Hiding away in the Toolbar beneath Grid view is a little-known tool. Many people don’t even know it exists, and those who do often forget it’s there. It’s called the Painter tool. Yes, that little spray can icon isn’t just for decoration!
The Painter tool allows you to ‘spray’ metadata and settings across a large number of photos, without having to be too careful where you click. It can assign color labels, ratings, flags, add keywords, metadata presets, Develop presets, change the rotation or add the photo to the Target Collection (usually the Quick Collection).
To use it, simply select the Painter tool from the Grid view Toolbar. Press T if you’ve hidden the Toolbar. Next to the Painter tool, choose the settings you’d like to apply, and you’re ready to start painting.
Click anywhere on a thumbnail image to apply the setting, or click-and-drag across a series of photos to apply the setting to all of the photos it touches.
If you make a mistake and tag the wrong photo, hold down the Alt (Windows) / Opt (Mac) key and the cursor will change to an eraser, then you can click or click-and-drag across the photos to remove that setting again.
I most frequently use it to add keywords. Imagine you’re at a family gathering, and you want to tag who appears in each photo. You could add the keyword ‘Nan’ to the Painter tool and quickly scrolling through the Grid view, click on any photos of Nan. Then change it to ‘Grandad’ and quickly scroll through again, this time tagging the photos of Grandad. It doesn’t take long to tag the whole family that way.
What do you use the Painter tool for?