Synchronizing Keywords


Today’s Question: Is there a way to easily keyword new photos to match those in the same folder that had previously been keyworded in Lightroom Classic?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can synchronize keywords across multiple photos in Lightroom Classic using the Sync Metadata command.

More Detail: I should first note that it is important to be careful when synchronizing metadata across multiple photos, especially in the context of keywords. You’ll want to be sure you’re only selecting the photos to which the keywords actually apply. As helpful as keywords can be in terms of organizing photos, that value is greatly diminished if keywords are assigned to the wrong images.

To synchronize keywords across multiple photos first select all the photos to which you want to assign the keywords. You can simply select all photos that do not have the applicable keywords yet, or you can select both those with the keywords and those without. The difference relates only to whether the Keywords field will include the keywords that have already been assigned to some images.

After selecting the photos, click the “Sync Metadata” button at the bottom of the right panel in the Library module. This will bring up the Synchronize Metadata dialog. Within this dialog you can turn on the checkboxes for the metadata fields you want to synchronize to the selected photos, and update the metadata values as needed.

In this particular case I would suggest first clicking the “Check None” button so that none of the metadata fields are selected for synchronization. Then scroll to the very bottom of the dialog and turn on the checkbox to the right of the Keywords field. If some of the selected photos already had keywords assigned, all those keywords will be listed in the Keywords field. Edit this list so that it only includes the keywords you want to apply to all selected photos, with keywords separated by commas. You can then click the Synchronize button at the bottom-right of the dialog to apply the keywords to the selected photos.