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Adding keywords

From: Getting Started with Lightroom 4

Video: Adding keywords

Adding keywords to your digital photos provides you with a number of advantages. Some of the most significant advantages are being able to reference information about your photos. And also being able to filter images, locating images that only contain certain keywords for example. On the surface, keywording is relatively simple. We're just adding additional information into the meta data for our photos. For example, I have a photo here. It contains flowers, so flowers would be a logical keyword. I can simply scroll down on the Right panel in the Library module, an then add an additional keyword on.

Adding keywords

Adding keywords to your digital photos provides you with a number of advantages. Some of the most significant advantages are being able to reference information about your photos. And also being able to filter images, locating images that only contain certain keywords for example. On the surface, keywording is relatively simple. We're just adding additional information into the meta data for our photos. For example, I have a photo here. It contains flowers, so flowers would be a logical keyword. I can simply scroll down on the Right panel in the Library module, an then add an additional keyword on.

Go to the keywording section, an after Austria and Europe I'll type a comma. An then simply type flowers. I'll press Enter to apply that change, an this image now has the flowers keyword. That means I could search for this image or filter it so that I can see any image, including this one that contains the word flowers or perhaps the word flowers and Austria. But of course there are a variety of nuances when it comes to adding keywords to your images. And it can be helpful to be aware of these issues, as you set about applying keywords to your photos.

One of the first things you might consider though is how much time do you really want to spend keywording your images? And that depends in large part on how you go about finding your images, and how much time it's worth spending, in order to add keywords. At a bare minimum, I highly encourage you to add basic keywords for at least your favorite images, Identifying the key subject, the location and other details. Both to remind you of where or what that photograph is of, and also to make it easier to find your favorite photos when you're looking for them.

And of course some users might choose to get more involved, adding keywords to every single image. So that for example, they can use those images with a stock photography set. In many cases you might want to add the same keywords to multiple images. As one example, I have several images that were captured in Hallstatt in Austria. So I could click on the last image in the series an then hold the Shift key, an click on the first image in the series, an now I have all of these images selected. However, it's also important to keep in mind that when you're adding keywords, if you want to add keywords to multiple images, you need to be in the Grid View, not in the Loop View. If you're in the Loop View, you can only see one image. So even though you have multiple images selected, if you add a keyword, that keyword will only apply to the current image that you see in the Loop View. So, if you're selecting multiple images and you want to add the same keywords to all those images, make sure you're in the Grid View first. In this case, for example, I could add hallstat as a keyword for the images. I'll go ahead and press Enter.

And now all of the images that I have selected here include that hallstat keyword. One of the other options is to use keyword suggestions. So I'll select this image, for example. As I scroll down, you'll see that the keyword suggestions include halstat and flowers. These are keywords that I have recently added to my images. If I want to add one of those keywords to the current image, I can simply click on it. This image was captured in Vienna, so it doesn't get the hallstatt keyword, but it is obviously an image of flowers. So I could simply click Flowers, and now the flowers keyword is added for this image.

Note that only Keywords that are not assigned to the current image will be displayed in keyword suggestions. You can define your own keyword sets or use existing keyword sets. From the popup here, for example, I can choose Outdoor Photography and I can choose among a variety of keywords that relate to Outdoor Photography. You can also choose to edit the set, and this is where you can define your own keyword set. Simply define all of the keywords you'd like. For example maybe peoples' names for family members, and then from the preset popup you can choose Save Current Settings as New Preset, and provide a name for that preset. I'll go ahead and click Cancel here, because I don't need to create a new preset.

And then I'll scroll down and we can find the key word List. This provides a list of all of the current keywords that have been assigned to all of the images in Lightroom. I'll go ahead and click on this image over here, and you'll see that the flowers key word which has been assigned to two images has not been assigned to this image. But I can change that by simply turning on the check mark or the flowers key word. Another handy method for assigning key words to multiple images is the painter tool.

The Painter tool is found on the tool bar below the preview images you can display it if its not already there by clicking on the Popup at the far right of the tool bar and choosing Painter. And when you click on the Painter, it becomes active and you can specify what you want to paint onto your images. And one of those options is keywords. I'll go ahead and scroll to the top of the list here, and I see I have some images captured in Vienna. So perhaps I'd like to assign the keyword Vienna to those images. I'll go ahead and type Vienna in the box, and I press Enter to apply that as the keyword thats available for my images. Or then press Shift tab in order to hide all of the panels making it little bit easier to work in the grid display.

And then I can click on any of my images, if I want to add a keyword to that image. I can also click and drag across several images. For example, all of the images on this top row were photographed in Vienna, so I can click and drag across all of those images. And every single one of them will get the Vienna keyword. I can continue in this manner, adding the Vienna keyword to all applicable images, all of the photos that were captured in Vienna. And then, I can go back down to my tool bar, and change the keyword that I'm going to assign. So, for example, I'll add Salzburg as a keyword, and then I can click and paint across any of the images that were captured in Salzburg. When I'm finished with the Painter? I can simply click in the same spot where I originally got it, in order to close out the Painter tool. As you can see, there are a variety of ways that we can add keywords to our images.

You certainly don't need to use all of these methods, I think you'll probably find, that you settle on one or two particular methods. But I do encourage you to at least assign basic keywords to your images in order to help ensure that you'll be as organized as possible. You'll be really grateful for that when you're looking for a particular image later, or trying to remember where a particular photograph was taken.

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Getting Started with Lightroom 4

37 video lessons · 4661 viewers

Tim Grey
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