17 Replies Latest reply: Jan 20, 2013 3:29 AM by Cornelia-I RSS

    Keyword Management Across Catalogs

    jepo13

      Hi,

       

      I am thinking about using more than one catalog. Before I do, I want to make sure I can efficiently work with more than one catalog. A problem area I have identified is keywords. Questions that come to mind are:

       

      1. To bring my existing keywords into my second catalog, I thought I'd simply export them from the existing catalog and import them into the second catalog. But LR help says that export will (only) export exportable keywords. How can I export the non-exportable keywords e.g. those I use to structure my keyword hierarchy but never want to be attached to photographs I export ? How can I export my keyword hierarchy (complete with non-exportable keywords) so I can then import it in another catalog ?
      2. After I make a modification to my keyword hierarchy in one catalog, how do I propagate the change to the keyword hierarchy in other catalogs ?

       

      I stop here, lest I get the issue too complicated.

       

      All help highly appreciated.

        • 2. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
          jepo13 Community Member

          Thanks for the pointer !

           

          Couldn't get 'search' to show the previous thread. I guess I have to learn how to search ... Arrrggh !

           

          But, frankly, for all those of us who want their keyword hierarchies to be the same across catalogs, shouldn't Adobe offer it as an option ?

           

          Thanks again !

          • 3. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
            john beardsworth Community Member

            I wasn't admonishing you for not searching - I just couldn't be bothered retyping my response

             

            Keyword sets and metadata presets do work across catalogues, but I feel Adobe would create as much confusion as utility by making keyword lists span catalogues. For instance, what happens when you change the list in one place? Do you really want to propagate it to other catalogues? Maybe? But when you forget catalogue B uses the linked keywords, or have to restore an earlier version of one catalogue?  There are lots of complexities which greatly increase the cost of a solution that runs counter to LR's philosophy. It would be better to improve existing keywording functionality - more items in keyword sets, more recent keywords, better ways to sort out messy hierarchies etc.

             

            John

            • 4. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
              dj_paige Community Member

              I must say that from my very biased point of view, I cannot imagine a reason why you would want the same keyword across multiple catalogs. The whole point of keywords is to make use of them as an organizing tool, to allow you to find all photos with that keyword. By putting the keyword in multiple catalogs, you are now preventing that search from happening, you can only find the photos with that keyword in the current catalog; you cannot find ALL photos with that keyword.

               

              So, I guess without any further understanding of the original poster's goals, I would think he should NOT be considering having multiple catalogs.

               

              I completely agree with John, who says:

              There are lots of complexities which greatly increase the cost of a solution that runs counter to LR's philosophy. It would be better to improve existing keywording functionality - more items in keyword sets, more recent keywords, better ways to sort out messy hierarchies etc.

              • 5. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                Cornelia-I Community Member

                Hallo dj_paige,

                 

                dj_paige wrote:

                 

                I must say that from my very biased point of view, I cannot imagine a reason why you would want the same keyword across multiple catalogs.

                While I fully agree with you I have one regularly reoccurring reason:

                On holidays I travel with a minimal laptop and start a new interim travel-catalog on it. (SSD simply has not space enough, as it has to cater for 2 raw photographers.)

                Back home I will merge it into my master catalog and arrive exactly at your point. Each travel catalog will "die" after the merge, as I consider it interim.

                 

                But while on holidays I can still make use of that laptop to start my metadata adding - hence I want the same keyword hierarchy, so nothing is disturbed after the merge.

                 

                Cornelia

                • 6. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                  john beardsworth Community Member

                  Cornelia, have you tried putting each computer's application support folder on Dropbox (the alias/shortcut methods)? Then your keyword sets and metadata templates are effectively shared, and you don't have all the complexities that would result from a shared keyword list.

