How are hierarchycal tags/keywords stored in picture files?

woenx marcpalaus at
Fri Feb 2 21:46:37 GMT 2018

I ran some tests. I created the keywords with the hierarchy you suggested
using four different pictures using four different editors: Digikam,
Lightroom, Picasa and ACDsee photo studio.

The hierarchy and the keywords are preserved between Digikam and Lightroom.
These two programs are fully compatible with each other.

Picasa and ACDsee do not support hierarchies, so the keywords from the two
previous programs are listed in a plain list. Keywords from these two
programs can be read in digikam and lightroom, but they'll place them using
a previous keyword hierarchy if it exists.

When creating conflicting hierarchies in digikam and lightroom, both
programs will try to integrate them, so both are preserved (therefore no
data is lost, but it's probably going to be a keyword mess if you use
different hierarchies for each picture...).

So, answering my own question, keywords and keyword hierarchies in digikam
are stored in each picture file and seem to be compatible with other
photography managing software.

PS: keywords in PNG files do not seem to be compatible with Picasa and
ACDsee, but were not a problem for digikam and Lightroom.

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