More than a few people seem to like the really short Aperture 3 tip of the day posts I have been putting up here and there over the last week or so. As they cross my mind I guess I will continue to post them. Some of the coolest things in Aperture are not immediately visible and may even take a bit of thought as to why they are so cool after stumbling across them. Today's really cool thing are keyword buttons. Specifically keyword button groups.
They might seem like more trouble than they are worth at first glance. Trust me they're not. The screenshot at the top shows a barely used library that doesn't have many button groups added to the default sets that come with Aperture. You can get the interface up that allows you to add or modify as many button groups as you like via the Show Keyword Controls in the window menu if it's not already on your screen. Once it's there at the bottom just choose "edit buttons…" from the little drop down that allows quick switching of the buttons. Play around with it, you can add as many groups as you would like but I would stay at or below 8 keywords per group.
Here's the real reason to add a bunch of your own button groups. Every button automatically gets a keyboard shortcut assigned to it. They are Option+1, Option+2, etc up to Option+8. Sometimes I even make a new button group just for a single project I shoot to help speed me along in rating, selecting, and applying metadata to images without having to switch between keyboard and mouse…
Check it out. You may find it extremely useful if you like using just the keyboard to apply metadata, ratings, etc.