Structured Keywords in Lightroom

Structured Keywords in Lightroom

The International Ornithologist’s Union produces and regularly updates a taxonomy of world birds and recommended English names. This list is provided in several different formats, including XML. Since XML is easy to transform into different file formats, I have produced a keyword list for lightroom with all the birds of the world, by order and family. And, for those preferring a listing by family only, I generated that too. By using this list to tag photos, not only will the photo have the name of the bird, but also its scientific name, family, and order—the list by family only automatically marks the order of the family. Also included in each list are other taxonomic categories, also automatically applied, such as kingdom, phylum, class, clades, subclass, etc. These lists are free, and listed below, starting with the latest version.

Lists by order

Lists by family (this is the one I prefer as I find it easier to find the correct entry when arranged this way)

To import the keyword list, unzip the file, then, in Lightroom, go to the Library Module. Then, under the Metadata menu item choose Import Keywords….

For those who are interested in generating their own lists or modifying the format of these, the following are the XSLT programs used to transform from XML to Lightroom format. To run the program an XSLT processor is needed. Saxon-HE is free and highly recommended for this task. Creative Commons License Translate IOC World Birds to Lightroom Keywords by Rory Jaffe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://www.​

To produce the keyword file, download the latest XML version of the Master List from, place it in the same directory as the XSL file, then run the transform program. As an example, for SaxonHE9.5N the command would be “C:\Program Files\Saxonica\SaxonHE9.5N\bin\Transform” -s:master_ioc-names_xml.xml -xsl:birdsbyfamily.xsl -o:birdsfam.txt.

1 Comment

Great stuff

Thanks for sharing! Should help me get my feathered friends in some sort of order. Fantastic. Cheers.