October 08, 2007

Keywording improvements in Bridge 2.1

People managing large asset collections–especially photographers with lots of photos–have long requested finer-grained control over the way keywords are applied to & stored within their files.  Now a new technote on Adobe.com documents the changes & improvements in Bridge 2.1:

The keywords panel is enhanced significantly in the Adobe Bridge CS3 2.1 release. The primary enhancement is the addition of support for nested keyword hierarchies. In previous versions of Bridge, only a single level of nesting was supported. Bridge also now allows the hierarchical information to be written with the keywords. There are also new ways to find keywords quickly in your keyword hierarchy and to add new keywords at any level in the hierarchy. Additionally, Bridge now provides a way to import and export the keywords defined in the keyword panel.

Check out the doc for more details, and please let us know if there are ways in which you’d like to see keywording further improved in Bridge and/or Lightroom.

Posted by John Nack at 8:34 PM on October 08, 2007

Comments

  • chris mcdonalds — 11:52 PM on October 08, 2007

    i wish the keywords panel could display a long list of keywords in multiple columns.
    Also, the “assigned keywords” section up top when images with keywords are selected, could be nice if that text is selectable.
    ot: i wish PS displays the name of the file in the dialog box when the image is being saved. sometimes, you are working like a robot, checking the physical (paper) list of images to retouch, it’s nice to be able to check the item off as it’s being saved (if the file is large’nuff, you lose the momentum just sitting idle)
    thanks for a great blog!

  • Mike — 12:57 AM on October 09, 2007

    Thanks, useful tip – great improvements on keywording. I think Adobe should invest as much as possible in Bridge, as it has great potential.

  • Bryn — 8:29 AM on October 09, 2007

    In lightroom I’d definitely wish for the ability to customize how many recent keywords are displayed. My working set is definitely bigger than 9!
    Also, faster performance in light room for >100k images would make keywords more useful

  • Jim Monaco — 9:49 AM on October 09, 2007

    I’m really glad that you pointed out this technote–I’ve been wondering how to apply parent keywords for like, 2 weeks now. Never thought to press shift…
    Of course, you asked for suggestions, so I’m going to take advantage :D Apologies in advance.
    I’d like to see a button or context menu item for applying parent keywords–just for user-friendliness. Just a little detail, I know, but without your blog, I wouldn’t have known the feature was there. Actually, can we just get a link to your blog embedded in bridge? ;)
    [You joke, but Bridge CS2 did contain an RSS reader, and I think my stuff does sometimes appear inside Bridge Home in CS3. --J.]
    Second request/suggestion (of 2). The hierarchies are nice, but not completely useful since they aren’t represented over in Bridge’s Filter panel. I think it would be really, really neat if you guys could come up with a way to combine the Keywords panel and the Keywords selector in the Filters panel into one keywords…thingamajig. Something where I can add, edit, apply, search, and filter keywords from one location. That’d be pretty darn handy :)
    [Okay--thanks for the feedback. --J.]

  • Oliver — 2:25 PM on October 09, 2007

    Having tried both Lightroom and Bridge CS2, I can’t express how excited I am about this update. Maybe it’s just knowing that there’s active development on improving the way keywording is done. I was beginning to lose hope! And since you asked, I do have some ideas that I’ve been dying to share =) Just talking about this gets me excited, so many apologies in advance!
    Is it possible to export/import keywords between Bridge & Lightroom? It doesn’t make sense to me to have to do this twice.
    Also, after importing thousands of pictures (and their associated keywords) into Lightroom, I have a giant flat hierarchy of keywords. There is no way to select multiple keywords to group under a parent keyword. Regrouping a few thousand keywords one by one? No thanks. I’m left with a mess and I don’t know what to do about it. At times I wish there was a separate bare-bones app just to edit keyword files that offer more control. Controls like grouping multiple keywords under a parent, like I mentioned. Or split window view to avoid having to drag keywords past 38137 other keywords just to find the parent to group it under. Those 2 features alone would be a God send!
    In Lightroom, I agree with Bryn that a working set of 9 keywords is way too few =)
    Lastly, in Lightroom, I prefer to think of each keyword as a separate entity (I just care about adding or removing keywords. Not editing. If I want to edit an applied keyword I would simply remove it and replace it with a new one). In this area, I think Bridge has it down with its use of checkboxes. To further explain, having to edit the IPTC keywords field like I’m editing a Word document is much too slow and error prone. (i.e. “Flower , Macro” creates a new keyword “Flower ” with an added space which is NOT the same as “Flower”). Do I really need to worry about the placement of the cursor before I begin typing to make sure I’m not in the middle of another keyword? Should I need to be bothered about where I place my commas? And lastly, do I need to care about the order in which the keywords were applied? I’d much rather see the keywords alphabetically.
    At the same time, I love Lightroom’s autocomplete feature. Why not have the best of both worlds and be able to combine auto-complete & only having to worry about adding/removing. Say in a input field, I type the first few letters of a keyword, select the proper one (auto-complete style), and be able to hit Enter to apply it? Tada, even with a library of thousands of keywords, I can apply 10-20 keywords to an image in a matter of seconds without ever having to take my hands off the keyboard. I don’t even need to organize my keywords in a hierarchy anymore since I can find the one I’m looking for within a few keystrokes (of course I still want to, but you see my point). Applied keywords can be displayed in an alphabetical list with an “x” that allows you to remove them.
    Many of these suggestions are directed at LR, but I think they’re just as valid for Bridge =) I realize some of these are pretty specific in terms of implementation, but if you could take the ideas and mold them even better, that would be great!
    Again, I’m pleasantly surprised and excited to see that there’s on going work being done in the area of keywords. Keep up the great work!!
    [Cool; thanks for the detailed feedback, Oliver. --J.]

  • Scott Valentine — 12:23 PM on October 10, 2007

    I’m still looking for Bridge to behave more like a database, and this is a good step. A hierarchy implies some kind of contextual relevance, which is only a good thing.
    Now, take those keyword improvements and let me create lists based on filters, which I can then send to a template in ID (automated catalog, anyone?).

  • sam — 1:25 PM on November 01, 2007

    I would however like to know how to apply keywords and they retain the order rather than go alphabetical! is there any way to do this?? so lightroom (when importing images) keeps the keyword order and when adding key words they stay in that order? is this possible??

  • kevin Keefer — 11:14 AM on November 13, 2007

    Hi John,
    I have an issue with the Find feature in Bridge. It will not find using any criteria. It works on one account, ( adummy one I set up), but not on my main account. Adobe told me maybe my account is corrupt. DO you know what might be cause this feature not to engage?
    Thank You,
    Kevin
    [Hmm--I haven't heard of this happening, but let me ping Bridge QE and try to get some suggestions. --J.]

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