Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Digital Photography > Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Staying Organized by Assigning Keywords

One of the biggest challenges in managing thousands of images is finding the exact photo (or photos) right when you need it. Luckily, you can stay totally organized, and find the right photos fast, by simply applying keywords to your photos. It takes just a small amount of time up front, but it can save you hours every week and potentially extend your life by several years by removing a special level of frustration and stress that appears after searching for hours to find a photo you know is in there...somewhere. Ask your doctor.

Step One

To create a keyword, go to the Browse Keywords panel (on the left side of Lightroom’s window) and click on the large + (plus sign), as shown here. This brings up the Create Keyword dialog where you can type in the keyword you want to assign to one or more photos in your Library, then click the Create button to create this keyword.

Step Two

You can assign a keyword to a photo in the same way you add a photo to a collection. In Grid view, just drag-and-drop a photo from the Preview area right onto the keyword you want assigned to it in the Browse Keywords panel (as shown here). You can do the same select-multiple-photos-and-drag-and-drop trick as you did with collections.

Step Three

Unlike collections, there’s another way to assign keywords and you might actually like this way better (I certainly do). Instead of dragging the photos to the Browse Keywords panel and trying to hit that thin little panel, you can actually drag the keyword itself and drop it on your photos, as shown here (a thick black border appears around your thumbnail letting you know you’ve targeted that photo). I like this method better because thumbnails make a much larger and easier target to hit. You can still select multiple photos (Command-click on them) and drag-and-drop the keyword on any selected photo, and they’ll all be tagged with that keyword.

Step Four

Now when you want to instantly see the photos that are tagged with a particular keyword, just click on that keyword. In the example shown here, I clicked on Acoustic and now only the guitars labeled acoustic in my Library appear.

Step Five

Of course, the real strength of keywords is when you add more than just one, so you can quickly drill down and find just the photos you’re looking for. For example, here I’ve added 10 more keywords, and dragged-and-dropped them on the appropriate photos. So, if for example, I wanted to see just my bass guitars, I’d click on the Bass Guitars keyword (as shown here) and instantly all my bass guitars, and only my bass guitars, are displayed. Even better, since you can assign multiple keywords to photos, my first bass guitar images show up not only under Bass Guitars, but also under Black Guitars and Flat Views.

Step Six

Another advantage of creating and assigning keywords is that now you can search your entire library by simply typing in a name. For example, want to find all the guitars that are red? Go to the Search panel (shown circled here) and just type in “red.” Now every red guitar shows up instantly. This keywording is great for tagging photos of family members (for example, my son is named Jordan, so I can instantly find every photo of Jordan just by typing his name in the Search field).

Step Seven

Just a reminder, you can save yourself some time by assigning some of your keywords when you first import your photos. For example, if you were importing a shoot of just one guitar, you could automatically tag all those shots with descriptive keywords from right within Lightroom’s Import Photos dialog (shown here). There’s a Keywords field for typing in the keywords you want (it’s circled here in red). Just type in your desired keywords, separated by a comma, and once they’re imported those keywords will be added to your Browse Keywords panel to make sorting easy, plus you can use the Search field to find images tagged with those keywords.

Step Eight

To see the keywords you have assigned to a photo, just go to the Info panel, on the right side of Lightroom’s interface under the Histogram (you may have to scroll the panels down a bit to reveal the Info panel). In the Info panel, you’ll see a field that not only lists the keywords assigned to the currently selected photo, you can also add additional keywords by just clicking in the Keywords field (shown circled in red) and typing in your desired keywords. Also, keywords that you enter in this field are automatically added to the Browse Keywords panel. Once you get in the habit of adding keywords to photos, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can get right to the photo (or photos) you’re looking for.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020