Home > Lightroom & Photoshop Discussion > Photoshop & External Editors > Need a 'visually convenient' keywording plugin

Need a 'visually convenient' keywording plugin

  1. Let me start by stating that keywording photos in LR is a pain in the rear. No one's gonna argue with me on this one. However, my main complaint is that the keywords are just mashed together in a list that's displayed using a tiny font. Typing in each keyword, trying not to misspell, is painful enough on the eyes but how about REMOVING unwanted keywords? Ever tried that?

    For many years I've been compiling and editing my keywords OUTSIDE of Lightroom. For keywording a new photo I would open up Notepad, type in (or copy & paste) my keywords and then transfer them to Lr via copy & paste. It's been the only way to get the keywords "in front of me", "black on white", not tucked away in a corner, listed using a tiny font.

    I know there are all kinds of "keywording assistants" out there. However, that's not at all what I'm looking for. I can keyword my own photos just fine, without paying someone to trash my keyword list with an extra 150 trivially-relevant words or phrases that no one searches for anyway.

    So far I've just been waiting and hoping that Adobe would address this issue. But from what I see, the keywording tools REMAIN largely crippled in the latest version of Lr.

    I've done an extensive search on the net, and nope... No one's got a decent keywording plugin. Or maybe I just didn't look hard enough?

    Now... I have a whole ton of old photos to go over. For most of them I will need to EDIT the associated keywords. Copying and pasting the list into Notepad and then trying to make a sense of it is (unfortunately) the only way I can do it right now. I am literally looking at 'months of work'.

    Basically what I (and many people like me) need is:

    The ability to select any photo in the catalog and pull up a dialog box with the list of the keywords that are ALREADY associated with that photo. The font has to be large enough and the keywords should be arranged in the alphabetical order, in a list that runs both horizontally and vertically. Next to each keyword there must be a CHECKBOX, which would allow to conveniently remove any given keyword with a click of a mouse by simply "unchecking" that keyword.
    At the bottom of the dialog box there should be a field where new strings can be input (typed in or otherwise). It should work like this: Make the field active, type in a word or a phrase, press Enter, type in another keyword, press Enter.. and so on. The additions to the list must be displayed immediately in the dialog box (in the list with the other keywords).
    As a bonus, the dialog box with all the keywords should have a nice preview of the photo that's being keyworded.

    I am not describing anything new or unusual. Many of the photo-stock agencies made similar tools available to their contributors YEARS ago.
    I am disdained by the blunt lack of attention from Adobe to addressing this extremely important issue.

    Enough is enough. I am not editing my keywords the way I've been doing thus far. If there is a Lr plugin - great! If not (probably not), I'll have to think outside the box. What external software can I use to do what I described earlier? I can copy the keywords from Lr, paste them into a new window and work on them in that 'other software'. As long as I have a neat list right in front of me and as long as I can simply "uncheck" anything I don't want - I'm cool. When I'm done I should be able to copy the list and insert it back into Lr, overwriting the (now) old keywords.

    So what is out there? I know I'm not the only one who would pay $$$ for a (simple) tool like that, so there's gotta be something.
  2. Quite a rant, but it seems to me that you have to learn Lightroom a little better. You can already remove a keyword by using a checkbox (that checkbox is in the Keyword List). Adding keywords can be done in many ways, so you only have to type a keyword once. Existing keywords can be added through that same checkbox, the 'Recent Keywords' panel, the 'Keyword Suggestions' panel, synchronisation of metadata, and so on.
  3. In support of Johan's comment, I use the Keyword List panel exclusively. All of my keywords are arranged hierarchically. When I want to add a new keyword I right click on the parent keyword and then choose a keyword creation dialog to create a new child keyword in the list. Adding or removing a keyword to/from the selected image(s) is as easy as checking or unchecking the checkbox just left of the keyword. If I want to filter the catalog for images assigned to a keyword, I simply click on the keyword count column for that keyword and a subset of my catalog shows up in the grid view.
  4. So basically you both are OK with having to scroll through a thousand keywords for EVERY SINGLE photo you have to change the keywords.

    Call me crazy but I want to see ONLY the keywords that are relevant to the ONE photo I'm looking at. I want to see them right in front me, large font, black on white, all at once. I don't want to scroll through some damn list somewhere in the corner. I know that it's the way to do it. The people who haven't thought this through are the ones who are stupid, not me.

    I've already described what I'm looking for. And if there isn't something like that out there - there should be!