                   

                  John

                  • 7. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                    dj_paige Community Member

                    I don't have a problem with that, Cornelia. You have a specific and valid reason for using a second catalog. You don't seem to be in a situation where sometimes you want to search for a keyword, and you have two or more catalogs to search for photos with that keyword, which is one of the biggest drawbacks with having keywords in multiple catalogs. Furthermore, since your use of a second catalog is temporary, there is no long-term issue regarding keeping the keywords sycnronized across the mutliple catalogs.

                     

                    The original poster may have such a valid reason as well, but he hasn't stated so, he hasn't given a reason, he simply states he is considering using more than one catalog. And without such a valid reason, I would advise not to create multiple catalogs.

                    • 8. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                      MichelBParis CommunityMVP

                      I have found that this subject is perfectly explained in the eBook from Piet van den Eynden :

                      http://craftandvision.com/books/lightroom-4-unmasked/

                      See pages 31 - 32. (it's in pdf format).

                      • 9. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                        Cornelia-I Community Member

                        Hi John,

                        I have read about that at Victoria's FAQ, but not tried it yet.

                        Do you have good experiences with it?

                         

                        Cornelia

                        • 10. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                          john beardsworth Community Member

                          Yes, with Mac and PC. It's only something I would use if you're sure of what you're doing, but I've found it very convenient.

                          • 11. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                            jepo13 Community Member

                            Hi dj_paige,

                             

                            The reasons for thinking about using more than one catalog are: 1) backing-up my catalog now takes much too long (1h30); and 2) Lr's performance is now probably impacted by the size of the catalog.

                             

                            The alternatives are: 1) to upgrade my hardware; 2) to no longer keep all photographs (delete more than the obvious non-keepers); and 3) to take it easy and ... wait.

                             

                            Any other alternatives ?

                             

                            PS: Thanks everyone for your views and suggestions !

                            • 12. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                              Cornelia-I Community Member

                              How big is your catalog?

                              Is your hardware very outdated and/or minimal-spec'd?

                               

                              I have one catalog with 112'000 images and 1.6GB size of lrcat-file, which takes about 10min to backup including optimizing & integrity check on a Windows7-64 machine, i7, 8 GB RAM.

                              Where do you backup your catalog to - how fast is your connection?

                              (I backup to my internal drive, because I am confident that I copy the backup over to NAS in time before drive failure, as I do that fairly immediately after backup is ready. I want a corruption-safety catalog version along with me on the big laptop - just in case. Of course I could reverse backup-destination/copy-on, but have not tried if NAS-backup would take significantly longer.)

                               

                              I am just thinking if there might be some other reason for such a long backup time.

                               

                              Catalog size as such does not impact LR performance any more, as far as is known.

                              Strangely enough some of the latest higly-spec'd hardware setups are among the x% with heavy LR4 performance issues, so there is no guarantee that upgrading hardware may be a sure way to good performance...

                               

                              Cornelia

                              • 13. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                                john beardsworth Community Member

                                I'd say that backup should only happen in dead time, and secondly that performance is only marginally related to the number of pictures (I work with one containing 400k pictures).

                                 

                                Have you looked at this article on optimizing performance http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/400/kb400808.html ?

                                • 14. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                                  dj_paige Community Member

                                  Hi dj_paige,

                                   

                                  The reasons for thinking about using more than one catalog are: 1) backing-up my catalog now takes much too long (1h30); and 2) Lr's performance is now probably impacted by the size of the catalog.

                                   

                                  The alternatives are: 1) to upgrade my hardware; 2) to no longer keep all photographs (delete more than the obvious non-keepers); and 3) to take it easy and ... wait.

                                   

                                  Any other alternatives ?

                                  I am not surprised. These "I want to break up my catalog" threads always turn into "I think my catalog is too large" threads.

                                   

                                  First, try the specific steps suggested by johnbeardy, and see if this helps, especially the section entitled "optimizing the catalog". If that doesn't work, I think backup during dead time is still a much better solution than breaking up your catalog, and trying to SYNC keywords, which will be a fair bit of effort on your part, and if you make a small mistake, there's potential trouble; plus you can never search across catalogs.

