2 Replies Latest reply on Dec 11, 2014 4:33 PM by johnrellis

    Are keywords added through Lightroom embedded into the file itself?

    Terramar111 Level 1

      I'm new to Lightroom. I'm looking for a way to organize my pictures and videos. But I'm also hestitant because I have no idea whether Lightroom will be around 10, 15 or 20 years from now. When I apply a keyword to a file, is that keyword permanently embedded into the file itself? The reason I'm asking is I'm most likely going to spend a ton of time applying keywords to my files. What happens if 10 years down the road Lightroom disappears or a need to move to a new program? Are the keywords dependent on Lightroom or will the keywords that I add to the picture and videos remain with those files and be recognized by the new program?

        • 1. Re: Are keywords added through Lightroom embedded into the file itself?
          dj_paige Level 9

          By default, the answer is no.


          However, you can turn on an option to do this automatically Edit->Catalog Settings->Metadata->Automatically write changes to XMP (or do it manually with Ctrl-S).


          Once the keywords (and captions and other metadata is in the files), any photographic application should be able to read them and use them.


          Also, if you are going to use some other application in the future, you'd need to Export the photos, and the metadata will be contained in the exported photos as well.

          • 2. Re: Are keywords added through Lightroom embedded into the file itself?
            johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

            Yes, LR writes the keywords, and indeed all the metadata from the right-hand side (title, caption, capture date, etc.), into industry-standard fields in the image's file.  LR is reasonably compliant with industry standards, so you can be confident that your data will be read by programs in the future.


            Most people set the option Catalog Settings > Metadata > Automatically Write Changes Into XMP, which will write the metadata back to the file in background after you change it.  If you don't set that option, you'll have to manually do Metadata > Save Metadata To File.


            Important note for video: LR does not fully support video metadata, and it doesn't write any metadata back to videos.  So if you want your metadata to get written back to the file system independent of the LR catalog, you'll need to use either the  Video Asset Management plugin or the Any File plugin to manage your video.  These third-party plugins create "sidecar" JPEG files into which your metadata changes will be stored.