— Dane Creek

Keyword Board: A Touch App for Keywording Photos

Another weekend of watching football, another photography productivity app hacked together.

The most time consuming part of processing photos after a Storm game is applying keywords to all the images. Lightroom has no real fast way to do it, and Photo Mechanic’s keywording support is abysmal. So what’s a photographer to do?

All season this year I’ve stared at the touch screen on my laptop and wished I had a dedicated app with a ton of buttons on it that I could just whack to apply keywords to images. That’s what I wrote this weekend.

The Keyword Board interface. Click on the image to view it full-size.

The app is still rough around the edges but it works. It does one thing: let you apply keywords to photos. You point it at a folder of raw files that have associated .xmp files (it doesn’t work with .dng, sorry) and then start applying keywords. Tap a button to apply the keyword. Tap it again to remove the keyword. Tap the next or previous button to move to the next image.

The keywords are read from an XML file so it’s easy to remap what the buttons do without having to recompile the application. It’s a lot of fun to figure out where to put what keywords. You’ll notice in the above screenshot I’ve been playing with button sizes too.

I’d say the app is in alpha form right now. I really want to change the colour of the buttons to match Lightroom’s dark theme but I’m having trouble with the WPF control styling. It isn’t a particularly robust app either, but as long as you don’t do something bad, it works fine *grin*.

I’d like to add a free-form text box as well, with auto-complete, so it’s easy to enter in additional keywords that aren’t pre-assigned to a button. But that’s a feature for another weekend.