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Library module Apply multiple keywords at once with keyword set shortcut?

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trych

New Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
11
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version Number
LrC 12.5
Operating System
  1. macOS 12 Monterey
Hi there,

I am once again trying to optimize my keywording workflow for speed, specifically with keywords that re-occur over and over again, more specifically keywords that re-occur over and over in different combinations.

What I have done was to create keyboard sets with the different keywords, but also with combinations of the different keywords like seen in the screenshot:

20230905-234604_Screenshot_LightroomClassic.png


With that setup, I could in theory tag a family vacation really quickly, by using the shortcuts alt + num 1 through alt + num 9.

Only, Lightroom will insert Paul, Mary happily into the keyword field when I hit alt + num 6, but it treats it as a single keyword. Now, since commas (or semi-colons or pipes) are officially not allowed / supported within keywords I had expected Lightroom to convert these into two keywords, but, no luck, it ends up being one keyword.

Now, a few questions:
  1. Does anyone know any way to work around this or set up a Keyword Set to work with multiple keywords on one position? That would make the keyword sets so much better.
  2. If not, does anyone know if there is a plugin that would allow me to replace the comma within the keywords by ... another comma or semi-colon, in the hope that Lightroom would enforce the splitting then? I have tried John Beardsworth's Search + Replace plugin, but it doesn't allow to update keywords.
Thanks a lot!
 
First of all (and you may already be doing this) create a seperate KW for each person. Do not create a KW for each combination of people as you'll soon discover the meaning of the mathematical term "factorial".

To do what you ask, create a preset for each unique group of KW's that tend to go together. Then select a group of images to which you want to assign the same group of KW's in grid mode of Library module, go to the Metadata Panel and with "Target Photo" option set to "Selected Photos", apply the desired preset to those selected images.

But, to me just checking the individual names in the keyword list is more convenient. Let's say I come back from a shoot of a family party that had 10 attendees. In the grid, I select all the images that have Fred and tick the Paul keyword, Then I select all the imagtes that have Mary and tick the Mary KW. Repeat this 10 times, once for each person. All my immediate family members have KW's under praent "Immediate-Famly" parent in the KW List so they are all right next to each other. If some were extend family, then I'd just expand the "Extended-Family" parent KW for them and do the same thing.

I think this is much faster and easier than viasually scanning the entire shoot for images that contain one unique combinaiton of people such as has Mum, Dad and Mary but not Paul and selecting a preset. Then looking for those with Mum and Dad but not Paul or Mary applying that Preset. And repeating for every unique combinaton of people. BTW, with 10 people the possible unique combinations of people is 10! (10 factoria) or 3,628,800 which of course would require that many presets.

If you're interested I have an article on this as it relates to people but the concept can be applied to any set of keywords. You can find it here
https://www.danhartfordphoto.com/blog/2021/12/lr013-keywords-for-people

Dan
 
Hi Dan,

thanks for responding.
Do not create a KW for each combination of people
Well, the combination of people is exactly what I am going for here and the core of my question. Naturally, I do not want to create combination of all people but a few sets of four people and their most common combinations. And of course, the end result should be the separate keywords.

Let's say I come back from a shoot of a family party that had 10 attendees. In the grid, I select all the images that have Fred and tick the Paul keyword, Then I select all the imagtes that have Mary and tick the Mary KW. Repeat this 10 times, once for each person.
That's how I have been doing it for years and it is too slow for me unfortunately. Over the years i have done a lot of experimenting with keyword input, using MIDI-controllers, creating custom macros that control Lightroom etc. And in my testing I found this setting of multiple keywords would by far the fastest method to assign these combinations in a typical image set that I need to tag ... if it would work.

I think this is much faster and easier than viasually scanning the entire shoot for images that contain one unique combinaiton of people such as has Mum, Dad and Mary but not Paul and selecting a preset. Then looking for those with Mum and Dad but not Paul or Mary applying that Preset.
That's not what I am doing. I go picture by picture and then hit the corresponding alt + numpad shortcut. As I said, I have found this is much faster than the other methods. If it would only work.

Anybody have any ideas, how to work around those issues or if there is a plugin?
 
If you're willing to seclect a preset instead of a keyword set that could work. But, as far as I know there is no standard speed key to select a preset, but if you're programming a midi controller you could probably create a speed key for that.
 
Interesting idea, I was not even aware that you could apply keywords via a metadata preset. However, you are right, there seems to be no way to assign a keyboard shortcut to these (and also I really like the numpad shortcuts for the keyword sets, as the keywords are all visible, so ideally I would like to use those).
 
Do any of the utilities you use have the ability to enter a text string as well as key presses?

I use Touch Portal, which lets my iPad be a custom button control surface for Mac applications, and I created some button layouts as shortcuts for Lightroom Classic, including keyword entry. You don’t have to use that specific software, but the point is that I looked into one of my buttons and found that I had set it up not to trigger a Lightroom Classic keyword shortcut (e.g., Option-7), but to actually enter specific keyword text. I guess I did it this way so I wouldn't have to worry about whether a number shortcut was now mapped to some other keyword (e.g., if the wrong keyword set was active).

In other words, the button is programmed like this:
  1. Send Command-K. If Lightroom Classic is in the Library module, that keyboard shortcut applies Photo > Add Keywords, which means the smaller text field in the Keywords panel is activated to enter any text you want.
  2. Enter text. In your case (which I just tested), it would enter the text “Mum Dad Paul Mary”*. I have different buttons enter specific text strings. In this way, any combination of keywords can be entered, without depending on whether they already exist in Lightroom Classic, and with delimiters if needed.
It could include a third step that sends the Enter key, but I like to visually confirm before applying and then press Enter myself when I’m sure.
It also includes earlier steps to make sure Lightroom Classic is foreground and the Library module is active, but I left those out for simplicity.