    All future posters, please address only the issue described in my initial inquiry. I would love to hear about any practical suggestions.
  5. Have you tried LR's Keywording panel (which is not the same as the Keyword List)? There isn't anything available which does exactly what you describe, but the Keywording panel (combined with the use of Keyword Sets) should give you most of those things.
  6. I never claimed to be a Lr expert. In fact what I have is Lr 5.5. So, maybe I am missing something here.
    Tell me, Marc, in the "Keyword List" panel, there's a field that says "Filter Keywords". Is there some code that I can I enter, which will tell Lightroom to display ONLY the keywords that I have for one photo at a time? I've be dying to see something like this for years. It wouldn't provide me with a complete solution but it sure would make life a lot easier for me. How nice would it be to be able to scroll through a list of just ~50 keywords and simply 'uncheck' any irrelevant ones...

    I sure hope this can be done. If it's possible only in LR6, I will probably upgrade tomorrow.
  7. The panel I'm referring to is above the Keyword List (sorry, I can't create a screenshot right now, but have a look halfway down http://www.borrowlenses.com/blog/2014/09/lightroom-keywording-tips/ for an example) which has been available since the early versions of LR, and displays only the keywords for the selected photo(s). In that same panel are the Keyword Sets, where you can preselect keywords you often use for easy access.
  8. I may have to try this. I fully sympathize with the OP's position. I too hate the basic scrolling.
    I have created what I thought was a decent hierarchical setup, but in my current list, many words which should have been associated with an upper level parent are not. I have not a clue as to what happened. Every so often, I try to clean up my list, but with the current UI it is a real pain, as well as slow. This UI was developed years ago, and as far as I can see, it hasn't really been updated.
  9. With any tag if you enter a keyword it will list the parents for you to choose from, if there is not one it ask you create one, if you need one of course.
  10. I have a hierarchical list of ~1000 keywords. Of these, the keywords that are relevant to an image are the ones that are already assigned. How is LR or anything else supposed to guess which keywords you want to see in advance to show you the relevant ones? I think you might need to revisit you workflow to maximize your efficiency.

    Here are some things that you can do.
    Create a hierarchy with your keywords. With this example:
    ...............Harris County
    I can assign "Bellaire" and have every keyword between it and "Locale" assigned too.

    When I Import, I have usually less than 200 images to reference. From the grid view of that import, I select all of the images that have a common keyword and check the box for that keyword in the keyword list. I keep repeating this with subsets of my import until every image in that import has at least two keywords assigned to it.
    Some times I assign keywords in the import keyword field that is available in the "Apply During Import" panel.

    If you are complaining about the size of the Text, you can change that in the Preferences Interface tab in the Panels Section.

    Program developers are trained to think logically (some do this better than others but human interface design gets a high priority in large companies like Adobe). Adobe has provided at least 6 different ways to manage and enter keywords in the LR catalog So, if you think the Adobe developers are "stupid" you probably do not have a good understanding yet of the concept. You are welcome to code an app or plugin your self to do a better job or you can learn to use the tools already available to do the job efficiently. We'll help you work more efficiently in LR, that's why we are here. But you need to approach the process with an open mind ready to accept new ideas before we can help.
  11. You could also try photo_mechanic which links with LR, mind I could not get on with it, patience ran out
  12. Thank you, I did know which panel you were referring to, however, I was asking something else.
    Anyway, the method of removing unwanted keywords you're implying would work in a case where each photo had only half a dozen keywords AND if the panel was displaying the actual keywords for the photo, instead of "keyword suggestions", "keyword sets" or any of that cluster****.

    I want to make something clear. It was never obvious and that's entirely my fault.
    I deal in commercial stock imagery (among many other things). I don't use Lightroom to keyword a couple dozen photos of my g/f and her dog. Or the ones I took of my step-sister with her drunken friends at my mom's 3rd wedding.

    Keywording photos is a serious business to me... literally. Of course, I could outsource the job to some poor fella in some god-forsaken ****hole but I've decided to do the job myself. Because guess what. Who knows more about my photos than I do?

    And to get back to the point. Each photo in my "for stock" collection holds ~50 keywords on average. Some conceptual shots are around 150.
    Can I make Lightroom display 150 keywords at any one given time, in a way that will let me remove the unwanted ones with a click of a mouse?
    I know that in the Keyword List, I can double click any word and simply delete it, but who wants to get into that cluster****? It would be much easier if there was at least adequate spacing between the keywords but apparently, no one keywords their stock photos anymore. At least not in Lightroom.

    It wouldn't be much of a thing if we were talking a couple hundred photos. The reality of it is that there are over 10,000... with more or less individually-tailored keyword lists... each.

    I'm still open to suggestions that are outside the realm of Lightroom and its apparently-not-so-adequate plugin selection.

