Updated: May 14, 2020
I’ve been looking for old Photoshop and 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 therefore, 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 its 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. Its 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 a closer look. Before saving the file we’ll add some tags that make more sense 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
A panel that looks like the one below should now be up on your screen.
You can add a title, author name, file description, keywords, etc. By tagging this image with common keywords I can easily find it in a search later by using any of those terms.
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.
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.…