I'm considering upgrading from PSE 11 to 2020 and have downloaded the 2020 trial. My initial impressions are that almost nothing has changed with the organizer, and I was disappointed to see that this bug is still present: If you remove an image tag and save the metadata to the file, the removed image tag is still present in both the IPTC and XMP metadata. If you add a tag, it does get added to the existing tags, but removed tags are not removed.
I haven't fully explored the editor yet but the haze reduction looks good so far.
You may consider it's a bug, but for Adobe it's 'as designed'.
It's not a new behaviour. 'Writing metadata to files' is not considered a syncing option, it's meant to be an 'archival' option when you no longer need to edit the tags. Most of the time having tags which are no longer needed is not a big deal because you'll be able to find your files anyway.
When you want a perfect fit with the tags in your catalog, you use the information panel, section meta data (complete view), then IPTC and you edit your keywords, or delete all and write metadata to files again.
Thanks for the reply and explanation but that doesn't make sense to me. Why would the behavior for tags be different than any of the other metadata fields? I definitely consider it a bug.
I'm building a website that uses the metadata to display images by tag (among other things). I'm working with historical photos and I frequently have to edit the tags as I get new or corrected information about the subject of the photos. Having to manually edit the IPTC keywords to ensure that they're consistent with the displayed tags is a real pain.
Try clicking the three dots in the metadata panel – see image below. That brings up a dialog which lets you append and overwrite data.
That does not make sense for your purpose, but that's not a bug (it would be a feature request) and from the very rare posts in this forum and in the feedback one about that behaviour, it appears that nearly nobody cares.
An important tip which has been given by Adobe Staff many years ago is unfortunately totally hidden and forgotten.
You can select a big batch of your files and delete all your tags at the same time before writing metadata to files again for the same selected files.
In the information panel on the right, click on the 'Edit IPTC information' button. In the tags area, enter a meaningless character such as a ' and select the 'overwrite' radio button rather than the 'append' one.
My point is that the Caption and Notes fields on the Information tab overwrite existing metadata but the Image Tags do not and that's inconsistent behavior. The other thing I've noticed is that if you do an edit, even an "instant fix", metadata is automatically written to the edited version of the file.
I think embedding standard metadata is a primary requirement for image organization software. If the metadata only exists in the Elements database then it's gone if the database is lost. If I share an image, I want the metadata to go with it. It's the modern version of writing people's names on the back of a photo. Future generations need to know that it was Uncle Bill passed out on the couch after Christmas dinner and not me.
Adobe Bridge instantly writes metadata and has a great feature that allows you to create metadata templates for bulk application. I'll probably use that for organizing.