Keyword Tags versus Keywords


Today’s Question: Are keywords and tags the same thing? I use Photoshop Elements along with Photoshop CS6 and skip Adobe Bridge entirely.

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, the Keyword Tags in Adobe Photoshop Elements represent the same metadata field as Keywords shown in other applications. The Photoshop Elements Organizer simply uses different terminology for keywords.

More Detail: While Photoshop Elements may use different terminology for features such as keywording, the features related to metadata do match up with similar features found in other software applications. In other words, much like other software for managing photos, Photoshop Elements primarily makes use of standard metadata fields such as for keywords.

So, the Keyword Tags you can add in Photoshop Elements would ultimately appear in the Keywords field in metadata, which would then be visible to other applications. Note, however, that by default the Elements Organizer does not actually save metadata updates (including keywords) to the actual image files on your hard drive.

If you want to write metadata changes to the actual files on your hard drive, you need to select the images in the Organizer and then go to the menu and choose File > Save Metadata to Files. Oddly, for reasons I don’t understand, if you delete a keyword tag in the Elements Organizer and then write changes to the files on the hard drive, the deleted keyword tags will not be removed. In other words, this option enables you to write keywords to metadata for the files on your hard drive, but not remove those keywords.