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#33 Finding Images with Text, Refine, and Metadata Filters

On a recent California backpacking trip in the Sierra, I ran out of water, so I needed to use a special water filter to remove the impurities of the stream water. Water filters typically remove unwanted stuff, and this is also exactly what a filter does in Lightroom. In digital photographic context, knowing how to edit or filter your images is paramount.

The filter bar is in an easy-to-access location, right above the thumbnails in the Library Grid module. There are three types of filters: Text, Attribute, and Metadata. There is no one filter that works best, as each filter performs a different task. At times, one filter by itself will lead to the best results. Other times a combination of filters results in the most useful searches. To open one of the filters, click on the filter buttons to the right of the Filter, and the filter menus will appear below (Figure 33a).

Figure 33a

Figure 33a Click the filter buttons to reveal the filter menus.

The Text filter allows you to type in search word(s) and then define the search parameters from those words. There are three ways to define the parameters:

  1. Click Any Searchable Field and choose from a list of options.
  2. Click Contains All and choose from a list of options.
  3. Check the drop-down menus in the Text field to choose from the entire list of options (Figure 33b).
    Figure 33b

    Figure 33b Limit or define your text search with these options.

The Attribute filter allows you to show images based on Flag, Star rating, Color Label, Master Photos or Virtual Copies. Click a single option or multiple options to fine-tune your search.

The Metadata filter provides you with the most in-depth options. There are four customizable default general criteria columns—Date, Camera, Lens, and Label. To filter based on metadata, simply click on the metadata field. For example, to filter based on a specific lens, click on the type of lens in the Lens column. Now you will only see images photographed with that lens. You can also select criteria from multiple columns to limit your filtering even further. In addition, you can click on the column title to access more than 20 metadata options (Figure 33c). For more, click the plus sign icon in the far right column to add up to four additional metadata columns.

Figure 33c

Figure 33c Change a Metadata column by clicking the title and choosing one of these options.

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