Work more efficiently with keywords and synonyms, including those containing spaces:
- Quickly apply keywords and synonyms with just a few keystrokes, seeing all matching keywords, their parents, and their descriptions as you type.
- Quickly filter photos by exact names of keywords, without laborious scrolling in the Filter Bar or accidental matches with text search.
- Attach descriptions to keywords.
- Avoid accidentally creating new keywords.
Any Tag is designed for very fast keyboard entry of keywords:
For example, to tag a photo with the keyword “Carolyn Ellis Gottschalk”, you might type “c el <tab> or “ellis c <tab>” or even “c <tab>” (if you had recently used “Carolyn Ellis Gottschalk”).
Any Tag can also “commit” the country, state/province, and city fields that Lightroom automatically adds to photos when they have GPS coordinates. Any Tag turns those suggestions (gray font) into permanent values (white font), making them easier to edit and saving them in your photo’s metadata.
Download and Install
Any Tag requires Lightroom 3 or higher, Lightroom CC 2015, or Lightroom Classic. (The newer cloud-focused Lightroom doesn’t support plugins.)
- Download anytag.1.13.zip.
- If you’re upgrading from a previous version of Any Tag, exit Lightroom and replace the existing anytag.lrplugin folder with the new one extracted from the downloaded .zip. Restart Lightroom and you’re done.
- If this is a new installation, extract the folder anytag.lrplugin from the downloaded .zip and move it to a location of your choice.
- In Lightroom, do File > Plug-in Manager.
- Click Add, browse and select the anytag.lrplugin folder, and click Select Folder (Windows) or Add Plug-in (Mac OS).
The free trial is for 30 days – after that, you’ll need to buy a license.
Buy a License
- Buy a license at a price you think is fair:
The license includes unlimited upgrades. Make sure you’re satisfied with the free trial before buying. It isn’t necessary to buy a license to use the Commit Locations and Find Uncommitted Locations commands.
- Copy the license key from the confirmation page or confirmation email.
- Do File > Plug-in Extras > Any Tag > Tag.
- Click Buy.
- Paste the key into the License key box and click OK.
Using Any Tag
The first time you invoke Any Tag, it will load the keywords from the catalog. Due to Lightroom limitations, this could take many minutes for very large keyword lists (especially on Windows), but the next time you invoke the plugin, it will start very quickly. If the initial load takes more than a few seconds, Any Tag will ask if you want to use a faster, manual method for initially loading the keywords, using the Metadata > Export Keywords command – Any Tag will walk you through the steps. (And if you encounter problems using the manual method, see this support note.)
Any Tag continually, unobtrusively reloads the keywords in background. But if you change or delete keywords outside of Any Tag, you’ll need to do Reload keywords if you want Any Tag to see the changes immediately.
With Any Tag, you can select keywords and synonyms with just a few keystrokes, seeing all matching keywords, their ancestors, and their notes as you type. Hit Tab to select the first matching keyword, or click on any matching keyword to select that keyword.
As you type a word, say “jo”, Any Tag will show all keywords containing a word starting with “jo”. For example, “jo” would match “John Rolfe Ellis” and “Bob Jones” but not “Mojo Motors”. If you type multiple words, then the matching keywords will match each of your words. For example, “jo el” would match “John Rolfe Ellis” and “Elsworth Johnson” but not “Joe Seldon”.
If no keywords match, your words will be shown in red.
Any Tag shows the most recently used matching keywords first. So as you tag a batch of photos, it’s usually sufficient to type just the first one or two letters to call up the desired keyword.
If the matching keywords or their ancestors are getting truncated, you can resize the Any Tag window to see more.
With the Tag command, you can quickly apply existing and new keywords to photos, without accidentally creating keywords when you mistype.
- While in Grid or Loupe view, select one or more photos.
- Do File > Plug-in Extras > Any Tag > Tag.
- Enter one or more keywords.
- Click < or > to move to the previous or next photo (if you selected one photo), or click OK. If you entered words that don’t match any keyword, Any Tag will prompt you to create a new keyword, entering its parents, synonyms, and a descriptive note. Click Cancel if you don’t want to create the keyword.
Filter By Keyword
With the Filter By Keyword command, you can quickly filter your photos by one or more keywords, without laboriously scrolling in the Filter Bar. Unlike Lightroom’s text search or smart collections, the photos’ keywords always match exactly, regardless if they contain spaces.
- Do File > Plug-in Extras > Any Tag > Filter By Keyword (keyboard shortcut ALT+L U K on Windows).
- Enter one or more keywords.
- Match all of the keywords will show photos containing all of the keywords. Match any of the keywords will show photos containing at least one of the keywords.
- Clear current filter will clear the Filter Bar of all previous criteria. Add new keyword columns will add new keyword columns to the Filter Bar, rather than reusing any existing keyword columns; this lets you construct filters such as (“John” or “Joe”) and (“Mary” or “Jane”).
With the Notes command, you can attach descriptive notes to keywords. For example, you might provide more information about the people, places, or events the keywords represent.
The notes are kept in a comma-separated-values (CSV) text file in your catalog folder, any tag notes.csv. Many, many programs can read such files (such as Microsoft Word and Excel), so you don’t need to worry about your notes getting locked into a proprietary plugin or catalog database.
- Do File > Plug-in Extras > Any Tag > Notes.
- Enter a keyword. Any existing note for the keyword will be displayed below.
- Edit the note, typing Ctrl+J (Windows) or Ctrl+Return (Mac OS) to enter a line break in your note (silly Lightroom infelicity).
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 for additional keywords, then click OK.
Use the Import button to import notes from another CSV file or from a .xml file exported from Photoshop Elements via its Save Keyword Tags To File command.