    1. Select the entire keyword list (for each photo) in Ligthroom.
    2. Copy.
    3. Paste into 3rd-party software window.
    4. Display the keywords in an organized manner, separated by adequate spacing, with a checkbox next to each keyword.
    5. Manually "uncheck" the unwanted keywords and augment the list if necessary.
    6. Copy
    7. Paste in Lr.

    The last time I looked out the window, the year was 2015. There's gotta be something.
  13. MZ,

    I tend to agree with you that the builtin keywording features. I too have never been comfortable with the Keywording panel. The one good use that I have found for it is by selecting the "Will Export" option to see what Lightroom will actually include in my Exported/Published images which for me is important since I make use of a lot of hidden keywords in my hierarchy.

    I also recommend spending a little more time working with the Keyword List panel. One recent improvement, I think some time in LR5, is to the search. When you type in a search string besides just the matching terms it also shows the children of those terms. For example if I type in "tree" it not only shows plants > tree but all also all the species listed under tree.

    Finally there is a plugin that I find extremely helpful Any Tag Lightroom Plugin. While the interface is a bit quirky it goes quite a bit further than any of the builtin tools. When you open it (I have a keyboard shortcut) it will display all the keywords assigned to the image or selected images one per line and it also shows the internal keyword hierarchy for each. If you delete the contents of a line that keyword is deleted from all the selected images.

    When you start typing into a blank line it searches your keywords including any aliases (not part of the builtin search) and starts listing all the possible matching terms. You simply select the one you want from the provided list. If there isn't a match the search term turns read and when you click OK you will be prompted for for where you want the new term placed in your hierarchy.

    Because of the limitations of the Lightroom SDK the developer had to extract all the keywords from Lightroom and build his own internal database. When you create new keywords in side AnyTag these are automatically added to Lightroom but the reverse is not true. So if you add new keywords in Lightroom you need manually tell AnyTag to reread them from Lightroom. I have about 3500 keywords and 650 aliases and this takes about 10 seconds.

    It's not perfect but I think it goes a long way to help make the process easier.

    If you haven't already and even if you have I encourage you to login to the official Adobe Lightroom Feedback Forums and add your vote to the existing Keyword topics. Lightroom: Better keyword management is a good place to start. This has to be the most popular request almost completely ignored by Adobe. Maybe some day Adobe will allocate some resources to fixing the problems to the existing tools.


  14. I don't expect Lr to guess anything in this case. I just want it to DISPLAY what's already there. Just give me a nice "uncheckable" list of 50 keywords FOR THE ONE PHOTO ONLY. Nothing else. No parents, uncles, grandparents or any of that mess.
    How hard is it to do?
  15. Probably not hard but this is not a place where any of us can make any changes to Lightroom. We just try to help anyone make the best use of the tools that are available.

    I understand your frustration as I have it as well but in the end I have to make do with what is provided. Again I encourage you to add your voice to the topics on the feedback forum.


  16. I remember giving it a try a few years back. I do recall something about the plugin being "quirky"... AND that I eventually gave up on it.. but not much more. Maybe I should give it another go and see what's what. I think I even still have the license..

    The whole 'hierarchy' B.S. is just not for me.. I tried it at one point but quickly became entangled in all that crap. I've been keywording stock photos since 2007. I have my own system and I guess that's just the way I roll. I know which keywords would actually lead to a potential sale of my material, so wasting my time on creating "families" of 'trees', 'plants', 'flowers' and 'canines" would be an overkill. If someone likes toying around with that mess - let them have their fun.

    Plus, right now, I'm not looking to KEYWORD ten thousand photos. They already ARE keyworded. It's just over the years, most of them ended up with keywords that don't even belong there (thank you, Lightroom). I need to clean it up.

    And 'requesting' something from Adobe? A drop in the ocean... further waste of my time.

    I am VERY surprised that no plugin developer has taken this on thus far.

    Hell, I have a background in coding. If it was 15 years ago I'd write this damn thing myself and make some money off of it as a bonus. Oh, well..
  17. Photo Mechanic? I had it when it was just a Photoshop plugin. I think it was the late 90's. Didn't know it was still around.. Not sure if it's even the same thing.

    Anyway I pulled up a couple 'keywording' videos on Youtube and nope.... not too impressed. It may be useful to those who want to KEYWORD their photos, not to someone who is looking to EDIT the keywords.

    The whole, hierarchy/category/family deal is for the lazy.

