While annotating your media assets, you may have noticed that keywords used previously auto-complete after entering just a few letters.  The brains behind this operation is Expression Media's vocabulary.  Using the Vocabulary Editor, you can create vocabularies, edit vocabularies, or restrict annotating to values that you define.

To access the Vocabulary Editor, click Edit > Preferences > Vocabulary Editor on a Windows machine or Expression Media > Preferences > Vocabulary Editor on a Mac.Vocabulary Editor

If you have not set up a custom vocabulary, your terms have been going into the "Default" vocabulary.  Each field has its own section in the vocabulary set, and you can change the field in view by using the drop down.  You can edit the existing terms, delete terms, or add new terms using the corresponding buttons near the bottom of the dialog.

To create a new vocabulary, click the "+" next to the currently selected vocabulary set.  You'll get a dialog prompting for the name of the vocabulary and the option to duplicate an existing set.

So where can multiple vocabularies be useful?  One example would be to create a separate vocabulary for Weddings and Wildlife.  This way, you won't accidentally end up with a "Grizzly Bear" annotation in your wedding catalog instead of a "Groom" (this example might be a little extreme, but you get the idea). 

Another use for vocabularies is to restrict the annotation values available for specific fields.  You can do this by checking the box to "Constrain editing to defined terms" with the desired field in view (note:  the constrain option is specific to the field, not the entire vocabulary).  When the constrain option is in use, you will not be able to enter values for annotations of that field that are not defined in the vocabulary.

The Vocabulary Editor isn't the only way to create and edit vocabularies.  You can also create them in the file system.  To view the vocabulary location on your machine, click the explorer button (folder with magnifying glass) in the Vocabulary Editor dialog.

Folder Structure

Each vocabulary is represented by a folder, and within each one of those folders is a text file which corresponds to an annotation field.  You can create a folder to create a new vocabulary, and create text files for each field.  Each line in your text file is a different term for that field.  If you are interested in creating or editing a vocabulary this way, I would encourage you to create a sample with the editor first, then view the structure in the file system to get a feel for how it is organized.

Any vocabularies that you create are stored in your user profile, which means they are accessible from any catalog.  Happy annotating!