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Creating a Smart Album

Smart Albums are an intuitive way to organize images. Think of them as dynamic collections of images based on one or more criteria that you specify. Smart Albums are specially designed to use and sort images according to criteria entered in the Query HUD (heads-up display), a floating panel with flexible search options. You can choose a search range from one project to the entire Library of images. The contents of a Smart Album will automatically change to include images as they meet your specified criteria.

  1. Press W to open the Projects panel.
  2. Click the New Smart Album button in the toolbar.
  3. Name the Smart Album 5 Star Surfing, then press Return.
  4. In the Query HUD that is directly to the right of the Smart Album, click the checkbox to select Rating.
  5. Drag the Rating slider to the right until 5 stars are selected.

    Notice that as you drag the slider the Smart Album displays only those images that have a 5-star rating. If you give more images in the Sports | Action project 5 stars, then they will dynamically be added to your 5 Star Surfing Smart Album.

  6. Click the + button (in the upper right of the HUD window) to bring up the HUD pop-up window. Select Date.

    You have added a date criterion to the HUD and this allows you to further sort images by a date value. You can add other search and sorting criteria at any time and your Smart Album will automatically update.

  7. Click on the Date criterion to activate it.
  8. Choose Capture Hour of Day from the HUD pop-up menu and enter 8 in the hours field.
  9. Click the Query HUD close button (the X at the upper-left corner of the panel).

    Your Smart Album content has changed to reflect the additional search criterion. It has updated and now contains images with 5 stars and images that were captured at a 8 a.m. You can generate highly refined search criteria using the Query HUD.

The Query HUD is not limited to Smart Albums. You can also use this highly sophisticated search utility in the Browser and the Library. The Query HUD works exactly the same way in all three areas. You can access the Query HUD by selecting where you wish to search and pressing Option-F or by simply clicking a Magnifying Glass icon.

You can gain even greater control over your Query HUD selections by adding keywords and customizing your image metadata.

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