Post updated 5 March 2016: I’ve just uploaded the next version of ListView and will release it officially when I’m happy it works correctly. If you want to try it though, I would welcome any feedback. Lr 5+ users get more standard-looking scrolling, and I’ve also introduced an option to create tab-separated export. But potentially the most exciting addition is an Excel add-in (included in the zip file) that can send metadata directly from Excel into Lightroom.

It’s important to say that this is a bonus feature only and that it is not suitable for everyone. You will need better-than-average Excel skills such as, for example, knowing how to edit macros. If you only have basic Excel skills, this tool is probably not for you and I cannot support you.

The Excel add-in works by adding a cell function =ListViewValue() to Excel. In your spreadsheet you just create cells with the =ListViewValue formulae and run a “Send to Lightroom” macro. The ListView plugin in Lightroom then receives the formulae values, searches for the photo (using the folder path or UUID) and updates the field in Lightroom. At present not every field is available, but I’m testing it with these important ones – caption, title, headline, country, state, city, location, label, rating, job, instructions, GPS, and keywords.

  • It will only be a bonus feature. It’s free with the plugin.
  • It’s only for those with good Excel skills and I won’t offer step by step instructions or support it.
  • Current versions of Excel is required.
  • I do not plan to make it work on older Excel versions

Important limitations

  • It will not run under the Excel 64 bit version which Microsoft don’t recommend for general use
  • It won’t work in El Capitan or Sierra
    • Unfortunately Apple broke the method I used to communicate from Excel to Lightroom
    • I will see if I can find an alternative, but it won’t be so sweet and easy

Some tips:

  • Keywords will be slower to import than other fields. As guidance:
    • 2 mins to update 1765 photos’ keywords where all keywords were already in the catalogue
    • 5 mins to update 1765 photos’ keywords where all the keywords also needed to be added to the catalogue
    • 25 secs to update 1765 photos’ ratings
  • listview_activity

    The Activity Center shows the import process’s detailed progress

    If sending keywords, try closing the Keyword List

  • Updating may be faster if you don’t have any images selected
  • Updating may be faster if the library Filter panel is not displayed

The idea comes from my former life as a financial IT consultant where I used to do lots of work with Excel’s VBA programming language and encountered a number of similar Excel add-ins which read and wrote to large business systems. So I’m confident it’s a workflow which could be popular, at least among Excel-savvy users. So try it, and let me know it works.