I use a combination of star ratings and color labels to fill smart collections in a Workflow Collection Set. Today, I was editing (Metadata Menu > Color Label Set > Edit...) the text in my custom color label preset (called "Bill's Color Labels"). I clicked on the "Change" button when, I suspect, I should have used the dropdown menu to select "Update Preset Bill's Color Labels." As a result, all my color labels disappeared from my photos!
I opened a backup of my catalog, but the color labels were still gone and the "Bill's Color Labels" preset was still my newer (messed up) color label text. I had thought the restored catalog would have the color labels applied as they were yesterday. It did not. So, I fear I must reapply color labels to my multi-year catalog of 20,000 images.
But this raises the questions: Where is the color label metadata stored? Why didn't restoring a previous catalog restore my lost color labels?
I'd appreciate any answers or insights the community might have.
What you are seeing is normal behavior. If you edit the text in a Label set image files that were tagged with the original text will now appear White with the newly edited Label set. The White label indicates the image has a label, but from a different Label set. This allows tagging images using multiple Label sets.
The easiest way to fix this is to use the Library Filter Bar> Metadata> Label selection with 'All Photographs' selected in the Catalog panel. You will see all of the old label names, which can be individually selected and updated with the new label text by reapplying the original color label. You'll need to remember what text was used for each of the original color labels. I'm guessing you can figure that out since you just made the changes.