As keywords are a very important feature to manage pictures in Lightroom, it is essential to come up with a workflow one is comfortable with to register keywords for images. It takes time and effort to record keywords for all pictures, but I think it’s worth it in the long run.
Assigning keywords in Lightroom
Lightroom offers a few methods of making this work smoothly, and here I will try to list them:
- Import Photos dialogue: The Import Photos dialogue has a keywords field which is very helpful to register keywords to all the pictures at the same time as they are imported . This applies to pictures that share the same characteristics and can have the same keyword(s).
- Add keyword: Click the plus sign in the Keyword Tags panel on the left part of the screen. A Create keyword Tag dialogue pops up where a new keyword is entered and if Include selected photos is checked all selected photos in the library are tagged with the new keyword.
- Drag keyword to picture(s): A keyword can be dragged from the Keyword Tags list to a picture and if multiple images are selected then all of them will be tagged with that keyword.
- Drag picture(s) to keyword: The same method as in three but the other way around; pictures are dragged to a keyword in the Keyword Tags list to tag them.
- Right clicking a keyword: Right clicking a keyword in the Keyword Tags list and clicking Assign this keyword to selected photos.
- Keyword stamper: Keyword stamper is located in the toolbar in Library module when in Grid mode (press G to go to grid mode and press T if toolbar is not visible). If the stamp tool is not in the toolbar then select the pull down menu on the rightmost site of the toolbar and select Keyword. Now write in Keyword(s) in the keyword stamp field (separate keywords with comma) and press the Keyword Stamper to enable the stamp tool. Now, when pictures in the grid are clicked with the stamp the keywords entered in the stamp field are tagged to the photo. It is also possible to use the Menu|Metadata to assign the keywords and go into stamp mode with the Set keyword shortcut … and Enable keyword stamping menu elements.
- Write keywords: This is probably the most flexible method of tagging pictures with keywords: Select one or more pictures and write in the Keywording field (on the right side panel) the keywords separated by commas. If you enter a new keyword it is automatically registered in the keyword list.
- Keyword sets: A keyword sets is a convenient way to group relevant keyword tags for quick access. I will talk more about keywords sets next week.
- Use external program: As keywords are stored in a standard way in the pictures themselves or sidecar files with the pictures it is possible to register the keywords outside Lightroom with other programs like Bridge, iView Media Pro etc. and when the pictures are imported in Lightroom the keywords from the other programs will be populated there.
It is obvious that the Lightroom engineers have put a lot of effort in making Keywords as flexible as possible with many different ways to tag pictures. Using some of the methods above should enable most photographers to come up with a good workflow in registering keywords for images.
Next week I will talk about Keyword sets.