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Library module Keyword search and replace not possible - right?

PhilBurton

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It just occurred to me that a search and replace function for keywords would be very useful, but I don't see a way to do that in LR Classic 9.4. Did I overlook something? Or is this idea for a feature request?

Phil
 
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There are two possible behaviors you might be intending:

- Rename one or more existing keywords by doing search-and-replace on their names. The assignment of keywords to photos doesn't change, just the names of the keywords. I can see practical (but infrequent) use cases for that, e.g. correcting a misspelling that has been repeated in many keywords' names. Though the SDK would support this, I don't know of any plugins providing this functionality.

- Do search and replace on the IPTC keywords field, treating it as a text string (the same string that appears in the Keywording panel). This would be logically equivalent to editing what appears in the Keywording panel. This would change which keywords are assigned to photos, possibly adding new keywords, but it wouldn't rename existing keywords. It's possible to accomplish the same end with current features, by first filtering photos for those with specific keywords, putting those photos in the Quick Collection, then editing the keywords assigned to them using the Keywording panel.
 

PhilBurton

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There are two possible behaviors you might be intending:

- Rename one or more existing keywords by doing search-and-replace on their names. The assignment of keywords to photos doesn't change, just the names of the keywords. I can see practical (but infrequent) use cases for that, e.g. correcting a misspelling that has been repeated in many keywords' names. Though the SDK would support this, I don't know of any plugins providing this functionality.

- Do search and replace on the IPTC keywords field, treating it as a text string (the same string that appears in the Keywording panel). This would be logically equivalent to editing what appears in the Keywording panel. This would change which keywords are assigned to photos, possibly adding new keywords, but it wouldn't rename existing keywords. It's possible to accomplish the same end with current features, by first filtering photos for those with specific keywords, putting those photos in the Quick Collection, then editing the keywords assigned to them using the Keywording panel.
John,

Thanks for the explanation. I suspected that I would need a workflow such as you described. However, it involves multiple steps, with a chance for errors, which would also be time-consuming to correct. I guess I need to submit a feature requrest to Adobe.
 
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I like to use the Keyword List to manage my keywords- a "Search & Replace" dialog would be helpful!

eg. I want to replace a 'wrong' KW on multiple photos with a 'correct' KW:
1. Click the white arrow [>] on a 'wrong' keyword to show all photos with the 'wrong' KW
ScreenShot037.jpg

You can use the [Search] box to find the 'wrong' KW, but then need to clear [X] the search to show all KWs in the list.
2. [Ctrl+A] to select all photos shown
3. Click on the box of the 'correct' KW to check and add this KW to all the selected photos.
ScreenShot042.jpg

4. Click on the (checked) box of the 'wrong' KW to delete it from all the selected photos. (box gets unchecked)
ScreenShot043.jpg

ScreenShot044.jpg
 
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Phil

There's no search and replace anywhere in Lightroom, not even in the caption or titles where a word processor (or Notepad) -style feature can make lots of sense. That's why I wrote my Search + Replace plugin.

But I deliberately chose not to include search and replace on keywords. As you know, changing a keyword through LR's UI will change it on every image in the catalogue, even those that aren't selected or visible. Though I can certainly see use cases, it means there's less need for a search and replace function and overall I felt it would let users do too much damage!

John
 

PhilBurton

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You might also submit a feature request for the Search Replace Transfer plugin (John Beardsworth) -- though it includes IPTC Keywords as an available field, it doesn't appear to let me actually do anything with it.
John,

As you can see by post #5 in this thread, John has already "received" this feature request.
 

PhilBurton

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There are two possible behaviors you might be intending:

- Rename one or more existing keywords by doing search-and-replace on their names. The assignment of keywords to photos doesn't change, just the names of the keywords. I can see practical (but infrequent) use cases for that, e.g. correcting a misspelling that has been repeated in many keywords' names. Though the SDK would support this, I don't know of any plugins providing this functionality.

- Do search and replace on the IPTC keywords field, treating it as a text string (the same string that appears in the Keywording panel). This would be logically equivalent to editing what appears in the Keywording panel. This would change which keywords are assigned to photos, possibly adding new keywords, but it wouldn't rename existing keywords. It's possible to accomplish the same end with current features, by first filtering photos for those with specific keywords, putting those photos in the Quick Collection, then editing the keywords assigned to them using the Keywording panel.
John,

I had in mind both situations. I know that there is a workaround for the second situation, but I would have preferred something more straightforward.
 
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It's obviously something I could include, along with collection names, but my instinct is not to hand someone a loaded gun, so to speak.

If one thinks of changing images' metadata, it's clearly important that the user controls which ones are processed, so Search + Replace forces you to select them and this relies on LR passing the selection to plugins. But LR doesn't do this for keywords and plugins have no idea which keywords the user has selected. Imagine the risk. You might be focussed on typos in certain keywords which are under one parent, but the plugin would update similar text patterns which were correctly-spelled in other keywords elsewhere. Sure, one could build a UI to mirror the keyword hierarchy and make the user identify the keywords, but I think that would be overkill. So if I do allow search and replace on keywords, it'll force the user to confirm it's what they want to do.
 
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But LR doesn't do this for keywords and plugins have no idea which keywords the user has selected. Imagine the risk.
I may have a misunderstanding of the Keyword. IPTC field, but I recall that the files included a comma? separated list of ALL keywords How would S&R distinguish between intended matches and accidental matches in the same string?
 
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It couldn't really. The plugin would need to look through the Keyword List.
 

PhilBurton

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It couldn't really. The plugin would need to look through the Keyword List.
This thread has convinced me that I should NOT file a feature request with Adobe, for precisely the reasons that John B explains. I'll just have to carefully folllow the steps outlined by John R E.
 
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