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Library module Paste _Keywords_ From Previous ... How to?

Mar 12, 2017
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic version: 8.4.1
Operating System
macOS 10.14 Mojave
What is the simplest way to do for Keywords what the command "Photo ▹ Develop Settings ▹ Paste Settings From Previous" does for develop settings?

I can't find this as a command (or mentioned in this forum). I would use it enough to write a Keyboard Maestro macro for it. For that, I need a good way to get the keywords from the previous photo. At first glance, that seems a bit problematic. Is this info available without using the GUI?
Nov 30, 2012
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
I don't know if this is the most macro-friendly (streamlined) way to do it, but this is how I do it using standard Lightroom Classic keyboard commands:

Lightroom Classic has a convenient feature in the Library module: It keeps the current field active if you switch images with the keyboard. So as long as you do that, you can simply paste all keywords that are on the clipboard and then use the keyboard to go to the next image and paste again. It works like this:
  1. On the first image, click in the larger keyword field in the Keywording panel. (To do this with keyboard shortcuts on the Mac, press Command-K to get the small entry field, then press Shift-Tab to back up to the bigger field above it that contains keywords already applied to the image.)
  2. Type the keywords for the image, separated by commas.
  3. Press Command-A to select all the keywords in the field.
  4. Press Command-Right Arrow to go to the next image. This is where it's great that Lightroom Classic keeps the current field active, because now you can just…
  5. Press Command-V to paste all of the copied keywords into the current image's keyword field.
If there are more images to do, this is where it goes fast. It's simply:
  1. Press Command-Right Arrow.
  2. Press Command-V.
  3. Repeat for as many images as needed.
When going from image to image, another nice thing Lightroom Classic does is that there's no need to press Enter or Return in the big field; the keywords are committed as soon as you leave the image. You don't want to press Enter or Return anyway, because that would commit the keywords but also exit the field. (You do have to press Enter or Return to commit entered text in the smaller keyword entry field, which is why the smaller field won't work for this.)

If you have to paste the same keywords into a large number of images (like 200), it's probably faster to select them all at once with the mouse, click in the big keyword field, and paste them all in that way, compared to pressing Command-Right Arrow 200 times. Or, if you're building a macro that lets you enter options, maybe you could have the macro ask how many times you need it to repeat, and if you know there are 200 subsequent images that need the same keywords, you could enter that number.
Last edited:
Jul 2, 2015
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
What's wrong with 'Metadata - Copy Metadata' and then 'Paste Metadata'? When you copy the metadata, you will get a dialog where you can check which metadata you want to copy, similar to copying develop settings.

Dan Marchant

Active Member
Apr 1, 2017
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
There are various ways to duplicate keywords across images. Not sure if any of them are exactly what you want but......

Before the fact....
1. type them into the Import dialogue and they get applied to all images on import.
After the fact....
2. Select the keyworded image and all the target images. They keyword panel will show the keywords with a * to indicate that not all images have these keywords. Delete the *s for those of keywords you want applied to all images and hit return and all images now have those keywords.
3. Select the keyworded image and Copy the keywords. Now select all the target images and Paste into the Keyword entry box and they will be added to all the images.
4. Paint tool - Select the keyworded image and Copy the keywords*. Select the Paint tool, choose Keywords then Paste the copied keywords into the little dialogue. Now you can spray those keywords onto any images in the grid The Power of the Painter Tool | The Lightroom Queen

* If it is just a couple of keywords you might find it slightly quicker just to go straight to the paint tool, select Keywords and then type in the keywords you want to add.