Author Topic: Various requests and comments in relation to keywording  (Read 1967 times)

Offline Graham1

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Various requests and comments in relation to keywording
« on: August 13, 2015, 04:15:34 PM »
I have been trialling Photo Mechanic for a short period and would like to make a few observations and requests for a future version.

To put my comments in perspective, I am a Lightroom user, happy with its RAW development and editing capabilities and its cataloguing features, but frustrated by its rather limited keywording abilities, although I have over several years built up a large hierarchical keyword library, which I want to retain.  My main use of PM to date has been to review and amend keywords in JPEG files exported from Lightroom.  So far, my impression is that PM is far more competent at handling keywords.

Here are my comments/suggestions.

1.   IPTC Info palette:

A.  It would be helpful if the "Keywords" panel could be stretchy, automatically expanding as necessary to accommodate the keywords in it, as well as a fixed size set through Preferences. Also consider having a "sort" checkbox against this field, allowing keywords to be sorted alphabetically here, without moving to another panel to do this.

B.  This is the first of what will become a recurrent theme: too many mouse or trackpad clicks.  If you want to select either "Edit Keywords" or "Structured Keywords" (which you are likely to do if you have more than a few keywords already allocated), you have to click the down arrow to the right of the Keywords field, then click whichever you wish to choose.  Much better if you had two buttons instead of a drop down list (there are only 2 choices, after all - a drop down list of only two options is not very efficient), one click on the appropriate one of which would take you to your desired panel.  Also it would be good to have a keyboard shortcut from here to take you to whichever panel you want without having to click anything (ctrl-k to take you to the structured keywords panel does not work from here).

C.  Result of "Edit Keywords" or "Structured Keywords": once you have done whatever you want here, you cannot move on to the next image.  You have to click "OK", which then takes you back to the IPTC Info palette, where you then have to initiate the procedure in B. above all over again - click after click after click, and a very slow workflow.  Would it not be possible to be able to save directly from "Edit Keywords" or "Structured Keywords" and move on to the next image, without having to return to the IPTC Info palette and then re-open these each time?  (i.e. replicate the "Save & >" etc. buttons on each of these).  This would be so much more logical, quicker and efficient.  If you have opened one of these panels for your first image, then it is highly likely that you will want to do the same for subsequent images and move straight on to the next image as quickly as possible (and if you do not want to select another image, you can just close the panel as you do at present).  This is the single biggest issue which is making me hesitate over whether or not to buy PM and incorporate it into my permanent workflow: presently my view is that while I love the ability to manage my keywords in this way, this is slowing me down too much (and all the cursor movements and clicking are risking RSI - I am trying to cut down on repetitive mouse movements and clicking, not the reverse).

2.   Structured keywords panel:

A.  The Collection panel has a "Clear" button.  Strangely, the path panel does not.  Add a "Clear" button for each field, so that the text in it does not have to be selected and deleted, which again involves unnecessary keystrokes or mouse/cursor movements.

B.  The contents of the Structured Keywords panel can be set to Synonym, Category, etc, if you want to change them.  While there is a very slight, scarcely perceptible, colour difference (unlike synonyms, which are, helpfully, bold), it is difficult to see at a glance what is a keyword, what is a category etc.  It would be helpful for there to be distinctive colour differences between the various types (preferably user-defined), so that one can see immediately which are keywords, which are categories etc.  For the colour blind, the ability to customise between normal, italic and bold might also be useful (and the ability to user-select which applies to which would be even more useful: personally I would prefer Categories in bold, keywords in normal and synonyms in italics: the present layout of synonyms in bold suggests that they are more important than the basic keyword itself, which is rather the reverse of what is true).

C. Loading a keyword list: my keyword list is derived from my Lightroom hierarchical keyword list, which imports without problem, with one exception.  Although by default, square bracketed strings are treated in Lightroom as non-exporting categories, this can be changed, so that there can be exporting keywords in square brackets.  I shoot for stock, and one agency I use, in its keyword guidelines, states that square bracketed words which sit naturally together will be given greater prominence if square bracketed together than the two words individually, such as "[blue whale]" or "[New York]".  I am not sure that this feature has actually been implemented by the agency, but in preparation for it, I have for a long time been using this convention.  Many of my intended keywords are therefore importing as categories.  While I can change these, it is a painstaking process (not made easier by the lack of a clear colour distinction, as mentioned above).  I can run the exported keyword list through a text editor to remove the square brackets before import into PM, but this is not what I want to achieve.  Would it be possible to include an option that square bracketed text should be imported as a keyword, not as a category?

D.  The ability to ctrl- or shift-click multiple entries, e.g. for deletion of several together.

3.   General:

A.  include a tick box to toggle the always-on-top behaviour of any panels for which this can be enabled.  It can be inconvenient to have to close a panel in order to remove it from screen.

B.  Useful new features, as opposed to a refinement, would be:
(i) a keyword search and replace function, within the Structured Keywords panel;

(ii) the ability to drag and drop keywords, to change their location within the keyword hierarchy in the Structured Keywords panel (you could then see more clearly what you are doing, rather than relying on cutting and pasting);

(iii) real time display results of substring searching (like Google), rather than having to click "Find" to see the results;

(iv) a real-time updating character and word count next to each editable field (particularly for keywords) - in the IPTC Info palette and for the Collection in the Structured Keywords panel.

Maybe there are already answers to some of these points which I have not been able to find from the manual or from my limited evaluation, but if not, I hope these comments will give food for thought for a future version.


Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Various requests and comments in relation to keywording
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2015, 05:55:46 PM »
Thanks for your feedback, Graham.