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Using Keyword Tags and Keywording Panels in Lightroom

Article Description

Categorizing your Lightroom images with keyword information helps make a specific image easier to find when you need it. If you have a lot of images, as Martin Evening does, you'll need all the help you can get.

Applying and Managing Keywords

Even if you didn’t apply keywords when importing images, you can use the Keywording and Keyword Tags panels to manage, edit, and apply keywords to the library images. Let’s look at how to work with the Keyword Tags panel. You can add new keywords by clicking the plus (+) icon in the upper-right corner of the panel bar (see Figure 8). When the Create Keyword Tag dialog box opens, type the new keyword you want to add (see Figure 9). If you want to delete a keyword, select the keyword in the Keyword Tags panel and click the minus (–) icon in the panel bar to remove it.

Figure 8

Figure 8 Click the plus (+) icon to open the Create Keyword Tag dialog box. Click the minus (–) icon to delete keywords.

Figure 9

Figure 9 Use the Create Keyword Tag dialog box to enter new keywords.

If you select a keyword category title before clicking the plus (+) icon, you have the option of selecting a checkbox to create a keyword that’s a child of a keyword category. For example, in Figure 9 I selected the Norway keyword category and then clicked the plus (+) icon to add a new sub-keyword. I then had the option to add the Bygdøy peninsula keyword as a child of Norway.

You can apply keywords to images in the library Grid view content area in a couple of ways. Figure 10 shows one method: Apply a keyword to a selection of images by dragging the keyword to the image selection.

Figure 10

Figure 10 One way to apply keywords to an image or selection of images is by highlighting the images to which you want to apply the keyword, and then dragging the keyword from the Keyword Tags panel to the image selection.

The good thing about this method is that it’s easy to hit the target as you drag-and-drop the keyword. The downside is that you have to time your dragging action correctly. If you simply click a keyword in the Keyword Tags panel, this action might instead filter the content area selection to display only the images already associated with this keyword. To prevent this problem, click and hold down the mouse button before dragging the keyword across to the content area.

The other option for applying keywords to multiple images is to make a selection in the content area and then drag that selection to the keyword. In Figure 11, I selected a group of images and dragged the selection to the keyword Bygdøy peninsula.

Figure 11

Figure 11 You can apply keywords to an image or selection of images by highlighting the image(s) in the content area and dragging the selection to the relevant keyword in the Keyword Tags panel.

In the right panel, the Keywording panel is located directly above the Metadata panel, and provides an overview of all keywords associated with an image or collection of images. When you click an image, any keywords present are listed in this panel, separated by commas (there should be no spaces). As with the Import Photos dialog box, you can add a new keyword by typing it in the Keywords field in the Keywording panel, and Lightroom will attempt to auto-complete entries as you type. If you have multiple images selected, the Keywording panel displays all the keywords that are active in the image selection. Those keywords that are common to all images in the selection are displayed as usual, but keywords that apply only to a sub-selection of the images are marked with an asterisk (*), as shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12

Figure 12 Keywords associated with a single image or group of images are listed in the Library module’s Keywording panel. In the example shown here, I highlighted all the images from the Norway folder. The keywords marked with an asterisk apply to a sub-selection of images only.

If you have a selection of multiple images and want to unify a particular keyword across all of the images in that selection, simply delete the asterisk to make sure that all the selected images are assigned this keyword. To change a particular keyword, you can highlight it and type a new word. So if I want to delete the Seascapes keyword in Figure 12, I could highlight it and then press Delete.

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