So if any of the controllers or utilities you have tried has the ability to send key presses/shortcuts and text strings, you could approach it this way.

I have to agree that I prefer to enter each name as a separate keyword. Finding a specific combination later is not a problem, because Lightroom Classic provides two ways to simplify that. Califdan’s example is one great way, and it doesn’t always have to involve clicking multiple times to set up a filter. If I want to call up a specific combination more than once I will make a filter preset for it, and then all I have to do is the one step of choosing the preset for that combination of keywords. But I actually prefer to create Smart Collections for this, because for me they’re more immediately accessible in the Collections panel, can be organized there into collection sets, and can use more criteria if I need them. Like I would have a one-click Smart Collection named “Mum Dad Paul Mary” set up as:
Match [all] of the following rules:
Other Metadata / Keywords / Contains words [Mum]
Other Metadata / Keywords / Contains words [Dad]
Other Metadata / Keywords / Contains words [Paul]
Other Metadata / Keywords / Contains words [Mary]

This greatly simplifies keyword entry because it isn’t necessary to make sure the correct combination is entered into each image. All that’s necessary is that each person in the image is tagged, and all people become eligible for any possible combination in the future. And it’s super easy to duplicate that Smart Collection and edit the duplicate to create any combination you might think of in the future.

*(This suggestion does not address the issue of commas as delimiters, only how to get them entered using some kind of macro utility. If they are entered as separate names, as we think they should be, then the commas will become correct delimiters anyway.)
 
Is there any reason that Lightroom Classic's automated Face Detection is not sufficient for you? I don't take many photos of groups of people, but when I do, I find that it works very well. (It adds keywords for the people it recognizes.)
 
Thanks everybody for the responses.

The suggested techniques like the stamp tool or Face Detection are not fast enough for my workflow. Face Detection gives me too many false flags and misses too many persons so that it takes a considerable time to go through all the images again and correct for that.
  1. Send Command-K. If Lightroom Classic is in the Library module, that keyboard shortcut applies Photo > Add Keywords, which means the smaller text field in the Keywords panel is activated to enter any text you want.
  2. Enter text. In your case (which I just tested), it would enter the text “Mum Dad Paul Mary”*. I have different buttons enter specific text strings. In this way, any combination of keywords can be entered, without depending on whether they already exist in Lightroom Classic, and with delimiters if needed.
Interestingly I had just created a macro like that in the past that toggles the keyword panel and pastes comma separated keywords, however, this requires a lot of different hotkeys. The nice thing about the keyword sets is to always have the keywords visible that you are about to assign.

I have to agree that I prefer to enter each name as a separate keyword. Finding a specific combination later is not a problem, because Lightroom Classic provides two ways to simplify that.
I believe there is still a misunderstanding what I am going for. My goal is absolutely to have separate keywords. I am just looking for a way to apply those at the same time.



Having said all that, since there seemed to be no solution to my issue, I decided to write a small LR plugin to do what I want.

The plug-in will find all the photos that have those comma separated "multi-keywords" applied to them, then it splits those into regular, separate keywords, applies them to these photos and removes the "multi-keywords", informing you about the results.
20230908-024450_Screenshot_LightroomClassic.png


In case anyone is interested, you made the plug-in available here along with the source code, a detailed description of the intended workflow and how to use it. If anyone gives it a try, I am happy to get some feedback if it works for you.
 
Last edited:
Thanks everybody for the responses.

The suggested techniques like the stamp tool or Face Detection are not fast enough for my workflow. Face Detection gives me too many false flags and misses too many persons so that it takes a considerable time to go through all the images again and correct for that.

Interestingly I had just created a macro like that in the past that toggles the keyword panel and pastes comma separated keywords, however, this requires a lot of different hotkeys. The nice thing about the keyword sets is to always have the keywords visible that you are about to assign.


I believe there is still a misunderstanding what I am going for. My goal is absolutely to have separate keywords. I am just looking for a way to apply those at the same time.



Having said all that, since there seemed to be no solution to my issue, I decided to write a small LR plugin to do what I want.

The plug-in will find all the photos that have those comma separated "multi-keywords" applied to them, then it splits those into regular, separate keywords, applies them to these photos and removes the "multi-keywords", informing you about the results.
View attachment 21633

In case anyone is interested, you made the plug-in available here along with the source code, a detailed description of the intended workflow and how to use it. If anyone gives it a try, I am happy to get some feedback if it works for you.

Neat, thank you.

Here is a tip to work just a little bit faster: I use AutoHotKey to reassign the NumPad digit keys. So pressing NumPad-1 actually generates Alt-NumPad-1. I am on Windows and you are on Apple, but I'm sure this can be done on your machine too.
 
Thanks for the suggestion, @Jan Roelof . I don't think the pressing of the alt-button does slow me down too much, so I should be fine.

I work on macOS and for those that look for a Key Remapping solution that can also create complex macros, I can recommend Keyboard Maestro.
 
I've been very impressed with BetterTouchTool (Mac) which was recommended to me by one of my plugin customers. I'm pretty confident it could have many KBSCs.

Another thought is the keyboard text replacements in Mac's preferences. This might allow you to enter multiple keywords with commas.
 
Yes, I also use Better Touch Tool, but have the majority of my macros in Keyboard Maestro which is incredibly flexible and can also handle keyboard text replacements. I have create quite a few snippets that where I can type something like "pmmd<space><space>" and it enters ", Paul, Mary, Mum, Dad" which has saved me a lot of time as well. Still, I found the Keyword Set approach the fastest in certain situations.
 
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