Keyword Lists

My question relates to the fact that each folder of pictures has a different set of keywords that shows up in the keywords list. So I have to re-enter keywords. How can I make a list universally available? And how can I make it the only list of keywords? I use Bridge.


Quick answer: Once you’ve entered a word on a keyword list, you shouldn’t have to re-enter that word when you’re working in a different folder of photos.

Long answer: 

The Keyword list in Bridge can be exported/saved as a .txt document.  You can import keyword lists as well.  Then you can “Clear and Import” keyword lists.  That brings a new list in and replaces the old list.

Most people, I suspect, have one list.  That’s what happens in Lightroom.  It’s just one big list.  So that place you visited in Scotland stays on the list even though you’ll never use that keyword again. 

I have Keyword lists.  One for Costa Rican birds, for example.  I have another for North American birds.  I have a list for Italy.  I have a list for Iceland, another for Norway, and another for Thailand.  I import these when needed.

My “everyday” Keyword list is the North American birds.  It has all my North American birds, butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, and plants.  It has the seasons, bahaviors, and other things I might need for everyday processing.  That list has locations I’ve birded and visited in the US since I seem to always photograph birds in addition to other things.  I just went to Santa Fe so that’s now on my North American birds list.

I’ll go to Ireland in September.  Before I leave, I’ll export my North American birds list to a folder on my computer where I keep all my keyword lists.  That North American birds list will replace the one in the file, by the way.  I’ve added things to it over the months so I want to keep the latest version.

 Then I’ll “Clear and Import” with my Ireland keyword list.  While working on photos in Ireland, I’ll add new locations.  Beforehand, you can  add new locations and things to an existing list since it’s just a .txt document.  I could take the itinerary for my Ireland trip and add locations to it while it’s still a .txt document on my computer.  (formatting is important by the way. See below.)

While in Ireland and until I finish processing those photos, the Ireland keyword list will be on my computer.  This can be a pain if I wanted to switch between processing backyard birds and going back to the Ireland photos.  That’s why some people like one big list. 

A screen capture of the Keyword list for Costa Rican birds.

Does this help?

Author: kathyadamsclark

Professional photographer leading workshops and tours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: