom Hierarchy” enabled, keywords with “Include on Export” deselected would still have been included on export"

To the uninitiated like me, that sounds like a genuine bug (they're included even though "include" is deselected). I'm unclear as to what you want. You want a third level between having the "Include" selected and deselected - one where they'd be included even if "include" is deselected? Sound's quite non-intuitive. Is that because you were using the bug as an advantage for a long time so this is for historical reasons?
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Rob Cole

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When one says "do not export" they mean "do not export" when export is destined for external consumption. When one is converting format of master..., this setting must be ignored.

One obvious solution is to make all keywords exportable, and then use custom metadata instead of private keywords. But that won't work either, since custom metadata is lost when converting format of master - same problem......
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Louis Sherwin

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Rob to your point Adobe has apparently taken the position that Export by definition is "only" used to create images for external consumption. It is, I believe, too limited a point of view. There are many valid use cases where you do want to keep all your metadata which is now not possible.
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Louis Sherwin

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The assumption on my part, reinforced specifically Martin Evening in his Lightroom book and others, is that Lightroom hierarchical keywords are intended as Rob says for internal use. That is to say if you are exporting with the intent of going back into a LR catalog then you should check this option. The new bug fix changes that and now assumes that "Exporting" is to create images only for external use.

To remove any part of the hierarchy is to remove some of the information that was originally intended. To completely loose the ability to retain the complete keyword hierarchy is now just as much a bug as it was before when it always kept the whole hierarchy.

The purpose of my suggested enhancement is to at least allow the user to choose which method is appropriate for their needs. There is no other way in LR to batch process images except to "Export" them and "Export" even has the option to automatically import the results back into your catalog. So it was clearly designed with that in mind.
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jw stephenson

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Prior to v3.5, when exporting an image and checking the “Write Keywords As Lightroom Hierarchy” option, a keyword always included the parent keywords as well as the structure. Starting with v3.5, this is only the case if each of the parent keywords are saved with the “Include on Export” properly selected.

Although the new behavior may be technically more correct based on the option descriptions, it creates what LR believes to be new keywords when importing certain exported images back into the catalog, even when re-importing immediately after export using the re-import option built into the export routine.

If this change is a bug, I would like to ask that it be fixed back to the prior behavior. If this change is a feature correction, I would like to ask that the feature be expanded to include an “Include all Parent Keywords in Hierarchy” sub-option to allow those of us that are accustomed to the prior behavior to be able to return.

I know I could edit each keyword that does not have the “Include on Export” option checked; however, many exports I perform do not involve selecting the “Write Keywords As Lightroom Hierarchy” option and in those cases I don’t really want the parent keywords exported which is why they are currently set up in that manner.

This idea/bug is a follow up to the discussion at: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

Jeff

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Return to pre-v3.5 behavior - Option to Export all Keywords in Hierarchy.
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Rob Cole

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ExportMaster assures keywords of exported photos are same as source photo.
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elz korte

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I used this option (checked) to send keyworded pics to a client, who imported them and then exported them with this option unchecked, so his keyword list would not be a mess afterwards.

Now I'm back to the LR verson before 3.5 , really annoying. I don't know nor understand if Adobe is going the change this problem for me. I'm forced to work with old versions, which is no good and very unprofessional.

Elise Swart
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elz korte

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I forgot to tell that I don't want the synonyms at the exported pics for this special client. They mess up my clients keyword list, but I need them myself. It used to work perfectly and was one of the reasons to choose LightRoom.
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Louis Sherwin

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This continues to be a problem for anyone that wants or needs to use Export to create derivative files and import them back into Lightroom to be managed.

The practical effect is that Lightroom without asking creates a new hierarchical keyword. It is a valid use case for some one to want to do this. It is also a valid use case for someone to want to remove the "not for export" terms in the hierarchy. There is absolutely no reason that I can think of for not allowing the option for either.

We know that the old way worked by exporting the old hierarchy intact. We know that the new code works by removing not for export elements and reformation hierarchy. So how difficult is it you put both pieces of code in and tie the execution to a conditional check box in the export dialog????????

