Photo Mechanic Plus to the Rescue!!!

“I am asking for a friend. How can I fix thousands of photos where there is an error in the caption/keywords? Is there a way to do a ‘Search & Replace’ like you can do with Microsoft Word or other word processing software can do, but with all my photos?”

If you have used Photo Mechanic before the Plus version came out as long as you had a folder opened and selected all the photos you could easily do a search and replace to fix a caption.

There’s no search and replace anywhere in Lightroom, not even in the caption or titles where a word processor (or Notepad) – style feature can make lots of sense.

Now let’s just say your friend has made an error over a long period of time. Now there are folders of images on multiple hard drives that all have the same error.

For Example:

In all your photos on the hard drives of “President George W. Bush” you had him identified as “President George H. Bush”.

President George H. Bush addresses the Unification Conference. The Atlanta-based German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States hosted the Unification Conference, a historic meeting of President George Bush, 41st president of the United States of America, former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Dr. Helmut Kohl and former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorachev, at the Georgia World Congress Center. The three world leaders discussed their perspectives on the global impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall and unification of Germany, along with their visions for transatlantic partnership, leadership and prosperity.

Another even more common issue can be that you had been using “John Smith” and found out later it should be “John Smith Jr.” and you need to correct these images.

Now with Photo Mechanic Plus it is much simpler task. First all the images need to be included in the Photo Mechanic Plus catalog. If they are all there you just go to the database part of the program and search for the way you put it in the photos that are in the catalog.

Little tip here is to be sure you use quotation marks [ “ ” ] around multiple words. This way it will look for the phrase. Without the quotation marks [ “ ” ] each word is looked for and not as the combination.

Search the database for “President George H. Bush”.

Then select all the images. I use the short cut ⌘+A to select all the images.

Then Edit>Find & Replace.

Type in the words you need changed for the search field and the correction in the replace field.

You can have it search all the fields or if you know it is in just one or two fields you can narrow the selection. That can speed it up, but also keep you from accidently replacing it in a field you don’t want to change.

In the case of a photo where you had both President George H. Bush with his son George W. Bush you can narrow the search to not include one of them in the database search.

Now you can tell your “friend” how to fix all those errors in the photos metadata.