Keywords and Lightroom – the basics

As with any photo management tool Lightroom 2 offers you the ability to add keywords to your images. In this way you can make it easier to find images later on by searching for them by keyword. One simple way of adding keywords to your images is to do this as you import your images into Lightroom. Of course this requires that you’re importing a series of images which all share the same keywords. As this is not always the case, you may need to add keywords from inside Lightroom and I’ll show you how to do this.

Start in the Library module in Lightroom. While it appears possible to select multiple images in the Filmstrip whilst in Loupe view and add keywords to them this is not the case. The keywords will be added to only the first of the selected images and not all of them. Not only is this frustrating but it also is a little misleading.

lR Step 1

lR Step 1

Step 1
Instead, to add keywords to multiple images at the one time you need to select Grid view (G). Select the images to add the keyword to and type a keyword in the Keyword Tags panel on the left of the screen (open Keywording) to access this. You can also drag and drop a keyword from the Keyword Suggestions onto the selected images.

lR Step 2

lR Step 2

Step 2
You can add keywords to any image from the Keyword List by selecting the images, then right click the keyword in the Keyword List and choose Assign this keyword to Selected Photos.

lR Step 3

lR Step 3

Step 3
Once you have added keywords to your images you can find the images by keywords by accessing the Filter panel. Press \ to toggle the display of this panel which appears above the Grid panel of images. Select Text, in the first box, select Keywords in the second box select Contains All (or Contain) and type the keywords in the last box. Contains All is an AND search and requires that an image contain both keywords such as Florence and Church. Contain is used for an OR search which would return all images with either or both the keywords, Florence or Church. To cancel the search, click the X button in the search field.

While keywords aren’t the easiest thing to get a grip on, in Lightroom they are key to being able to index and find your images quickly.

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Helen Bradley

I am an expatriate Australian lifestyle writer, videographer and photographer. I write tutorials and produce videos on Photoshop, Lightroom and Illustrator as well as photography, office computer applications and DIY crafts. I have written for most of the big names in consumer tech including PC World, PC […]

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