Lightroom Keywords nesting in SmugMug not fully supported?

HpixHpix Registered Users Posts: 44 Big grins

I posted this in API Integtration some time ago, no response. Since it seems like a bug in the SM+LR plug-in, I'm reposting here.

Should Lightroom sync with SmugMug include the metadata created in Lightroom...specifically nested Keywords? It doesn't seem too...

After much experimentation with nesting Keywords in Lightroom, it seems the smoothest with least side-effects is to use > to indicate hierarchy and therefore nesting. This is in many Lightroom examples and tutorials, and nicely displays as nested Keywords in LR.

Unlike forward or back slashes in Keywords which can have unwanted consequences, nesting character > seems benign, probably the reason Adobe uses it. I can use it in other photo apps Keywords to indicate desired heirarchy and they are nicely understood in Lightroom, displaying the desired Keywords nesting.

But, not in SmugMug, where the nesting character > seems to be rejected, simply removed from Keywords. That's a huge disappointment, breaking SM - LR integration. And seems an unnecessary restriction.

Can we get Lightroom's Keywords > nesting support fully into SmugMug?

Keywords values in 3 photos:

Trips>Yosemite>1988>Bear in camp
Trips>Yosemite>1989>Bear destroys camp
Trips>Yosemite>1990>Bear wins

Result in Lightroom, but not in SmugMug:

                 Bear in camp
                 Bear destroys camp
                 Bear wins


  • leftquarkleftquark Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,784 Many Grins
    edited October 20, 2019

    Hi John,
    If you recall a little over a year ago we talked about nested keywords. As long as Lightroom is properly saving them as individual keywords, they should get sent to us as individual keywords (I’d expect Bear in camp, though Lightroom could also send it to us as trips, Yosemite, 1988, Bear in camp)

    SmugMug doesn’t support nesting keywords and if I’m being honest with you, we don’t have any plans to support it other than to treat each of them as their own individual keywords. When I say we don’t intend to support it I mean we don’t intend to allow sub-keywords to be added within SmugMug, nor do we intend to display the full nest at this time. We’ll display a flat list of keywords. But I would like to make sure we’re getting all the keywords you expect to have in the photos.

    Do you have some examples that I could poke at?

    dGrin Afficionado
    Former SmugMug Product Team
    aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
    My SmugMug CSS Customizations website:
  • HpixHpix Registered Users Posts: 44 Big grins

    Aaron, two problems seem to arise from SM not handling nested Keywords as LR does. (Besides indicating, SM is not fully compatible with LR...)

    1. As shown in many (seems to me, most) Lightroom tutorials and examples, nesting is encouraged in Lightroom. The examples use the nesting levels to comprise the full "name" of the Keyword item. In my example, the entire Lightroom hierarchy "Yosemite>1988>Bear in camp" is needed or there is no is no context or clarity. And no way to have photos self-organize by their Keywords except in a flat list. Yes, it could be written as one Keyword such as Yosemite_1988_Bear in camp but that's back to the flat list, not the nice nesting that Lightroom (and other organizers) provide. A user could maybe construct a search combining the desired individual Keyword terms, but that assumes they know what terms exist and how to do a compound search, not useful for browsing a collection.

    2. Having SM strip out the nesting indicators (Lightroom arrowheads) perhaps makes it murkier. If you treat the arrows as normal characters, showing the entire SINGLE Keyword -- "Yosemite>1988>Bear in camp" -- that would (at least) indicate the intended full term, useful even if not displayed as nested levels. But having SM treat the single Keyword value (that happens to have multiple words separated by arrowhead character) as separate Keywords discards the context and is fairly useless. Because really, Lightroom is saving this text string as ONE Keyword "Yosemite>1988>Bear in camp". In LR this is NOT three Keywords, it is ONE text string, which Lightroom formats for display using the arrowheads as nesting levels. But since it is just one Keyword value, if SM can't show the nesting, just show the entire original text of the Keyword.

    Unless the arrowhead character within a Keyword value BREAKS something in SM, why mess it up? Same argument for other non-alpha text characters in Keywords, Title, Caption, such as as slashes, why alter any metaddata the user types in if it doesn't affect SM?

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