Keywording without Lightroom


Today’s Question: I am not using Lightroom and was wondering about keywording in Photoshop or Bridge? Or is that a lot more complicated or even available?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can indeed add keywords (and other metadata) to your photos using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Bridge. If you later decide to use Lightroom Classic (or other software), those keywords will be available in that application as well.

More Detail: Most software that enables you to manage your photos in some way also enables you to add keywords, as well as update other standard metadata fields. As a result, most of the updates you make to metadata for your photos will be available if you use other photo-management applications in the future.

In Adobe Bridge you can find the option to add keywords on the Keywords panel or the Metadata panel. The Keywords panel enables you to add or remove keywords using a keyword list, with checkboxes available to identify which keywords should be assigned to the currently selected image(s). You can also add new keywords by clicking the plus (+) button at the bottom of this panel.

On the Metadata panel in Bridge you can find the Keywords field in the IPTC Core section of metadata. You can edit the keywords in that field, and then click the checkmark icon at the bottom of the panel to apply the changes.

In Photoshop you can update metadata for the current photo by choosing File > File Info from the menu. For keywords you can choose the IPTC tab from the list at the left side of the dialog, and then update the Keywords field as needed. Click OK to apply the changes in metadata for the photo.

I don’t think the keywording options in Bridge or Photoshop are any more complicated than what is available in Lightroom Classic or other software for managing photos. All are relatively straightforward to use once you know where the keywording feature can be accessed.