Description and Keywords in Picture library not indexed? No search results

Iron Contributor

I have a picture library with images that have Description and Keywords (default columns) but when I search for any of those words I get no results. I do get results when searching for the file name.

I have also tried changing the Advances settings and reindex the library but no luck


EDIT: I have just noticed that the Description and Keywords Managed Properties in the Search schema are not set to "Searchable" and the option is greyed out

I do not want to use Enterprise Keywords as that  will create thousands of terms in the Term Store









5 Replies

The columns keywords and description are not "Searchable" by default.
This means you need to set the name of the column first.
Try something like this:

keywords: <value to search>

If you don't want to put the column property in the search box, you should go to the search shema, and set the column Managed Property has searchable.
If you need help with this, let me know :)


If you like to use a diferent layout to show description and keywords in the library check this link:


best response confirmed by mikkele (Iron Contributor)

I went down the route of creating a new Managed Property mapped to the same ows_keyword crawled property (because Keyword managed property cannot be set to Searchable), but it seems now to work without that, maybe it was crawl waiting time thing.


Interestingly the Search box position seems to have changed and moved to the top, and return results from the library only



@mikkele Same need in my organization, we try to setup a very big pictures library on Sharepoint. Search capacity is very important. Search on metadata values stored in a 'keywords' column (single line or multiple lines of text) is possible if the stored picture is a JPEG. The interest of a column named 'Keywords' is when you need to upload hundreds of jpeg files in a sp-document library: the original jpg file have an integrated-jpg-property for keywords; if it contains data, during upload, Sharepoint will automatically import values in your library column if it is named 'Keywords'. Then after crawling you can search for keywords. With other file types it is different. Because PNG does not have such a property you should add values manually afterwards in your library in the column Keywords. Surprise: these values are not searchable! If you store the same values in another field -not named 'keywords'- search will work fine. (That is why a Work around is possible via a hidden calculated field.) It is 'By design' in sharepoint but it would be nice to improve it in the future.

OOTB the options are limited on SharePoint. If that is not acceptable then you may wish to consider using 3rd party solutions (e.g. here) that support extracting metadata (EXIF, XMP, IPTC, ICS) from different image formats (such as jpg, png, bmp, gif, tiff, psd, svg, ,...) , capture values into SharePoint columns (of choice, not dictated by vendor) and make them available for searching, filtering, etc..

@Valter Lima is it actually possible to make the existing "Description" field a searchable term? Or do you have to create a new managed field?


The list of default managed properties says "Description" is not a searchable field. Does that just mean it is not searchable by default but can be changed?


My image library is currently searchable by "Name" and "Keyword". But ideally, I'd like the description to also be searchable.