Lightroom/Bridge: Keywords entered in Lightroom are recognised in Bridge when searching but not displayed when in the Keywords panel

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  • Updated 7 years ago
  • (Edited)
Keywords entered in Lightroom are recognised in Bridge when searching but not displayed when in the Keywords panel.
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Norman Law

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Posted 7 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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What version of Bridge and Lightroom are you using? Are all the latest updates installed?
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Norman Law

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I think I'm right up-to-date.

Lightroom 3.4.1 with Bridge CS5 4.0.5.11

I should add that all of the keywords are / were added in LR with the "Automatically write changes into XMP" option checked.
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Baichao Li, Lightroom Quality Engineer

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please " select all " firstly in Bridge, then check keywords panel.
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Norman Law

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If I select a group of images I can see the "Assigned keywords" but I cannot see a complete list of keywords that I can choose from.

I have several hundred keywords assigned to 30000 odd images. If I want to search or re-categorise within Bridge I cannot see what keywords I have to work with. As I say I mostly use Lightroom but it would be a useful facility if both applications were fully compatible.
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Baichao Li, Lightroom Quality Engineer

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Do yo have a complete keywords list in your Lightroom? if so, please export keywords from Lightroom and then import it into Bridge, you will get all keywords on Bridge keywords panel.

export keywords, Lightroom->Library Module->Main Menu->Metadata->Export keywords...
import keywords, Bridge->Keywords Panel->Flyout Menu->Import...
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Norman Law

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I accept that this would work but will any further additions or deletions made in Lightroom appear in Bridge? My point is that both programs purport to be totally compatible but my experience shows that they're not.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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This is just an illustration of differences in how Bridge and Lightroom work.

Because Lightroom runs off of a database file (the catalog) all information about all files within the program is known at all times. This includes knowing every keyword used by every file. A great strength, sure, but the weakness is that you have to import the file into Lightroom first before it gains this knowledge, and Lightroom supports a limited number of files for import.

Bridge does not operate off of such a database. Thus the information you see is "live" (it is not remembering anything about files it has seen in the past). While the keyword list has some items by default, you can add keywords of your own. However, keywords are not added to this list simply by looking at a file that has them attached. Nor does Bridge read Lightroom's catalog to add keywords. In Bridge, you can either add the keywords directly to the list, added them to a file (which adds them to the list as well), or you can use Baichao's suggestion of exporting Lightroom's keyword list and importing that into Bridge.

You may want to reverse your keyword workflow. If you add your keywords to your images in Bridge, Bridge's keyword list would always be current. Those keywords would be added to the Lightroom catalog once those files have been imported (or their metadata has been reread and updated if they are already in the database).

So, to directly answer you question: further additions or deletions made in Lightroom will not appear in Bridge. Compatibility does not mean the two programs act as a hive mind. Instead, it means that Bridge will fully read any metadata you add to a file in Lightroom.
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Norman Law

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This is how I assumed it was working. I have the option, in Lightroom, to write the metadata to XMP files switched on. This also writes the metadata to any files that do not have sidecar files associated with them. This allows Bridge to search for files by keyword (albeit slowly) but it would have been nice to see the list of keywords available to me when designing the search criteria.

If I do as suggested and export / import the keywords is there any danger of keywords being deleted from the files if deletions are made from the Bridge keywords. I am unlikely to change my workflow because the ability to import files whilst re-naming, categorising and assigning other metadata is too valuable to me. The ability to re-name keywords is also useful, knowing that any change made will be cascaded to every file that contained the original.

Thanks for your input.