Add Keywords to Photos in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Adding keyword tags to a photo is the single most powerful thing you can do in Lightroom's library module, to increase the odds you'll be able to find that photo in the future. I think the trick is to use keywords that are meaningful to you, and to be consistent about applying them to all your photos. If you are not sure in advance what keywords you will need, Let your photos suggest keywords to you. So, let's say that I want to add keywords to a couple of these photos. I'll select some photos here in the grid, this one and this one, and then I go over to the column on the right. I am going to expand this panel, the Keywording panel, and I will come down here and click in the field that says Click Here to Add Keywords. Then I'll think about some words that I might use to find these particular photos.
I might type fountain. And to add second keyword, I'll type a comma, which is what you use to separate keywords here, and I'll type water comma. I'll type France, since this is where these photos were taken and they were taken in a town called (UNKNOWN), so I'll type that. And notice that a keyword tag can be made up of more than one word like (UNKNOWN). When I'm done, I'll press Enter or Return on the keyboard, and that's done a couple of things. Down here on the bottom right of each of these thumbnails, there's a new badge, which means that these photos have keywords applied to them. And over in the keyword list, you can see a list of the keywords that I just made as I apply them to those photos.
The number to the right of each keyword tag represents them number of photos to which I've applied that keyword. Another way to create and apply keyword is by using the spray can. It's quick and kind of fun too. To use the spray can, I'll go down to my tool bar in the library module. If your Tool bar isn't showing then press "T" on your keyboard. I'll click on the Spray Can icon to pick up the spray can, and when I do I see this menu that says paint. I'll click the Paint menu and here I can see a list of the various properties that I could spray on the Thumbnails in the Grid View. So this is another quick way to add flags or ratings to photos, I want to add keywords.
So I'll leave it set to keywords. And then I'll go to the field that says enter keywords here, and I'll type the keyword that I want to spray on to some photos. You can create a new keyword, or you can use an existing one. I'll create a new one. I'll type Paris and press Enter or Return on the keyboard. And now you can see there's a new keyword, Paris in the keyword list. The plus symbol means that this is the keyword that's loaded into my spray can. Now I'll go into the image. And to apply the Paris keyword to multiple photos, I'll just click on each one of those photos. It's quick and it's easy.
Now here's something you might forget to do. When you're done applying keywords with the spray can, you have to come back down to the Tool bar and click in the spray can circle to put the spray can back. Now, some photographers like to build a well organized keyword list in the Keyword List panel, and then apply their keywords. So here's how you can build a keyword list. In the Keyword List panel, I'll click the plus symbol. In the window that opens, I'll type a keyword in the keyword name field.
I'm going to type places, and then I'll click Create. And that creates a brand new keyword here. Now, I'm going to use this as a higher level keyword in which to organize other keywords. So, I'll select the keyword places in the Keyword List panel, I'll click the plus symbol on the keyword list panel. And this time, I'm going to create the keyword Europe. And down here, I'll leave put inside places checked. And I get that Option because I'd selected the keyword places before I created this new keyword tag.
I'll click Create, and if I go to the places keyword in the Keyword List panel and click the triangle next to it, I can see my Europe keyword indented under the places keyword. I can also drag keywords in the keyword list to create hierarchy of keywords. So, I might take the France keyword and drag it down on top of Europe. And now when I click the triangle next to Europe, you see France indented there. And then I'll take the Paris keyword and drag that down into France, and as you can see, I'm building this nice hierarchy of keywords. One reason to do this is that it helps you keep your keyword list organized and manageable.
Because if I close Places, then my keyword list gets shorter. And I can apply any of these keywords to photos by selecting photos. I'll just select all of these. And then clicking to the left of the keyword. These were all taken at various placed in Europe, so I'll apply the keyword Europe to all of the photos. And then I'll press Cmd+D on the Mac or Ctrl+D on the PC to deselect. So those are some different ways to create and apply key words. The whole point of applying key words to photos is to make it easier to find photos later, and that's what we'll talk about next.
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