If you rename a keyword or change its location in the hierarchy, Any Tag will keep its note attached to it. But if you delete a keyword (or in very rare cases, rename a keyword), Any Tag will warn you that its note is “orphaned” and export all such orphaned notes to a separate file. You can edit the orphan file and reimport it with the Import button.
Committing Locations (free)
When a photo has GPS coordinates, Lightroom automatically fills in the location fields Country, Country Code, State/Province, City, and Sublocation with suggested values (reverse geo-encoding). These suggested values appear in gray font and are difficult to edit—you must first “commit” the fields by clicking on their labels in the Library Metadata panel, one field at a time, one photo a time. Though the suggested values appear in exported photos, they don’t get written to the photo’s metadata, and they’re not visible to many parts of LR, including plugins (see this bug report).
Many users have complained about this poor design. The best solution is to use the Geoencoding Support plugin or the Geosetter program. But if you want to stick with Lightroom’s geo-encoding, Any Tag can make your life easier.
The Find Uncommitted Locations command finds photos that have uncommitted location fields. Select one or more photos and do File > Plug-in Extras > Any Tag > Find Uncommitted Locations. The photos with uncommitted fields will appear in the top-level collection Uncommitted Locations.
The Commit Locations command turns the suggested location values into permanent values that can be edited and saved to metadata. Select one or more photos and do File > Plug-in Extras > Any Tag > Commit Locations.
If you have Saved Locations in the Map module marked as “private”, or if you have the option Catalog Settings > Metadata > Export Address Suggestions Whenever Address Fields Are Empty unchecked, then Commit Locations won’t be able to commit the locations, and it will warn you. Change the appropriate saved locations to be non-private or select the catalog option.
The Commit Locations command is not very fast, processing about one raw photo per second. Lightroom doesn’t provide plugins with a method for accessing uncommitted field values directly, so Any Tag must export the photos to tiny thumbnails and then extract the values from them.
These commands are free to use and don’t require a license after the 30-day trial ends.
Windows: You can use the standard menu keystrokes to invoke Any Tag commands. For example, ALT+L opens the Library menu, U opens the Plug-in Extras submenu, and K invokes the Any Tag Filter By Keyword com command. In addition, ALT-N and ALT-P move to the next and previous photos in the Tag command.
To reassign a different final keystroke to an Any Tag menu item, edit the file Info.lua in the plugin folder. Move the “&” in front of the desired letter in the menu command’s name, changing the name itself if necessary.
To assign a single keystroke as the shortcut, download and install the free, widely used AutoHotkey.
Mac OS: You can use the standard mechanism for assigning application shortcuts to plugin menu commands. In System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Application Shortcuts, select Adobe Lightroom. Click “+” to add a new shortcut, in Menu Title type the name of the menu command preceded by three spaces. For example, if you wanted to assign a key to the Any Tag > Tag command, type “<space><space><space>Tag”. In Keyboard Shortcut type the desired key or key combination.
Please send problems, bugs, suggestions, and feedback to email@example.com.
I’ll gladly provide free licenses in exchange for reports of new, reproducible bugs.
Known limitations and problems:
- Any Tag requires Lightroom 3 or higher, Lightroom CC 2015, or Lightroom Classic—it requires key plugin capabilities not available in earlier versions.
- The Tag window may start increasing in size vertically, with extra space at the bottom. This is caused by a Lightroom bug on high-resolution Windows displays with scaling greater than 100%. Just drag the bottom edge to resize the window to the desired size.
- If you have more than a few thousand keywords, the initial loading and subsequent loading via Reload keywords can be slow due to limitations of Lightroom. In Lightroom 4 and later, keywords load at about 600 keywords per second (it’s much slower in LR 3). If you create new keywords using the Tag command, you’ll rarely need to wait for for Any Tag to reload keywords.
- One user has reported the following: You have a very large number of keywords, you select the manual loading method when Any Tag first starts, and when you restart Any Tag you’re not prompted to browse to the keywords text file. As a workaround, exit and restart Lightroom, then restart Any Tag—you should then be prompted to browse to the keywords text file. If this situation happens to you, please let me know.
- Initial release.
- Fixed several small bugs.
- Worked around bug in Lightrom 4.0 SDK where Lightroom’s internal logging was being captured in Any Tag’s debug.log, causing Lightroom to run very slowly.
- Unicode characters in filenames now work.
- Commands now appear in File > Plug-in Extras as well as Library > Plug-in Extras.
- On Windows, Alt-N and Alt-P move to next and previous photo in the Tag command.
- Worked around Lightroom bug with Filter By Keyword and Match any.
- Handles non-Roman alphabets such as Cyrllic.
- Commands for finding and committing reverse-geo-encoded locations.
- Fat-fingered update, corrected in 1.9.
- Commit Locations issues warning if Lightroom settings prevents it from working properly.
- Commit Locations correctly handles paths containing non-Latin-1 characters.
- Updated to most recent ExifTool (10.61).
- Handles the new Edits filter setting in Lightroom 7.2 without raising an error.
- Suppresses the harmless error, “Attempt to make a request on a closed server”, that occurred on Windows when Lightroom exited, making a backup. The error was caused by a bug in Windows Lightroom.
- Worked around obscure problem in Lightroom 7.3.
- Removed spurious warning from Filter by Keyword in Lightroom 9.
- Tweaked visual appearance of scroll bar in Tag on Mac.
- Included most recent version of ExifTool.
- The Tag window can be resized vertically as well as horizontally, to work around a Lightroom bug that continually increases the vertical size of the window on high-resolution Windows displays with scaling larger than 100%.
- Updated to latest version of ExifTool.