    I have almost 30 years of typing on a computer behind my belt. And I can actually type in 4 different languages (on any keyboard)... For me typing in a whole set of keywords for one photo is a breeze. MUCH quicker than it would take me to select the keywords from a list. I also like to think that my spelling is more than just 'OK', so I really don't have a problem with having to keyword my photos using the humble Notepad. It's when I have to change the keywords that things begin to really suck.
  18. Maybe is the first quote the cause of the second?

    Well, give it a try and get rich!
  19. Re point 1: I don't this is such an odd wish for a stock photographer; I'd probably find such a plugin useful, myself. And I think I could probably write something useful, but I don't have any delusions that I'd get rich from writing such a plugin if I did (or if I do—I don't yet know if I'll have time for this one, but maybe I'll create a "todo" to work on it when/if I clear some higher priority items).

    I should point out that writing a Lightroom plugin is non-trivial: 1) You need to learn Lua (a rather obscure scripting language) and 2) Even if you are already comfortable with Lua, you need to learn the rather limiting and not-very-well documented Lightroom SDK / API. And since most plugins have their code compiled, you also won't find a lot of useful "real world" example code. I've spent some time on the learning curve and am finally getting to the point I think I could probably code code what _MZ_ is looking for without spending a ton of time on it. But it definitely wouldn't be very "quick and easy". The logic behind this plugin might be simple enough, but getting the user interface to look nice enough to actually release... that's trickier.
  20. It certainly isn't quick and easy, not least because of the many ways one could address it. I've been bouncing one around for a few years, rebuilding and reconfiguring it - without ever feeling convinced it helped me much!
  21. Oh, crap... ;)

    Now I feel even less sure I could do a good job on that if the legendary johnbeardy (one of the very few coders who have written more than a handful of functional Lightroom plugins) has already worked on such a plugin and not yet been satisfied with the outcome. :unsure:

    Incidentally, I might add, it was John who got me started a short while back; I was using his awesome Search-Replace-Transfer plugin and asked him about some ideas I had for extending the feature-set to allow copying IPTC codes (from the keywords field) to their proper fields; it would have required some kind of pattern-matching. The ironic thing is that, despite all the shortcomings of Lightroom's keywording functionality, it's still an order of magnitude simpler to use it for adding IPTC codes than what is currently provided for those fields (i.e. absolutely nothing).

    I now have my IPTC Code Helper plugin working (though not yet really officially released). BTW, I happened upon this thread while searching to see if it might be possible (via the Lightroom API) to edit a keyword to change its parent term. (Does anyone happen to know if that is possible?) ... Not to hijack this thread, but I'm now trying to build a plugin to help with merging duplicate (same name) terms in a large, hierarchical keyword catalog. I know it's not possible to delete terms via the Lightroom API, but I'm hoping I could allow a user to select which terms to keep and which terms to re-assign photos, synonyms, and any child terms, and move the to-be-deleted terms to a new top-level parent term (e.g. "DELETE ME"). It might be that, if too much cannot be done within Lightroom, the plugin could generate an SQL script to run against the Lightroom catalog (though I'd rather avoid that sort of thing). So far (for that use case), I have a script that identifies all the same-name terms and lists them in a log file with their "ancestry" (parent terms), synonyms, and child terms.
  22. I'm blushing, Lowell ;)

    I'd avoid any SQL. For one thing, you can't run it on the current catalogue, so a plugin would need to work on a duplicate of the lrcat file. The database is also pretty awkward, with data not being stored in classic relational tables - instead you get blocks of Lua which are difficult to query in SQL. My early experiences with Lr's SQL are what led me to learn Lua, which I didn't find easy!

    Your keyword reparenting would probably require creating a new keyword, so copying its details (its own children, synonyms) and reapplying the keyword to photos. You then rename the original keyword so you can easily find and delete it. At least, I think that's something I once did.

  23. Thanks for your response, John. Yeah... I'm not crazy about the idea of getting into the SQL, either. Last time I did something like that it wasn't so bad, but I did need to shut down Lightroom and (of course) I made an extra backup copy of my catalog right before opening it in the SQL app. As a personal solution, I don't mind getting a bit "risky" with the SQL, but if it's to share with others, I'm sure I'd rather avoid anything that depends on execution of SQL statements against the LR catalog db.

    Anyway, I'll start a new thread (here or one of the other likely places) if I run want to discuss this much more. I've been manually working on removing duplicate entries in my Lightroom keyword catalog based on the output of my script, which identified several hundred same-name terms. But there are so many different ways that I'll have to handle them that I'm less sure a "merge tool" would satisfy my use case (or at least it would have to be quite complicated). I find I usually want to see the full context, including sibling terms, and often want to simply rename one term and/or add a synonym with the original name. My script is helpful for diagnosis, at least. Maybe, by the time I've done it all manually, I'll have a better idea of what actions a plugin (any plugin with this sort of functionality) would have to support.
  24. Together with Sam Chadwick, I have recently released our MyKeyworder for Lightroom plugin for easy keywording in Lightroom.
    In short, the plugin allows the user to add keywords from five sources:
    1. Title and caption metadata - this is often needed for e.g. stock photography.
    2. Auto-identification - artificial intelligence analyses the image content and suggests keywords.
    3. Search for related terms - similar to www.mykeyworder.com
    4. Synonyms - fetching synonyms from a dictionary.
    5. Manual entering.
    Mykeyworder for Lightroom supports both single-image and batch processing of multiple related images.

    The basic version is free, but you'll need to make a donation of at least 10 USD (in the plugin) to unlock its full functionality.
    MyKeyworder | Find Images and Generate Keywords Instantly

    Hope you'll like it and comments or suggestions for improvement are most welcome!

  25. Impressive, except that this tools does not see existing keywords in your keyword hierarchy, so it adds the same keyword again at root level.
  26. Yes, this will be fixed in the next release. Keywords will be reused - even if they are at a lower level in the hierarchy.
  27. That would be perfect! Also look for case-sensitivity. Somebody may already have a keyword like 'Travel', in which case the plugin should not add a separate keyword 'travel' if possible.
  28. Hi again,

    Just wanted to let you all know that this has been fixed in the new release (v1.20), which also allows the following preferences:
    • Placement of new keywords below a special keyword "New keywords" - this makes life a lot easier if you have keywords in a hierarchy.
    • Create new keywords as upper case - a user requested this.
    • Copy-paste field to copy list of keywords to clipboard - another user requested this.
    Please visit: MyKeyworder | Find Images and Generate Keywords Instantly to download the latest version.
  29. I sent a donation, not via the 'Donate' button but directly through the Donate menu on the website. I did not get a respons so far, so how do I tell the plugin that I donated?
  30. Had a look at MyKeyworder.

    It is not clear to me how this might work for removing keywords from images.
    For lots of reasons this is an important part of workflow flexibility.

    Tony Jay
  31. Hi Johan,

    Ahh - you need to donate through the plugin to have the donation linked up with your user account. I'll contact you directly on email to sort this out.
  32. Hi Tony,

    The plugin will overwrite the existing keywords with those you choose with the plugin. For example, if you have "woods" and "woodlands" and decide to replace those by "forest" you just open the plugin and make sure the keywords you want are in the right list - these will be the final keywords. You can either add "forest" manually or probably find it through "auto identify" or by searching on "forest" which will give you "forest" and about 200 related keywords. Use the > and < to select and deselect the keywords to want to add and remove and finally click "Save keywords to photo".

    Hope this answers your question.
  33. So, to clarify, I can see any and all keywords already assigned and can delete them at will within this plugin.
    It may not have anything to do with replacing one keyword with another.

    Tony Jay
  34. Yes, you can see the already assigned keywords and remove any of them as you like. You can also add new keywords from search, auto-identify, synonym search or manually added. Words in title and caption will also be placed in the list and you can choose which of these you can assign to the photo.
  35. Thanks for the clarification.
    This might make certain workflows a bit more efficient and flexible.

    Tony Jay
  36. I'm not sure how best to use this with hierarchical keywords.

    I seemed to see that if I had _Plants>flower>rose it will find rose (wish that would go to top of list since I know I wanna add that for sure) and deal with the implied keywords as expected (_Plants and flower). But what about when I don't remember that _Plants and flower are implied? I can add flower and that will list it in the keyword box in Lr but I still can't tell if it's now part of a hierarchy. If say "crane" is only in one hierarchy, say bird, that's fine, but it gets more confusing if "crane" is also a child of "construction equipment." It will imply bird, but not the equipment (not sure why it didn't at least imply both, although perhaps that's an Lr thing).

    Perhaps most importantly, if say "jaguar" is a completely new to me keyword, how can I CREATE a hierarchy, like cars>jaguar? (Cars won't come up searching "jaguar").
  37. You can simply create the hierarchy afterwards. Assign 'Jaguar' to some images, then in the keyword list drag & drop it onto 'cars'. The problem may be if you also shot the animal, so you already have 'cats > jaguar'.
  38. True enough. But that means the plugin doesn't save me much work although the suggestions can be nice.

    But I'll keep an eye on it. Content searching is the future; I've found some interesting things using that with Google but there's no automatic way to get what Google finds (or Flickr either I think) back into keywords. This gets me some similar things.