Accidentally deleted a keyword hierarchy

McPhil

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Jan 9, 2013
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Massachusetts
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#1
Hello members,

I accidentally deleted a keyword hierarchy containing around 15 keywords that were assigned to 1000's of images. I noticed this after shutting down lightroom and backing up that catalogue; when I reopened the catalogue, and after importing new images I discovered the keywords/hierarchy were missing. I could go back to an older catalogue backup and it's likely the missing keywords would be there. But how would I get these keywords into the latest catalogue I'm now working in?

Is there a way to save keywords into a file separate from a .lrcat file?

Thank you in advance to any help you can offer.

Phil
 

Jim Wilde

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#2
The problem is that having deleted the keyword hierarchy, all those keywords are removed from the images. So even if you were to go back to an older catalog and export the keyword hierarchy, then import it into the current catalog, the keywords would not be re-applied to those thousands of images as the current catalog no longer has the correct association of keyword to image.

The way to proceed is to open the last catalog backup immediately prior to the deletion. Turn all filters off, then in the Keyword List click on the arrow at the right of the top keyword in the 15 keyword hierarchy that you deleted. That should populate the Grid with those 1000's of images. Ctrl+A to select them all, then File>Export as Catalog. In the resulting dialog choose a name and location (suggest Desktop for the location, makes it easy to find) for the export catalog and check the first option (Export selected photos only) and uncheck all the other option boxes. Click on "Export Catalog".

When the export has finished, close the backup catalog and open the master catalog. Take a catalog backup before proceeding, then re-open again. Then do File>Import from another catalog and select the exported catalog on your Desktop. At that point you should get an indication that there are those 1000's of images with changed Metadata to import, but no new photos to import (unless you have deleted some since taking the backup you used to restore). For the changed photos, you should also get the option to create VCs of the current version in the catalog prior to replacing with the changed versions....how you respond to that will I guess depend on how much other change you may have made to the images (e.g. develop edits, other metadata) since the restore point backup). When you've checked the options, proceed with the import and hopefully your hierarchy will be restored and the the keywords correctly assigned to those 1000's of images.

If you're nervous (no need to be provided you take that backup of the current catalog first) you could test it with just a few images (but make sure you have at least one for each of those lost keywords). Once you're happy, do it with the full set.
 
Last edited:

McPhil

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16
Location
Massachusetts
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
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#3
Thank you, will try this soon (re deleted keywords)

The problem is that having deleted the keyword hierarchy, all those keywords are removed from the images. So even if you were to go back to an older catalog and export the keyword hierarchy, then import it into the current catalog, the keywords would not be re-applied to those thousands of images as the current catalog no longer has the correct association of keyword to image.

The way to proceed is to open the last catalog backup immediately prior to the deletion. Turn all filters off, then in the Keyword List click on the arrow at the right of the top keyword in the 15 keyword hierarchy that you deleted. That should populate the Grid with those 1000's of images. Ctrl+A to select them all, then File>Export as Catalog. In the resulting dialog choose a name and location (suggest Desktop for the location, makes it easy to find) for the export catalog and check the first option (Export selected photos only) and uncheck all the other option boxes. Click on "Export Catalog".

When the export has finished, close the backup catalog and open the master catalog. Take a catalog backup before proceeding, then re-open again. Then do File>Import from another catalog and select the exported catalog on your Desktop. At that point you should get an indication that there are those 1000's of images with changed Metadata to import, but no new photos to import (unless you have deleted some since taking the backup you used to restore). For the changed photos, you should also get the option to create VCs of the current version in the catalog prior to replacing with the changed versions....how you respond to that will I guess depend on how much other change you may have made to the images (e.g. develop edits, other metadata) since the restore point backup). When you've checked the options, proceed with the import and hopefully your hierarchy will be restored and the the keywords correctly assigned to those 1000's of images.

If you're nervous (no need to be provided you take that backup of the current catalog first) you could test it with just a few images (but make sure you have at least one for each of those lost keywords). Once you're happy, do it with the full set.
Jim, Thanks much for the quick reply. I will try your method in the near future. I am transferring Lightroom to a new laptop and once this is complete and tested then I will try to rescue the deleted keywords.

Phil
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
1
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#4
Jim,

Your advice was still good today, exactly 1 year later. Saved me lots of grief.

Thanks,
lloyd
 

Evanprice

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Nov 2, 2018
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6.x / CC 2015.x
#5
Hi Jim

I know it’s been three years but just wanted to say a huge thank you as this tip saved me a massive amount of time....was getting ready to retag 2500 photos!

Cheers
Evan
 
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