Today’s Question: In [Lightroom Classic for] Windows there is a maximum number of keywords that can be shown either in the Keyword list or the Metadata list. What is the maximum?
Tim’s Quick Answer: The reports I’ve seen indicate that if you have more than 3,270 keywords on the Keyword List in the Windows version of Adobe Lightroom Classic, you won’t be able to scroll down the list beyond that point. This issue does not affect the Macintosh version of Lightroom Classic.
More Detail: I was actually completely unaware of this issue until it was raised in a question during my webinar presentation yesterday on the subject of keywording (https://youtu.be/yNXUrIlaYFI). It turns out that if you have a very large list of keywords in your Lightroom Classic catalog on Windows, you can’t scroll past a certain point.
This affects both the Keyword List found on the right panel in the Library module, as well as the same list available as a filter in the Metadata section of the Library Filter bar. Once you exceed the maximum number of keywords (which is apparently 3,270 from what I’ve been able to gather), you won’t be able to scroll on the list past that point.
One solution would be to create a hierarchy so that the top-level of the Keyword List had fewer items on it. For example, you could create a “parent” keyword for every letter of the alphabet, and then add keywords as a “child” of that parent. The parent keywords could then be set to not export, to avoid confusion when exporting photos.
Although I wasn’t aware of this limitation, it turns out that it has been a problem for a number of years, so naturally there is concern that there may be a fundamental issue preventing a fix.