In the previous post, we learned how to start keywording from scratch, but many Lightroom users have already added a few keywords, so this week, we’ll do some cleanup.
How do I edit an existing keyword?
If you want to edit a keyword, perhaps to correct the spelling, simply right-click on the keyword in the Keyword List panel and select Edit Keyword Tag. When you rename a keyword, it’s automatically updated on all of the tagged photos too.
How do I delete a keyword from a single photo or from all photos?
If you add a keyword to a photo by mistake, you can remove it using either the Keywording or Keyword List panel. With the photo(s) selected, select the keyword in the Keywording panel and press Delete/Backspace to delete the keyword, or remove the checkmark against the keyword in the Keyword List panel.
To delete the keyword from the keyword list as well as any tagged photos, select it and press the – button at the top of the Keyword List panel, or right-click and select Delete.
How do I create or change the keyword hierarchy?
By default, new keywords are added as a flat list, but you can drag and drop them into a hierarchy of nested keywords.
As you drag a keyword onto another keyword, that new parent keyword is highlighted. When you release the mouse, the keyword moves inside the new parent keyword, just as you would drag folders onto other folders to make them into subfolders.
If you want to do the opposite and change a child keyword into a top-level keyword, drag and drop the keyword between existing top-level level keywords instead. As you drag, a thin blue line appears. Don’t worry about dropping it in the right place in the list, as the Keyword List is automatically set to alpha-numeric sort.
If you’re building your keyword hierarchy for the first time, and want to add a series of child keywords inside the same parent, select Put New Keywords Inside this Keyword from the right-click menu. Any new keywords are then added to that keyword as child keywords, unless you specifically choose otherwise. The keyword is marked with a small dot next to the keyword name to remind you. To go back to adding new keywords at root level, right-click and uncheck the same command.
How do I merge duplicate keywords?
At some stage, you’re sure to end up with duplicate keywords. Perhaps, before you decided on consistent capitalisation, you added dog to some photos and dogs to others. Or perhaps you edited photos in another program and the photo came back into your catalog with new flat keywords. Merging them isn’t as easy as it should be, but it is possible:
- In the Keyword List, click the arrow to the right of the “wrong” keyword to show the photos tagged with that keyword.
- Select all of the resulting photos in the Grid view and drag them onto the “right” keyword, or check the checkbox next to the “right” keyword. This assigns the “right” keyword to the photos.
- Finally, go back and delete the “wrong” keyword.
Over the last 4 weeks, we’ve only skimmed the surface of keywording in Lightroom. We’ve discussed the kind of keywords you might add, whether to use flat or hierarchical keywords, and the basics of getting started with adding keywords to your photos. For more detailed information, see the Keywording section of my LRCC/6 book, starting on page 140.
Next week, we’re carrying on with the cleanup – this time, merging and deleting multiple catalogs.