Assigning Keywords in Aperture

How to assign keywords in Aperture on your Mac

If you are a keen photographer then it is not going to take long before you have thousands of photographs to organise on your Mac. For quite some time I was using the application iPhoto and it was sufficient for what I wanted to do with my photos. On the other hand, the application Aperture is so much better in terms of how you can organise and deal with your photos that it doesn’t really take too long before you find that you do need to have the better tool for the job. I have found that the effects that you can apply to photos in Aperture are much more professional than the ones that you get in iPhoto. You do get the opportunity to add keywords to photos in iPhoto, but Aperture also does a better job of that task too. Within Aperture you can have keywords with subordinate keywords and there are also ways of adding keywords much quicker in a number of different ways within the application. In the embedded video you can see that it is quite easy to create keywords in the Inspector window in the side bar of the application and you can do the same job if you are using the Inspector HUD (Heads up Display). I think it will be a matter of time before Aperture also will let you add Mavericks Tags to photos within the app.

The keywords Heads up Display in Aperture

Keywords and Aperture
There is an advantage of using the heads up display for the keywords and that is that when you start typing in letters for a keyword, the application will give you some auto fill options. So if you want to look for the word snake you start by typing in the letters S N and by the time that you have put in the letter at A you will see a couple of words that are starting with those three letters. If it is a long word or there are a number of words offered up, it could be quicker for you to use the arrow keys and you can quickly get to the word that you want. Or you can simply put in more letters until there is just one word there, the word that you require and all you have to do is to press enter. This can save you an awful lot of typing when you are adding keywords to your photos.

When you are using the Keyword HUD – heads up display you will find that there is less chance that you will add duplicate words that are only different because of a different capitalisation. Or there will be less duplicate words that are different only because one of them is in the plural form. Better to have just one word in these cases so that when it comes time to find photos you can search by just the one version of the word and not both. If you do make a mistake and add a word that already is taken care of within your set of keywords it is quite simple to merge keywords together.

Using the Aperture Control Bar

There is another way that you can add keywords to your photographs and that is by using the control bar which when you have in view, is at the bottom of the Aperture window. There is a shortcut key, the letter D, or you can place an icon in the icon bar at the top of the window and you can then also just go to one of the menus to get the control bar showing. When the control bar is in view it will give you one click functionality to sets of keywords. There are sets of keywords that are applicable to descriptions of photos such as whether the photo is in landscape or in portrait, etc. Another set will give you stock categories such as glamour, food, nature, people and so on.

What is really useful and handy is the fact that you can create a set of keywords that you can use in this way that are specific to the type of photographs that you take. For example you might have one set that will let you keyword the different places that you regularly go to take photos. When we are talking about keywording hundreds of photographs, or even thousands then we need to have things like this in order that we can do the keywording process as quickly as possible. If you use HoudahSpot you can see the keywords alongside Mavericks Tags.