Multi-Word Keywords


Today’s Question: Do you need to use any specific separation between words for keywords in Lightroom Classic, such as a comma or quotation marks? If not wouldn’t “New” and “Mexico” show up, rather than just “New Mexico”?

Tim’s Quick Answer: As long as you choose the option to separate keywords with commas rather than spaces in Lightroom Classic, you can indeed be able to search for “New Mexico” with the search results excluding images that only include “New” or “Mexico”, without the full “New Mexico” keyword.

More Detail: In Lightroom Classic you can choose whether you want to separate individual keywords with commas or spaces. I highly recommend using the option to separate keywords with commas, so you can include spaces in keywords.

First, you’ll want to make sure that you have enabled the option to separate keywords by commas rather than spaces. Start by going to the menu and choosing Edit > Preferences on Windows, or Lightroom Classic > Preferences on Macintosh. Go to the Interface tab and find the “Separate keywords using” popup in the Keyword Entry section. Select “Commas” (rather than “Spaces”) from that popup and close the Preferences dialog.

To perform a text search based on keywords that include spaces, you can use the “Contains Words” option for the search. On the Library Filter bar in the Library module, select the Text tab. Set the first popup to “Keywords”, and the second popup to “Contains Words”. You can then enter a keyword that includes a space in the search field, and only photos with that complete keyword will appear in the search results.

So, for example, if you had various photos with keywords of “New Mexico”, “New York”, and “Mexico”, when you search for “New Mexico” as outlined above, the images with “New Mexico” as a keyword would be included in the search results, but those with only “Mexico” or “New York” would not be included in those results.