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Lost My Color Tagging

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Gisele

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Joined
Jun 10, 2013
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41
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version Number
8.0
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.13 High Sierra
Oh, no! I've done something major by accident.

I used color tags to keep track of what photos I've posted on social media. Two of these colors each had several hundred photos. I seem to have deleted all of the colored tags, but not the photos. I'm thinking I accidentally had all photos in a color selected and then removed the color from the whole set, instead of just one photo.

Is there any way to get them back? I'm not even sure if I could recreate this all manually. I do have an older catalog backup from about a week before this happened.

Also, lesson learned - no more color tagging. I'll keyword instead.

Help! (please!)
 
You can try with one of your backup catalog, but that might also lead to rework the most recent photos. I am pretty sure that color tags are not retained in xmp sidecar files. I would Try this:

Open backup catalog
Filter by color tag (i.e. Yellow)
Add a keyword to all the Yellow photos (%yellowcolortag)
Write settings to xmp files
Repeat for all colors

Open most recent catalog
Find photos with a conflict (exclamation mark in grid mode)
Load settings from xmp

This way all color tagged photos in previous catalog will have a keyword added. However you might miss all edits to these photos which were made after the opened backup. I don't know if creating a virtual copy of these photos before resolving the conflict could help you there...

Sent using Tapatalk
 
I do have a script that lets you copy one field from one catalogue and paste it into another. It's for ratings, but could work for colour labels.
 
Just a thought, and I'm sure you already checked this, but they are deleted and it isn't that they aren't being displayed?

Library View Options - Tint Grid Cells with label colors

Just in case!
 
Just a thought, and I'm sure you already checked this, but they are deleted and it isn't that they aren't being displayed?
Library View Options - Tint Grid Cells with label colors
Just in case!

Prompting a similar suggestion.... Might you have changed the label set in Library's Metadata > Color Label Set menu?

Again, that would mean they aren't being displayed but are still there.
 
Thank you all - I can't find Tint Grid Cells or Color Label Set menu. Using Classic CC v. 8.0

Could you be more specific, please? I don't see that in Metadata menu when in Library mode.
 
Select an image that should have a colour label, then in the Metadata panel change the popup to Default. Then check what is in the Label field.
 

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Ok - found a photo that should be labeled yellow, which means "photos I like and will do something with". That's what it says in the metadata panel, but the photo is not tagged as yellow.
 

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Are there other photos with the label set to "photos I like and will do something with" ? You can answer this using the Library Filter

The label and the colour are linked, via the setting in that Color Label Sets menu. I wonder if you selected a lot of images and typed this into the label field, which would clear the colour. It might be that with the Library Filter you can select all these photos and change the label back to yellow.
 

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In your backup catalogue, does that photo have the correct yellow label?
 
Are there other photos with the label set to "photos I like and will do something with" ? You can answer this using the Library Filter

The label and the colour are linked, via the setting in that Color Label Sets menu. I wonder if you selected a lot of images and typed this into the label field, which would clear the colour. It might be that with the Library Filter you can select all these photos and change the label back to yellow.


Aha! Yes, there are 1293, which seems correct. From here, I can create a keyword tag, or change the color, correct?

Any idea how this happened

(heading out for several hours in a bit...thanks in advance for the help)
 
Just apply the color, and you will then see the label field changing to match it.

What has happened is that you probably typed "photos I like and will do something with" into the label field.
 
I do have a script that lets you copy one field from one catalogue and paste it into another. It's for ratings, but could work for colour labels.
John,

Do you mean "... paste into another catalog?" If so, that would be awesome, and quite a technical feat, considering that Lightroom works with only one catalog at a time.

Phil Burton
 
Just apply the color, and you will then see the label field changing to match it.

What has happened is that you probably typed "photos I like and will do something with" into the label field.
I did type that into the label field, but I did that ages ago. Not sure why the color was not associated with it as of just the past few days. That's the part I don't understand. Curious as to how I did it, but am thankful it was an easy fix.
 
