The bulk of this article was provided by Yvan Cohen from OnAsia, the parent company behind the piece of software he’ll be discussing. Not only is this a great possible resource for many photographers, but it’s also a nice follow-up to Neil’s last post on Organizing Photos. Additionally… Yvan has agreed to participate in our Birthday Party by offering a free gift to one lucky raffle winner. See my notes below Yvan’s discussion.

Image Keyworder


The digital revolution means millions of images are just a mouse click away. But while picture buyers may marvel at the convenience of such access, many know the challenge it represents: searching vast online databases can be time-consuming and frustrating.

The ability to retrieve the ‘right’ picture from a digital archive now depends almost entirely on keywords. Online databases deliver results by matching search terms against the keywords associated with an image. Only through extensive and relevant keywording can images be quickly and accurately retrieved.


OnAsia’s recently launched Image Keyworder program was created to make keywording easier and faster. The Windows-based desktop solution has been designed specifically to provide an intuitive, low-cost solution for photographers and archive owners seeking an effective way to keyword and add metadata to their image collections.

Designed and developed over the past five years, the interface grew out of OnAsia’s experience both as an archive owner and as a professional keywording service.

At the heart of Image Keyworder lies its comprehensive searchable thesaurus of around 40,000 terms. The thesaurus represents a huge amount of value for a keyworder because it gives the user access a structured vocabulary of terms that has been organized specifically with the task of keywording images in mind. The thesaurus is also continually expanding as OnAsia’s team adds terms which are then updated to the user’s own copy of Image Keyworder through the internet.

The software aims to make keywording faster, more systematic and more comprehensive. By clicking on a single thesaurus term (or simply dragging it into the keyword field) a user can instantly add a keyword plus relevant synonyms, alternate forms, singulars and plurals, misspellings and UK/US variations to the keyword field. Thus the software helps automate what would otherwise be a manual and rather hit-and-miss process of choosing and entering terms.

We’ve also tried to make the software as flexible as possible allowing users to add or remove specific terms to batches of images or to exclude either singulars or plurals depending on the requirements of the organization to which they are submitting.

It’s hard to over emphasize the value of thorough keywording. We liken the use of comprehensive keyword sets to creating a fine net that can catch potential clients as they swim through a sea of images in search of the right match for their needs. Naturally, the more relevant keywords that are associated with an image, the higher the likelihood it will be returned accurately in a search; thereby increasing the chances of a sale.


Despite our emphasis on keywording functions, Image Keyworder is a broad metadata management tool. The software is designed to allow information to be added to all of the principle metadata fields such as caption, copyright information, date and location. We have included the standard IPTC fields as well as the broader range of XMP fields so there is plenty of choice.

Again, with efficiency and speed in mind, Image keyworder has the ability to create templates for repeat image types and to export metadata into an external document like an excel file if needed.

Although Image Keyworder is still a very new piece of commercial software it is already attracting interest within the photographer and agency community. We’re keen to invite new users to try out the software and are regularly updating, refining and adding features to the program.


A personal license for two computers costs just USD $79.99 and includes a 12 month subscription to a comprehensive and regularly updated thesaurus that is renewable for USD $39.99. A full version of the software can be downloaded for a 30-day trial from At this price, Image Keyworder with its broad functionality is perhaps the most attractively priced of a small number of programs aimed at the growing Keywording market.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us at


In general, I think the software does a good job at expanding your keywording capabilities. You’ll occasionally find that it won’t recognize keywords or phrases, but a majority of what you’ll search for will exist. The most beneficial part of this software is that it drastically reduces the amount of typing you’re required to do while simultaneously increasing your keyword density. I ran through several images that I had applied 20-30 keywords without assistance. I ran those keywords through the software, and that alone resulted in over 100 relevant keywords in just a few minutes!

I haven’t toyed with the batch capabilities much, but it could be quite useful for filling out the non-keyword fields in the metadata. Related images could be keyworded as a batch on the first pass, thus reducing the amount of time spent even further. You can even make templates to fill in certain data fields the same way on every image. This could be really handy for placing your name, copyright info, contact info, etc, right into the files before stepping into keywording.

I’d encourage you guys to give it a try and see how you like it for yourself. I invite you to come back to this post and leave your thoughts and feedback. Like I mentioned above, these guys are giving away a free one-year subscription to the software for our Birthday Party. If you like the software, you may have a chance at winning it.


If you want in on this one for the raffle, leave a comment on this post with the phrase “KEYWORD SOFTWARE” in the comment somewhere. And don’t forget that every comment you make for the entire month of January (on any post) will count as a raffle entry for this and the other giveaways.

