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Keyword list exporting and importing in LRC

Joined
Mar 2, 2021
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Somerville, MA. USA
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I spent many hours cleaning up my keywords and building a new hierarchy. I accidentally applied a 4 star rating to all 105,000 photos. This wiped out years of work. Unfortunately I backed up my LRC before I realized what I had done. I could not undo the star ratings.

I have a previous backup of my catalogue that will have the correct star ratings. The changes I have made since that time have mostly been in the keywords list. I corrected misspellings. I changed the name on all of the dog pictures by added a suffix to dogs names ie "Hazel" was changed to "Hazel_k9-Bills". The - (name) is the owners name if I know it. These keywords are all applied to the appropriate photos.

Any thoughts on how to keep the keyword work I have done since the previous backup and bring back the star rating would be appriciated.

This is one way I have thought about fixing this.
* Export the keywords from my current catalogue. (The one with the incorrect star ratings)
* Restore the backup with the correct star ratings.
* Import the exported keywords which have been reorganized

Do you think this is a good approach
Will the the photos with keywords (including the ones I changed) show up in the new hierarchy automatically or do I need to apply them manually?

This mess has me stopped in my tracks.
 
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I have a pair of scripts that handles this exact situation. You run one script on the backup catalogue to create a text file of filenames and ratings, and then a second script reads them into the current catalogue.

I'll send a message with the URL for them. Instructions are in a readme file and you should test on a few pictures first.
 
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I solved a similar "stupid user" mistake using a different solution. My master catalog contained the mistake (in my case that I deleted keywords on 2500 images instead of just one image). I found the backup that contained the correctly assigned keywords . I used my master catalog and imported the correct backup catalog using the "Import for another catalog" option Lightroom will see the same image in both catalogs and proceed to update the (in your case) star ratings with the information from the backup catalog. This should be easy enough to test. Just make a fair copy of your master catalog file as a fallback position in case the "Import for another catalog" option does not produce the results that you expect.
Also if there are difference in the Develop setting between the same image imported in both the master and the backup catalog, Lightroom will create a virtual copy of the image file found in the master catalog and the image found in the Imported catalog will become the new Master copy.
 
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thank you for all the suggestions. I guess this is a common but nasty problem. I will try all of the suggestions until I get the result with the least extra work after import. I will let everyone know what work out best in my situation. Fortunately no develop setting were changed since the last backup
 
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Issue resolved: the fates are with me. Thank you Paul, Johnbeardy, & Clee01I for all your thoughtfull help. It turns out that i had a backup of my catalogue from an hour before I made the mistake. It was on Backblaze an on line back up service. That was clearly the most efficient way of solving my problem. It goes to say that you can never have too much backup. From this point on I will backup my LRC every hour. I had assumed that my Time Machine back up was active. It had been turned off a while back when I was doing something that required that temporarily.

I have been working on my keyword about 6 hours a day for a week. (I am very slow). So everyones suggestions gave me hope and gut me working on the issue instead of having a nervous breakdown. This is a great forum.
 

Roelof Moorlag

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I guess this is a common but nasty problem.
Yes, it is. Peter Krogh anticipated at this scenario in his 'DAM book for photographers' and his advice was to 'mirror' the star ratings into keywords. I adapted his advice and for example i add the keyword RM:3STAR to all my 3star rated photo's.
 
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Roelof: That is a very good idea. Recently I imported a lot of Apple photo into LRC. I made keywords for all of the things that do not import. Besides star ratings and "Favorits" I apply a keyword for each Collection to it's photos. ie "Collection_Dogs of the UK".
 

Roelof Moorlag

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I made keywords for all of the things that do not import.
That is what i do for certain workflowsteps i want to run through, i cal them 'helperkeywords' like @addnames and @places. I add these helperkeywords on import to all my photo's coming in. I made smart collections to collect them so i can add names whenever i want. When done i remove the corresponding helperkeywords from them.
 

PhilBurton

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That is what i do for certain workflowsteps i want to run through, i cal them 'helperkeywords' like @addnames and @places. I add these helperkeywords on import to all my photo's coming in. I made smart collections to collect them so i can add names whenever i want. When done i remove the corresponding helperkeywords from them.
Exactly what I do, inspired by John Beardsworth.
 
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Phill; I like your tip a lot. Thank you. The @ and # keep things near the top of the hierarchies.

I have imported 20 years of key-worded photos from other sources. Here are some tips for cleaning up unorganized keywords that have already been imported into LRC. They have helped me a lot. .

I use what I call "place holder keywords" like the one Phill just suggested. These keywords do not go on any pictures. I also check off "Do not export" when I create them.

First I put all my unsorted keywords under "# 1 Unsorted old keywords". This shows up at the top of my key work list. Then I create keywords that go under it: "# A's" ," # B"s", "# C's" ... . While creating each of these I select all the keywords starting with the corresponding letter, I check "add selected photos" and uncheck "Include in Export". When I am ready I move the ones I want to work on into "# ZZZ Place holder". which is at the bottom of my hierarchy on the top level. This makes it easer to move them to their new place. .

I find it difficult to decide how deep to make the hierarchy and ware some keywords should really go. So I do the ones that are easy for me. For the keywords that I know which of he higher level groups the belong in but I am not sure how deep to go, I put a place holder under higher level groups "# Unsorted (group name)". That locates the place holder at the top of that groups list. This lets me make quick generalized placement. Later I come back and do fine tuned sorting into lower level groups or change my mind about using it.

If anyone has any tips on integrating lots of old misspelled and poorly chosen keywords I would love to hear them. I can't count the hours I have spent doing this.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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Phill; I like your tip a lot. Thank you. The @ and # keep things near the top of the hierarchies.

[ ... ]
Bill,

Thank you for the thanks, but the real thanks should go to John Beardsworth. Here is the source. » Workflow smart collections

I keep all my workflow words in a separate keyword hierarchy from all my "real" keywords. Each Lightroom phase, e.g. LIBRARY, has its own second-level collection set folder.

Phil Burton
 
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