About keywords

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Keywords are words that you associate with your image files. They are used to help you and others search through many images to find what you are looking for. You can use standard keywords or custom keywords. For example, you can add keywords to identify image content, client or job, or the location where images were taken.

Effective use of keywords

Searching for the keyword "family vacation" is a lot easier than remembering where you stored your photos, but for keywording and searching to be effective, you need to add keywords to your photos in a way that you can easily remember. For example, if you search for "family trip" but assigned the keyword "family vacation" to your images, your search will return nothing and you won't find what you are looking for.

Before adding many keywords to your images, it is a good idea to think through and plan how you want to use keywords. Corel AfterShot Pro has a couple of features that help you create and organize keywords effectively: keyword hierarchies and keyword sets.

Keyword hierarchies

Corel AfterShot Pro supports keyword hierarchies, so you can create subcategories of keywords. For example, you can organize the keywords "dog" and "cat" (child keywords) under "pets" (parent keyword) or "Mom" and "Dad" under "Family". A keyword hierarchy helps you keep your keywords organized and makes it easier to find categories of images. You can create keyword hierarchies in the Keyword Manager or by typing a semi-colon between keywords in the Keywords section.

Hierarchy example

You could create three top level keyword groups: "Clients", "Subject Matter", and "Genre". Then add new sub-keywords to the "Clients" group for each job you work on and add entries under "Subject Matter" for things like "Urban", "Landscapes", "Portrait", "Head-shot" and so forth. Under "Genre" you could have "Sepia", "High Key", "Black & White", "Bleach Bypass", "High Contrast" and any number of other image treatments or photographic genres. As you import images from a new shoot, you can assign the keyword "Clients;Smith Wedding". As you edit and optimize your images, add "Subject Matter" keywords. As you make multiple versions of your images, some in Sepia, some in Black & White, tag these versions with "Genre" keywords.

Now, you can quickly search for any image shot as part of "Smith Wedding", or you can find all of your "High Key" images. Or search for High Key images shot during the Smith Wedding that are Portrait.

All the keywords at a specific level in a hierarchy must be unique, but you can have the same keyword in different hierarchies. So you can have "John Doe" under "Clients", and "John Doe" under "Subjects". This allows you to distinguish between images shot of John Doe, and images shot for John Doe. You can perform a search for "John Doe" and find both.

Keyword Sets

Keyword sets let you quickly display a group of keywords that are meaningful to the set of images you are working with. You can group similar keywords together in a set and show that set in the Keyword Sets section. This means that you can assign keywords quickly by clicking them in the Keyword Sets section rather than retyping them each time in the Keywords section. Keywords within a keyword set can come from anywhere in a keyword hierarchy. For example, you can make a keyword set that includes all the family members that went on vacation together, destination names, and any other subject matter relating to that shoot.

You can switch between keyword sets. For example, if you took photos at a family wedding, you can use a Family set that lets you name people quickly and then switch to a Wedding set that lets you apply the keywords you typically assign to wedding shots: Bride, Groom, Cake, Reception, Flowers, etc...

You can create keyword sets in the Keyword Manager.

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