It still only works one at a time, Phil, but last year someone came to me with a similar problem to this thread. He had mistakenly set thousands of photos' ratings to 4 or whatever and only noticed the error a week later after having worked on many of them.

My script was run on his backup catalogue from a week before, extracted the rating, and then a second script was run in his main catalogue to restore those ratings. Since then I have adapted it a little and it can handle more fields and more difficult situations (it uses either the photo's database ID or its file path to match the data).

John
 
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I did type that into the label field, but I did that ages ago. Not sure why the color was not associated with it as of just the past few days. That's the part I don't understand. Curious as to how I did it, but am thankful it was an easy fix.

It could be the Metadata > Color Label Set. Maybe have a play with it? Basically, when you set a photo to red, yellow etc, LR doesn't actually record it as red, yellow etc. Instead it records some text in the label field. So if you examine (edit) the Color Label Set "Bridge Default", it says that when the label field is "Select", it should mark the thumbnail red. And this works in reverse - when "Bridge Default" is active, hitting 6 or the red button enters the word "Select" in the label. If the "Lightroom Default" set is active, 6 or the red button puts "Red" in the label. And so on.

Hopefully I explained this clearly, but I do think Adobe overcomplicated it and should have said red means "Red" etc and users can't change it. But there are historical reasons (10+ years ago) for it too, and some people can take advantage of the concept - if they understand what's happening! I just leave mine set to the default to red means "Red", green etc.
 
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It could be the Metadata > Color Label Set. Maybe have a play with it? Basically, when you set a photo to red, yellow etc, LR doesn't actually record it as red, yellow etc. Instead it records some text in the label field. So if you examine (edit) the Color Label Set "Bridge Default", it says that when the label field is "Select", it should mark the thumbnail red. And this works in reverse - when "Bridge Default" is active, hitting 6 or the red button enters the word "Select" in the label. If the "Lightroom Default" set is active, 6 or the red button puts "Red" in the label. And so on.

Hopefully I explained this clearly, but I do think Adobe overcomplicated it and should have said red means "Red" etc and users can't change it. But there are historical reasons (10+ years ago) for it too, and some people can take advantage of the concept - if they understand what's happening! I just leave mine set to the default to red means "Red", green etc.
Thank you! I think I'm done with color labels forever now :)
 
It still only works one at a time, Phil, but last year someone came to me with a similar problem to this thread. He had mistakenly set thousands of photos' ratings to 4 or whatever and only noticed the error a week later after having worked on many of them.

My script was run on his backup catalogue from a week before, extracted the rating, and then a second script was run in his main catalogue to restore those ratings. Since then I have adapted it a little and it can handle more fields and more difficult situations (it uses either the photo's database ID or its file path to match the data).

John
John,

Did your script use your Listview plug-in? I find that plug-in very useful at times.

Phil Burton
 
It's totally separate, Phil. I've got lots of these scripts for specific problems where a generic solution like a plugin would be unsuitable.

John
 
I think I know what happened. I've been having huge problems since upgrading to 8.0. An Adobe rep told me to try the following to troubleshoot, and I think this made my colors disappear. Thoughts?


1. Close Lightroom.
2. Hold down [Alt/Opt]+[Shift] while restarting Lightroom.
3. Overwrite the Preferences when prompted by the dialog.
4. Close Lightroom.
5. Restart Lightroom.
 
It could be relevant, in theory, as resetting preferences could change the active Color Label Set back to the default.

However, look back to post #10 - the text "photos I like and will do something with" was in the label field. That's something you've done, and it would certainly remove the colours.
 
It could be relevant, in theory, as resetting preferences could change the active Color Label Set back to the default.

However, look back to post #10 - the text "photos I like and will do something with" was in the label field. That's something you've done, and it would certainly remove the colours.

Yes, but those words were in there for well over a year for yellow, and the colors just disappeared a few days ago. I'm thinking this is what did it.
 
That is certainly possible. Then it may be that what you said in post #13 isn't right.
 
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