Keyword Capitalization


Today’s Question: Lightroom (version 5.6) keeps refusing to capitalize some of my keywords. What’s going on here? And is there a way to teach Lightroom to do what I tell it to do?

Tim’s Quick Answer: This issue appears to have been fixed with a recent Lightroom update (perhaps with version 6 or a little later). However, when the issue occurs, you can resolve the unwanted “correction” by changing the keyword in the Edit Keyword Tag dialog.

More Detail: The behavior described in today’s question has always been a bit of a mystery to me. There didn’t always seem to be a clear reason for why the capitalization would be removed from some keywords but not others.

I’ve also not been able to reproduce this issue with more recent updates to Lightroom, so I believe the behavior was changed in about version 6 or later.

I should add, by the way, that when you are searching for keywords within Lightroom that search is not case sensitive. So the only real reason to correct these keywords is because you want them to appear correctly within Lightroom and the metadata for your photos. That’s certainly a valid reason (and one I fully endorse!), but it is worth noting that these keyword alterations won’t prevent you from locating specific images.

In any event, there is a solution that in my experience has always enabled you to change any keywords that have been altered by Lightroom. To do so, first right-click on the applicable keyword in the Keyword List section of the right panel in the Library module. Then choose “Edit Keyword Tag” from the popup list, and change the keyword in the Edit Keyword Tag dialog.

When you click the Save button in the Edit Keyword Tag dialog, you will not only change the applicable keyword tag, but also change the actual keyword in metadata for all photos that had that keyword tag assigned.

In this particular example the issue relates to keywords that have been changed by Lightroom. But the same approach of using the Edit Keyword Tag dialog provides an excellent solution for any keyword that needs to be changed, such as if you spelled a keyword incorrectly upon initially adding that keyword. The Edit Keyword Tag dialog allows you to alter a keyword across your entire Lightroom catalog, essentially allowing you to update a given keyword for multiple photos at one time.

When using the Edit Keyword Tag dialog, the only word of caution I would add is that you’ll want to make sure you truly want to change the keyword for all of the photos that include that keyword. In other words, this feature is most helpful for situations where you need to change a keyword that is completely wrong, not a keyword that was applied incorrectly to certain images but that is still accurate for other images.