Wednesday, 21 February 2007

How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 1)

Click any image to view larger

Now that I am tryling Lightroom and I thought I would try out if it is possible using a controlled vocabulary when keywording images. David Riecks at has produced a controlled vocabulary keyword catalogue, which is a great basis for a structured keywording of files.

It turns out its not to difficult to get the Control Vocabulary file into Lightroom, all it requires a simple bit of Excel work to convert it. This is what you do:

1. Order the Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalogue.
2. Have Excel installed on your PC
3.Open Excel
4. Select File>Open. Change the file type to text and select the CV text file:

5.The text import wizard appears. Select Delimited:

6.Click Next and make sure only "tab" is checked:

7. Click Next and Finish.
8. The CV file is now loaded in Excel.
9. Select File>Save As and give the file a new name - make sure the file type is set to Text - Tab Delimited.
10. A warning message may appear:

click Yes.
11.Start Lightroom.
12.In the Library module, select Metadata>import Keywords and select the file you have just created.
13.Lightroom will grind to a hault for a few minutes but eventually the CV keywords will appear in the Keyword Panel

Within Lightroom selecting a keyword will cause keywords higher up the hierarchy to be allocated as implied keywords.

Be warned that keywording does seem to slow down a lot when using this number of keywords - lets hope Adobe manage to sort out the performance issues.

Update 22 Feb 2007
People have asked why import a file in a tab separated format only to immediately output it in the same format...which is a fair question. The reason is that CV file currently available seems to have an end of line character that Lightroom does not recognise and this process removes it.

David Riecks tells me that the next version of the Controlled Vocabulary Catalogue should not have the problem with the end of line characters in which case you should be able to start from step 11.

I have had a lot of people tell me that this is causing them performance issues in Lightroom, I have yet to do a thorough investigation but it seems that every time you access a keyword Lightroom is calculating on the fly how many images in your catalogue are using it.

Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 2)

Update 26 March 2007
It seems my experience with the number of keywords severely impacting performance
is not unusual - Anne Gall has created a thread in the Adobe forum covering the problems in quite some detail.l

Related Posts
Controlled Vocabulary for Adobe Lightroom 1.1 released!

Controlled Vocabulary and Adobe Lightroom 1.1
How to use Controlled Vocabulary in Adobe Lightroom (part 2)


Neil Tribe said...

No. Can't seem to get this to work. Lightroom first said that the file was not a recognised type of keyword file. Then when I tried again, any files of this type that I browse to are grayed out.

Chris Shepherd said...

Hi Neil,

Sorry about that....not sure why that would be, it worked for me ;)

If you create a small keyword hierachy and the select Metadata>Export you can create a text file if you view the file in notepad it should look the same as the file you are trying to import.

hope that helps.