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Accidentally deleted a keyword hierarchy

McPhil

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
22
Location
Massachusetts
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Intermediate
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
 
Joined
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West Sussex, UK
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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
22
Location
Massachusetts
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
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
 

Evanprice

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Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
1
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Lightroom Version
6.x
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
 

soundograph

New Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2022
Messages
8
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.
What if there is no arrow next to the top Hierarchy?
 
Joined
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What if there is no arrow next to the top Hierarchy?
The response that you quoted was originally posted almost 7 years ago, and much has changed since then. It would perhaps be more sensible for you to start a new thread which details what problem you are looking for help with.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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California, USA
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An I thought I was the only one to make this stupid mistake. I would have never though it to be so common.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Operator error. No one is totally immune, especially after two glasses of wine.
:rolleyes:

@Jim Wilde 's advice in post #2 is still valid and just one very good reason why everyone should back up their catalogs after every Lightroom working session.
 
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Cloud Service
Operator error. No one is totally immune, especially after two glasses of wine. :rolleyes:

I call mine “Stupid User Mistakes” and unfortunately this occurred without the inclusion of alcoholic beverages.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
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Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
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Lightroom Version
Classic
I call mine “Stupid User Mistakes” and unfortunately this occurred without the inclusion of alcoholic beverages.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
But the wine certainly makes you more prone to such mistakes. Instead of wine, two shots of Blanton's single barrel bourbon.

I guess we need Adobe to create a new feature to prevent a user from making "stupid" mistakes. Of course, this feature should be configurable, like degrees of sharpening.
 

soundograph

New Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2022
Messages
8
The response that you quoted was originally posted almost 7 years ago, and much has changed since then. It would perhaps be more sensible for you to start a new thread which details what problem you are looking for help with.
Thanks Jim. I guess since the problems are the exact same as the OP, with the addition of not finding the arrow (I've found it since by waiting for LR to finish loading and hovering my mouse over the area) and since there were comments as recent as yesterday related to this post, seems like having it all live in the same thread would be helpful. I don't use forums much so happy to make a new post, but seems like more streamlined to keep it all in the same line so there are less places to look for the answer to the same question.

So for future people, I'll be making a new post related to this in Jan 2022. Search for "Deleted top level keyword hierarchy, HELP!"
 
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