Can keyword associations be copied from one catalog to another?

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Active Member
May 21, 2015
Hillsborough, NC
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I've been manipulating my Lr catalogs for some time now. Mostly because my "master" catalog became bloated with more than 45K photos. My latest manipulation was to parse out about 3000 images of scanned 35mm slides into a separate catalog . The primary reason for this latest activity is that I purchased a better slide scanner than the one that I used in the '80s and rescanned a couple thousand of my original slides. Some of the slides are no longer available to me (I've become the family photo archivist ;-) .

Bottom line is that my NEW catalog of scanned slides has no keywords. Fortunately in retrospect I named each slide with the date stamped on the cardboard slide frame. So what I now have is hundreds of slides from the old collection that have filenames with the same filename as the newly scanned slides. I can of course go slide-by-slide and copy keywords to the new photos. But is there a way to make this easier? In a perfect world I could export the filenames/keywords from both old and new collections to a database and copy keywords from old to new and then import the keywords to the new catalog. I'm fairly proficient using spreadsheets and could actually do this with an old, discontinued software (Ulead PhotoImpact). I have ListView and Lr file transporter from Photographers toolbox and haven't worked at all with Metadata tab resident in Lr.

Any comments or suggestions will be helpful - thanks.
I think you have just learned why Lightroom worked best with one and only one catalog. If you have all of your images in one master catalog the all of your images can be assigned from the same keyword list.

If you want to import images into a new catalog, then make a copy of your master catalog and remove all of the imported images from the second catalog. This second catalog will start out with zero images but all of the keywords (up to that point) from the master catalog. It will also have all of the Collections, smart collections and Publish services from the master catalog (up to that point).

You are really better off with one master catalog. 45K image is insignificant there are some that have a master catalog containing 10 times that number of images with no performance issues.

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Thanks Cletus,

What you suggest will work well if your primary objective is parsing your catalog to several smaller ones. What I've done however is to REMAKE (rescan old 35mm slides) several hundred images. I did this because I purchased a better slide scanner that produces better images. So I now have a NEW catalog with NEW images. I want to replace the old images (having identical filenames) with the new ones. Simply replacing them is no problem, but I'm hoping to be able to also associate the new images with keywords from the discarded ones.

I'm working with Timothy Armes' Lr Transporter. With some manipulation that may be able to produce a spreadsheet with the old filenames and keyword associations, but I'm not sure if I can import the keywords into the catalog with the new images.
I'm hoping to be able to also associate the new images with keywords from the discarded ones.
Why not do that in the original Catalog? All you would need to do is duplicate the folder structure and point the catalog to the new images that have the same name.
Of you want to do the with two catalogs, then make a copy of your master catalog and point the catalog to the new images in a duplicate folder structure.
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