Posts tagged with Keywording

Lightroom 5 favourite no 3 – Managing hierarchical keyword lists

It’s now easier to manage hierarchical keyword lists with the Keywords Filter. Child keywords can now be displayed too.

Lightroom 5 favourite no 2: Radial Filter

The new Radial Filter adjustment may replace the Adjustment Brush for many of your local adjustments

Lightroom 5 favourite no 1: the Visualize Spots mask

The Visualize Spots mask helps you do a better job cleaning up those dust spots, and do it faster too. What’s not to like? Apart from discovering that your camera’s sensor isn’t as clean as you hoped….

Can you stop Lightroom re-sorting keywords alphabetically?

Is it possible to stop Lightroom from re-sorting keywords alphabetically?

What are the delimiters for typing in hierarchical keywords?

How do you manually type in multiple keywords so they are added to an existing keyword hierarchy rather than being concatenated into a new and unwanted keyword?   Is it some sort of delimiter character?

Use either the pipe “|” or the greater than “>” symbol, depending on which way round you want to type:

 “|” would be in you want to enter GrandParent | Parent | Child
 “>” would be in you want to enter Child > Parent > GrandParent


A particularly well-rounded set of thoughts on keywording in Lightroom from Chuq Von Rospach here:

An important point  — when you design a structure like this, how well it’ll work for you depends on where your hassle factor hits. Are you more annoyed by looking through long lists of things? If so, design a hierarchy with more sub items and fewer items in each sub-area. If traversing the tree bothers you more, use longer lists and fewer sub-items. You can adjust this to your tastes as you work with it.


Define some standards and then stick to them. Capitalization, tense, punctuation and the like matters. If you aren’t consistent here, your work will come across as unprofessional and sloppy — even if people looking at your photos only notice it sub-consciously. In my keywords, I standardized on using the plural form (“Birds” instead of “Bird”) unless that was clearly inappropriate, and I more…

Lightroom keyword synonyms

From a forum answer, here are a few bullet points about synonyms in Lightroom:

You can use them to save on data entry (eg using the common and Latin names of species)
You can see them by double clicking a keyword in the Keyword List
See them by switching the Keywording panel to “Will Export” (the Keyword tags drop down box)
When you export a file, any synonyms are also written into the export file.
Also, you can search for synonyms in smart collections.

A rant about hierarchical keywords

It’s not specifically a Lightroom thing, and I say the same about Aperture and Expression Media 2. And I admit that I am a bit out on a limb here in holding these opinions….. But I find hierarchical keywords to be an utter pain, and simply not worth the effort.

It doesn’t matter how much I try, how disciplined my working practices, how well I understand Lightroom. The trouble with hierarchical keywords is I always end up with child keywords somehow re-appearing at the top level. This can happen, for instance, when I re-import a picture that’s been processed in another app. Or I notice that a group of child keywords has managed to become duplicated in more than one part of the hierarchy. Usually this is because I’ve done something like change the hierarchy at some point and imported an older file, or more often that I changed the hierarchy more…

Clean keywords

At Lightroom Journal, the LR developers blog, Eric Scouten advocates a superficially-attractive way of misusing the keywords to help manage workflow:

Before I start actually applying those keywords, however, I also create the extra keyword to track my keywording progress. I like to organize these under another keyword category I call “worklists”. (This is just an organizational tactic I like; adapt it to suit your taste.) What is important here is to give your worklist keywords a tag phrase that is unlikely to occur anywhere else in your metadata.

Eric’s tangling up a couple of things here. One is polluting the keywords list with terms to help control workflow. If you really want to do this, make sure you do follow his advice to use a tag that is easy to find – you don’t want these false keywords to get into files that you send out to clients. And he also more…