How to add Keywords in Photoshop and Never Lose Another File Again.

Haunted House cartoon Cover Art - Bob OstromHow to add Keywords in Photoshop.

I’ve been looking for old Photoshop ans Illustrator files all morning and I can’t seem to find anything. I remember the images but when I search for them by name nothing comes up. The reason nothing comes up is because the files aren’t really lost I just happen to be using the wrong names when I search. My clients tend to name files very differently then I do and therefor when I search using a logical title nothing comes up. If only I’d known about tagging my images with keywords when I created them I wouldn’t be going through any of this now.

Adobe built this great little feature into it’s programs to help out guys like me who’s files are all over the place. Here’s how it works. Suppose you have a file like this one on the right. It’s name is something like ZRX_1357-22BRB.PSD. Great for the client not great for me. When I search for this image I would probably use a search term like Monsters, Haunted House, Halloween…. you get the idea. The problem is none of those words produce results. So how do we fix that? Simple we add keyword search terms right into the file.

Here’s how it works. Before saving the file we’ll add some tags to help us find it later. That way if the client needs a title full of letters and numbers we can still find it using simple search terms later. So here is my file. I happen to be working in Photoshop right now but this works for other Adobe programs too.

In Photoshop start by going to File > File Info

File info screen shot Adobe Photoshop - ostrom

A panel that looks like the one below should now be up on your screen.

You can add a title, author name, file description, key words etc. Let’s focus on the keywords. By tagging this image with common keywords I can easily find it in a search later by using any of those terms.

Tagging an image in photoshop with keywords - ostrom

Now when I go to find my art using my computer’s  search
my image will show up using any of the keywords I added.

Computer search - ostrom

If you can build this into your routine you will never lose another file again.

The great part about it is it’s never too late to add the search terms. Once you find your lost file open it add your keywords into the file at any time and then simply re-save.

•note – You can also use Adobe’s bridge to add keywords but that’s a story for anther day.



3 Replies to “How to add Keywords in Photoshop and Never Lose Another File Again.”

  1. I don’t usually comment to strangers but I just wanted to say how helpful I found this post. I have been searching for days for something similar so that I could add tags at the time of scanning old photos through Photoshop rather than doing them later on. Just Marellous. Thank you.

  2. Bob does this only work while the file is still a number…in other words after I’ve worked on a file and am ready to save with a name and change it to jpg or tif….am i still able before actually hitting save to enter the key words?

    1. As far as I know you can add tags at anytime regardless of the file name. So in other words you can go back and add tags to old files to improve searchability. The tags you’ve added should remain in place even if you change the name of the file. Hope that helps!

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