If you have been following advice from me and others, you are taking the time to keyword your photos using the Keywording panel, so that you can find them later. Now it is time to organize these keywords.
The Keyword List panel, which is below the Keywording panel, shows you all the keywords you have ever assigned to photos in your catalog. Chances are, at this point it’s just a very long list, sorted alphabetically. You can clean this up by arranging your keywords into nested hierarchies. Here’s an example:
There are three advantages to using keyword hierarchies in Lightroom:
1. It is easier to find a keyword in the list.
2. You can collapse hierarchies in the list, so that they don’t take up space while you aren’t using them (Just click on the downward triangle to hide all keywords within that keyword.)
3. When you assign the bottom-level keyword, all keywords further up in the hierarchy are automatically assigned, thus saving you time. For example, If I assign Victoria to a photo or group of photos, British Columbia, Canada, North America and Location are automatically assigned to the photos.
Here’s how you would set up a hierarchy:
Let’s say that you have keywords for the names of family, friends and clients, as well as some descriptive keywords for people, and you want to organize them as follows:
- To add a new keyword, “People”, click on the + to the left of the words “Keyword List” at the top of the panel, and type People as the Keyword Tag. Click Create. Note that this does not assign the keyword to any photos.
- Right-click on the keyword People, and choose Create New Keyword Inside “People”. Call this one Clients.
- Now click and drag your existing Client names keywords and drop them right on top of Clients, to nest them within Clients.
- Again, Right-click on the keyword People, and choose Create New Keyword Inside “People”. Call this one Family.
- Click and drag your existing Family names keywords and drop them right on top of Family, to nest them within Family.
What hierarchies have you found useful? Leave a comment below!