                                   

                                  Lastly, if none of those other suggestions work, don't break up your catalog in such a way that you need to sycnhronize keywords continuously forever and forever and maybe even longer. Break up your catalog INTELLIGENTLY!!!!! By this I mean, find some division of subject matter in your catalog so that the two new catalogs do not overlap in subject matter. Then, you don't need to have the same keywords in each catalog, and you probably never need to search across catalogs. As an example, my catalog contains all of my photos -- family events, other personal events, plus photos involving my hobbies (trains, architecture, landscapes) and a few other miscellaneous things. If I was gong to break up this catalog (which, actually I refuse to do), I would put the trains and architecture photos in one catalog and everything else in another catalog, and then I would rarely need to have the same keywords in both catalogs, and I would never want to search for photos of my friend Jennifer in the train catalog (because none exist). Nor would I want to search for photos of a railroad turntable in my family/personal events catalog (because none exist).

                                  • 15. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                                    jepo13 Community Member

                                    Cornelia, johnbeardy and dj_paige,

                                     

                                    Many thanks for your thought-provoking answer.

                                     

                                    My catalog is about 900MB (lrcat file) and my hardware deserves an upgrade, but that would mean I'd have to wait quite a bit more to get the Zeiss 15mm I've been in love with since it came out ... I backup the full thing (using 'Export as Catalog' - but I don't backup the previews) to an external drive which I then store at the office (a friend has gone through the pain of loosing everything to a home fire, I don't want that). I'm not using Lr's built-in backup.

                                     

                                    I backup in dead-time indeed, but this nonetheless implies that I be around the system, rather than out shooting. I guess I could (probably should) trust the system to do its thing and go out shoot ... I realize that by staying around the system and checking on its progress now and then I am safe rather than sorry as far as the backup is concerned, but I am sorry as far as shooting is concerned. One CAN be too safe it seems ...

                                     

                                    I'll go through the optimizing performance note (think I read some of that somewhere, but it sure can only help check all of it in detail).

                                     

                                    In conclusion, I think I will keep one catalog and do all I can to overcome the (perceived) performance problems, including relaxing and going out to shoot.

                                     

                                    BTW, your thoughts about my backup strategy are most welcome.

                                     

                                    Thanks again !

                                    • 16. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                                      john beardsworth Community Member

                                      Using Export as Catalog means that you then have to close LR, so it's not what I would call dead time. Using the built-in backup means you can go out with that lens - or just drool over it in the shop window.

                                      • 17. Re: Keyword Management Across Catalogs
                                        Cornelia-I Community Member

                                        jepo13 wrote:

                                         

                                        I backup the full thing (using 'Export as Catalog' - but I don't backup the previews) to an external drive ..

                                        But so you include the negatives into that backup ??

                                         

                                        LR's built-in backup just creates a copy of the lrcat-file inside a wrapping folder with the date-time, so that would be limited to your 900 MB.

                                         

                                        Your images are better backed up with some other software, or your OS.

                                        If you do not write xmp-metadata out to them, they do not change anyhow. So you just need a set of them in the identcal file structure as in your working photo library where your LR catalog points to. And yes, store them off-site, by all means: apart from environmental hazards this protects against burglary in house as well. Two 2TB-external USB-drives is what I use, to be swapped regularly - in my case ca. quarterly, as I do not shoot professionally.

                                         

                                        In order to restart with LR in case of a disaster you would also need your

                                        C:\Users\ <your user>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom

                                        C:\Users\<your user>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw

                                        But I assume they change less frequently.

                                        You could also use a plugin that takes care of including these into LR's backup.

                                         

                                        I would never watch my comp doing drone work , I prefer to sleep or work outside.

                                        Anyhow I could not do a meaningful interference...

                                         

                                        Cornelia