I continue to be terribly frustrated with the fact that virtually nothing has been done to improve the keyword features and management since before LR3 was released. This happens to be one of the few changes to how keywords are handled and it as make using keywords harder not easier.

-louie
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Madman

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May I chime in? Thanks to Louie for pointing me to this forum.
I am experiencing the keyword export/reimport annoyance right now when using NIK software combined with Lightroom.
In LR I start with a picture keyworded with hierarchical keywords and I edit it in Viveza. This creates a TIF copy of my original RAW picture in Lightroom, which is then edited in Viveza and reimported into Lightroom. During the automatic reimport process new keywords are created, old ones get lost, because during the export the hierarchical keyword structure gets destroyed. it produces a total mess in LR.
If anyone is interested in seing the step-by-step process, I have documented it in the Ligthroom forum here:
http://www.lightroomforums.net/showth...

I concurr with everyone who asks that the keyword issue must be fixed.
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Shai Schcolnik

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I had this problem too, I always blamed the 3rd party software that must have broken the hierarchy. just realized it was LR actually doing this.

if I have parent keywords that are used only to categorize other keywords (like the ABCs or a keyword called "technique") that house other keywords using the include on export option isn't really an option.

has anyone found a workaround for this by now? (Lightroom 4.1)

Shai
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Louis Sherwin

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This issue continues to effect me on a regular basis. I shoot a fair number of HDR sets that I run through HDR Efex Pro. I have spent dozens of hours creating a keyword hierarchy that suits my needs but every time I create a new HDR image my keyword structure is messed up.

The ability to have a sophisticated keyword structure is wonderful. The ability to mask that from the outside world is also wonderful. However, there are multiple valid workflows where it is desirable and even necessary to keep all the information without prejudice. To arbitrarily declare one method as the only "valid" method is quite restrictive.

If fact in this case in particular I would go so far a s to say it goes counter to one of the express intents of export in the first place. That is the ability to export derivatives and re-import them back into the catalog. By insisting on the "mandatory" removal of elements of the keyword hierarchy is effectively corrupting the users catalog.

I simply cannot believe that it can be all that difficult to update the export function to make this behavior optional and I sincerely hope that someday soon it will appear as part of a serious attempt to enhance general keywording capabilities in Lightroom.

-louie
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Alan Harper

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While I agree that it would be great if Lightroom did export hierarchical keywords correctly (this still has not been addressed in LR 4.2), I wonder why people don't just export with the hierarchical keyword option turned off.

What I find is that when the exported photos are added back to the library, LR finds the keyword in the hierarchy, and matches it. This has the added benefit that if you export and another user imports it who has the same keyword, but a different hierarchy, the photo matches itself to that user's hierarchy.

The downside is that you cannot have two keywords with the same name at different places in the hierarchy, but it would seem a bad idea to have duplicate keywords for lots of reasons.
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Shai Schcolnik

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why haven't I thought of that myself?! I'll give it a try first thing in the morning. The time it'll save is worth the time to tidy up my keyword list
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Louis Sherwin

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Hi Alan,

This is a good idea but it doesn't always work for a couple of reasons. First in the case of HDR Efex Pro the export dialog does not give you access to that option.

Second are words that have multiple distinct meanings. For example the word plant can mean the biological thing or can refer to an industrial plant. In this case the hierarchies for each are completely different. In this case I've seen Lightroom punt and simply add a single bare keyword because it couldn't tell which one to use.

-louie
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Dick Barrett

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I am using Lightroom 5.6 to export photos for my website. I hope Adobe is listening to this discussion. This is a bug that has not been fixed for over 3 years.

I have a carefully created hierarchy of keyword and every time I export an image for my website it corrupts my hierarchy. This is very frustrating.

So Adobe please a feature to Lightroom 6 that will take care of this Bug!
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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See this topic for an extended discussion of the issue: https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom-export-destroys-keyword-hierarchy-w.... I don't want to merge the two topics, because merging will hide all of the useful replies in the merged topic.