What's your catchphrase

Find photos by keyword in Photos on your Mac

Keywords are tags or labels that you add to your photos that make it easier to find photos. When adding keywords to photos, you can search for those keywords to make the photos easier to find later. The Photos app offers a selection of keywords that you can assign to photos. You can expand this inventory with your own keywords. You can assign keyboard shortcuts to keywords so that you can search for your items even faster.

Open photos

Search for photos by keyword

You can search your entire photos library for specific photos using a keyword.

  1. Click "Photos" in the toolbar of the app on your Mac in the search box.

  2. Enter a keyword in the search field.

    As you type, suggestions appear below the search box. You can enter multiple search terms, separated by a space, to search using multiple keywords. For example, if you search for "autumn fields", it will find all photos that have both the keyword "autumn" and the keyword "fields" assigned.

    Click Cancel to see all photos again when you are finished.

Add or remove keywords in the Info window

  1. Select "Photos" in the app on your Mac, select the photos that you want to add tags to.

  2. Click on the "Info" button in the toolbar.

  3. In the info window click on the field "Add keyword" (or on the field in which the other keywords are already visible, if you have already added some), enter a keyword and press Return to add it to the photos.

    As you type, Photos suggests keywords you've used before. Select a keyword and press the backspace key to delete it.

  4. Close the Info window when you're done.

Add or remove keywords in the Keyword Manager

You can use the Keyword Manager to add keywords to selected photos and to manage your keyword list.

  1. Select "Photos" in the app select one or more photos on your Mac.

  2. Choose Window> Keyword Manager.

  3. To add tags to the selected photos, click the tags.

    Click on a keyword from the photos again to remove it.

  4. Do one of the following to edit the keyword list:

    • Add keyword to keyword list: Click on "Edit Keywords", click the add button ("+") and enter the new keyword.

    • Edit keyword: Click on "Edit Keywords", then on the keyword you want to change, click on "Rename" and enter your changes.

    • Delete a tag from all of your photos: Click Edit Tags, select the tag you want to delete, and click the delete button ("-").

    • Add or change a keyboard shortcut for a keyword: Click Edit Keywords, choose a keyword, click Shortcut, and enter a keyboard shortcut.

Set up a quick selection list for frequently used keywords

You can create a quick pick list for your most frequently used keywords so that you can assign them more quickly. After you've created a quick selection list, you can add the tags to selected photos using keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Select "Photos" in the app on the Mac, choose Window> Keyword Manager.

  2. Drag keywords to the "Quick Selection Group" area in the Keyword Manager.

    The Photos app assigns a keyboard shortcut to all of the keywords in the Quick Select group so that you can quickly and easily assign those keywords to a photo.

    Keywords that you add to the Quick Select Group area also appear automatically in the Show pop-up menu. You can then choose a keyword from the pop-up menu to see the items that have that keyword assigned to it. For more information, see Viewing Certain Types of Objects.

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