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Three Easy Ways to Add Keywords to Photos in Lightroom

Lightroom-How-to-Keyword-PhotosDo you spend a lot of time searching through your folders in Lightroom, looking for particular photos? If so, it’s time to add keywords to them — words or phrases that you can then find your photos based on. In this short video tutorial I discuss three easy ways to add keywords:

  • in the Import dialog
  • with the Keywording panel
  • with the Painter tool

For highest quality video, after hitting Play, click on the sprocket wheel (Youtube Sprocket Wheel ) in the bottom right of the video and choose 720/HD.

Related Posts:

Video Tutorial: How to Find Your Photos in Lightroom (based on keywords and more)

Organize Your Lightroom Keywords into Keyword Hierarchies

Shortcuts for Adding Keywords in Lightroom

Don’t Forget to Keyword Those Photos – How to Keep Track of Them So You Can

Eliminating Lightroom Keyword Duplicates and Misspellings

2017-08-02T11:27:14+00:00November 22nd, 2013|6 Comments


  1. Jim Broom October 13, 2014 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Many thanks Laura for another helpful video.

  2. Rike June 19, 2016 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Hi Laura, I have another question though: I recently went on a trip and opened a new catalogue for several reasons. But now I’m back and, if possible, I think I would prefer to have one catalogue only. But when I tried to import my older photos to the new catalogue, I found that all the keywords are missing. Do I have to use my old catalogue? How do I import the photos from this trip WITH all the keywords into the old catalogue? (Or the old photos into the new catalogue?)
    Unfortunately, all the tips I found so far are about how to import photos and assign keywords for the first time…
    By the way, is it better to work with one catalogue only?
    If you could help, that would be great!

    • Laura Shoe June 21, 2016 at 10:47 am - Reply

      You’ll need to use the File>Import from Another Catalog, Rike. Terry White has a video on YouTube on it. One catalog is the way to go for most people – unless you need a brick wall in between some sets of photos like work/personal.

      • Rike June 21, 2016 at 11:20 pm - Reply

        Thanks a lot, Laura! I’m going to try that now…

  3. DeEtta July 2, 2017 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Laura,

    I am new to Light Room, and have recently purchased Light Room 6. I have all my photos organized on an external hard drive and I want to bring them into Light Room and add keywords. I have just learned how to do that by watching tutorials, but what I haven’t learned is this, once I’ve added my keywords, what do I do next to leave them exactly where I got them (my external hard drive) and move on to the next folder of photos on the hard drive that I want to add keywords to?

    • Laura Shoe July 3, 2017 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Hi DeEtta, Welcome to Lightroom! The answer is that you just move on to importing your next folder of photos – ignore what folder of photos you currently have selected in the Library module, and click on the Import button in the bottom left. Your work in Lightroom is automatically saved, so there’s no need to do anything to save it. Here’s an article on this.

      I know you didn’t post your question to get a sales pitch, but I still would highly recommend my Lightroom CC/6 and 5: The Fundamentals & Beyond video series, which doesn’t assume any prior experience with Lightroom and will help you avoid common mistakes and get you off to a great start (and way beyond). Through the Fourth of July you can use the discount code FOURTH15 for 15% off.

      Best wishes with Lightroom!

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