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Keyword tagging

From: Up and Running with Photoshop Elements 10

Video: Keyword tagging

Keyword tags are subject matter labels that you attach to images so that you can more easily find them. Since a photo can have multiple tags, tags increase your chances of finding a particular photo later. Let's look at the basics of creating and applying keyword tags, and then we'll see how to quickly find photos that have tags. There are a number of ways to create tags and apply them to images. To save time, I like to do both those things at once. These first three photos were taken in the city of Zurich. I have lots of photos from Zurich, so it would be useful to have a Zurich tag.

Keyword tagging

Keyword tags are subject matter labels that you attach to images so that you can more easily find them. Since a photo can have multiple tags, tags increase your chances of finding a particular photo later. Let's look at the basics of creating and applying keyword tags, and then we'll see how to quickly find photos that have tags. There are a number of ways to create tags and apply them to images. To save time, I like to do both those things at once. These first three photos were taken in the city of Zurich. I have lots of photos from Zurich, so it would be useful to have a Zurich tag.

I can kill two birds with one stone -- forgive the pun -- by applying this tag to these photos at the same time that I create the tag. I'll click on the first of these photos, I'll hold the Shift key, and I'll click on the last to select all three. And then I will go down to the Keyword Tags panel over here in the Organize column. At the bottom of the Keyword Tags panel there's a field called Tag selected media. I am going to click there, I'll ignore this pop-up menu, and I'll type the name of the tag. I'll type Zurich, and I'll click Apply.

That creates the Zurich tag here in the Keyword Tags panel, and if you look closely you can see that its icon is a tiny version of one of the photos that I selected at the time that I made this tag. Up in the Media Browser you can see that each of these three photos now has an orange tag on it. If I hover over that tag, you can see that it represents the keyword tag, Zurich. As long as I have these photos selected, I'll create more keywords that apply to all three of them. For example, I have lots of photos of swans, so I'll create another keyword tag: swan.

With the photos selected, I'll go down to the Keyword Tags panel again, I'll click in the Tag selected media field, and I'll type's swan, and click Apply again. And there's another Keyword Tag, and if I hover over any one of these three photos, you'll see that it has two tags attached: swan, and Zurich. That means it'll be easier to find this particular photo, because one day I might be searching for swans, and the next day for Zurich. In both cases, this photo would come up in the search. So that's how to create and apply new tag all at once.

What about applying an existing tag to other photos? I'll click off of these photos to deselect them, and let's say that I want to apply the Swan tag to these three photos, which obviously are also swans. These are ones that I shot somewhere else; in Lucerne in Switzerland. I'll click on the first of these, I'll hold the Shift key, and I'll click on the last to select all three. And then I'll go over to the Keyword Tags panel, and I can just get that swan tag, and drag it out and on top of any one of the selected photos. That quickly applies it to all three.

Alternatively, I could have clicked on any one of these photos, and dragged it on top of the swan tag in the Keyword Tags panel. You can see that the Keyword Tag, swan, is now attached to each of these. As long as I have these selected, I will make another keyword tag for Lucerne. Again, going to Tag selected media, and typing Lucerne, and then clicking Apply. So you can start to see how quickly the process can go. The whole purpose of keywording is to make it easy to find photos later.

To understand the power of searching on keyword tags, I am going to switch over to Thumbnail View for a moment, going up to the Display menu, and choosing Thumbnail View. There are quite a few photos in this catalog already, and you can imagine as it gets bigger that it would be more and more difficult to find particular photos by just scrolling through the catalog, but because I took the time to keyword my photos of these swans, locating them will just take a second. To see all the photos of swans in this catalog, I'll go to the Keyword Tags panel, I'll find the swan keyword, and I'll click in the box just to the left of that keyword tag.

There are all my photos of swans. If I want to narrow that search to see just the swans that I shot in Lucerne, I'll click Lucerne as well. Now there is a little icon to the left of both swan, and Lucerne, and the Media Browser is displaying just the photos that have both those tags. Now let's say that I want to see all the photos that I took in Zurich. I have to cancel this search by clicking in the box next to Lucerne, and the box next to swan, and now I can start a brand new search. For example, I can click in the box next Zurich, and see all the photos taken there.

One more thing that I like to do with my keyword tags is to organize them into categories, particularly as the list of tags gets longer. I am going to expand the Keyword Tags panel by clicking on its top border and dragging up, so you can see that it comes with four different categories of tags: People, Places, Events, and Other. All the new tags came in in the Other category. I am going to take that Lucerne tag, and drag it up into the Places category, and that changes it to a green tag. I'll do the same for Zurich tag, putting it in Places too.

You can see on these photos that the Zurich tag is now green. You can create your own categories, and subcategories too, from this menu. And if you ever want to delete a tag, maybe one that you think you're not using, you can select it here in this menu, and click the red minus sign. That will delete the tag, not only from the list, but also from any photos that you've already applied it to. I am going to click Cancel for now. So those are the basics of creating, applying, and searching on Keyword Tags in Element's Organizer.

It's definitely worth taking the time to tag your images when you bring them into the Organizer. You'll be very glad you did the next time you're looking for a particular photo.

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Up and Running with Photoshop Elements 10

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