Also, check the main Birthday Party page to see all of the prizes being offered. And if you have a prize you’d like to give away for the birthday party, let me know!

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I want this in MAC!!! If only…

January 18, 2008 5:15 am

Thanks Brian; keywording is an area I’ve neglected, so some KEYWORD SOFTWARE would come in handy ;)

January 18, 2008 5:19 am

ooh even more useful than a KIDNEY – some KEYWORD SOFTWARE :D

January 18, 2008 6:40 am

I’ve yet to see any KEYWORD SOFTWARE that works as easily or intelligently as I would like, but as with all information technology, the increase in capabilities is exponential. Maybe this will be the first one worth my money :)

January 18, 2008 6:41 am

This sounds really valuable, especially after you read this article.

January 18, 2008 8:37 am

Have you looked at They offer an alternative subscription but can plug-in to existing applications such as Lightroom, Bridge, iView and more. I haven’t tried it myself though. (I don’t use a PC so consider this more of an entry for that FLICKR PRO account than the keyword software. :-).

January 18, 2008 9:17 am

KEYWORD SOFTWARE – I read about this software elsewhere before (perhaps your shared reader feeds?) and was greatly impressed by the features… however at that price point (the fact that it almost certainly requires a subscription) makes it less appealing, since its a growing market, surely a cheaper option will come soon enough? Perhaps I’ve i tried it out It may convince me that it is worth it after all.. (or not)

January 18, 2008 9:26 am

Didn’t try this, but just recently saw Microsoft has some free applications for photographers:
Don’t know if they’re any good…

January 18, 2008 12:54 pm

I am looking for some good KEYWORD SOFTWARE

January 18, 2008 1:59 pm

Any chance the KEYWORD SOFTWARE will be eventually made into a Lightroom plugin?

January 18, 2008 3:31 pm

I don’t know, but that sure would be slick, wouldn’t it?

January 18, 2008 3:41 pm

Now that would be a time saver. Thanks for getting this as a prize!


January 18, 2008 4:12 pm

OK, Brian, I have to show my ignorance; once you open this software and keyword a bunch of photos what other programs can you read these words in and how does flickr know what they are?? I’m a keywording neophyte but even I need KEYWORD SOFTWARE!!

January 18, 2008 5:16 pm

Everything is stored in the file metadata, so any other program can read it (such as bridge or flickr). It’s standard IPTC data, similar to EXIF but editable. As long as the information is being written to the file, you should have no problem.

I did find a quirky little detail about the software. It only saves out the information if you click to another photo or if you use the single photo interface (by double clicking a photo) and click OK when you’re done. I did one where I applied a bunch of keywords, closed the program, and found that it didn’t write any of the information out. An “Apply” button would be nice in the main interface.

January 18, 2008 6:52 pm

A cool technology – let’s see when it comes to german language.

January 18, 2008 7:04 pm

Let me second the wish that this lovely KEYWORD SOFTWARE was either a Lightroom or a Photoshop plugin. Or a Linux application for that matter since that’s what I use on my field machine.

January 18, 2008 7:10 pm

sounds like an interesting alternative to the Controlled Vocabulary plug ins for the other programs, all of which costs well into the 3 digits. I wouldn’t mind checking this out myself.

January 18, 2008 11:33 pm

I’d love to try out this Keyword Software!

January 19, 2008 10:11 pm

Image Keyworder would be nice!
: )

January 19, 2008 11:47 pm

KEYWORD SOFTWARE! I would love to try this out!

January 20, 2008 3:01 pm

Congrats on the blogs Birthday Brian :)
Interesting application. This definitely is a software space where there is growing competition. For myself the fact that this is PC only rules it out as an option. I think having applications like this that plug-in to Bridge, Lightroom, Photoshop, etc on both platforms is the way to go.

@Emil Sit thanks for the tip on Controlled Vocabulary

January 20, 2008 4:16 pm

Just wanted to post a note to thank everyone for the feedback. Do keep it coming as it’s extremely helpful in giving us direction for future development. We’re very aware of the need for a Mac version and also of the value of linking up with the major programs like Photoshop and Lightroom. Brian, your comment about the program not saving added metadata when you exit is an excellent one. We’ll get onto that right away as a priority! The principle should be that in any scenario once you’ve added metadata to an image you are given the option to save it.This will be added to our next upgrade as quickly as possible as this was an oversight on our part.

January 21, 2008 12:29 am

As a novice and new reader of this blog some KEYWORD SOFTWARE would be dead handy. I have a few thousand un-keyworded(?!) pics from my compact days, and many more to come from my new DSLR.

January 27, 2008 4:48 am

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