Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Digital Photography > Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Collections in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2

Martin Evening discusses Quick Collections, Collections, Collection Sets, and Smart Collections.
Like this article? We recommend

Quick Collections

When it comes to combining search results, it is good to familiarize yourself with the Collections features in Lightroom. A selection only offers a temporary way of linking images together in a group, and as soon as you deselect a selection or select a different folder in the library, the selection vanishes. Of course, you can still choose Edit 124icon02.jpg Undo, or use the keyboard shortcut 131icon01.jpg170icon02.jpg(Mac) or 131icon03.jpg170icon02.jpg (PC) to recover a selection, but the main point is that selections offer only a temporary means of grouping images together. If you want to make a picture selection more lasting, you can convert a selection to a Quick Collection by choosing Photo 124icon02.jpg Add to Quick Collection or by pressing the 170icon01.jpg key. Any images that have been added to a Quick Collection will be marked with a filled circle in the top-right corner in both the Library Grid and Filmstrip views. Note that you can have only one Quick Collection at a time but that you can make further selections and keep adding fresh images to the Quick Collection. The other advantage is that a Quick Collection is always remembered even after you quit Lightroom—no saving or naming necessary—and the images remain grouped until you decide to remove them from the Quick Collection.

Quick Collections can be accessed by clicking the Quick Collection item in the Catalog panel (Figure 4.57). You can also choose File 124icon02.jpg Show Quick Collection or press 131icon01.jpg170icon01.jpg (Mac) or 131icon03.jpg170icon01.jpg (PC) to display the Quick Collection images only and choose File 124icon02.jpg Return to Previous Content (press 131icon01.jpg170icon01.jpg or 131icon03.jpg170icon01.jpg again) to return to the previous Library module view.

With Quick Collections you can make selections of photos from separate sources and group them in what is effectively a temporary collection. Quick Collections remain “sticky” for however long you find it useful to keep images grouped this way. If you want to save a Quick Collection as a permanent collection, you can do so by using 131icon01.jpg151icon01.jpg170icon01.jpg(Mac) or 131icon03.jpg151icon01.jpg170icon01.jpg (PC). This will open the Save Quick Collection dialog (Figure 4.58) and let you save as a normal Library Collection. Once you have done this, it is usually good housekeeping practice to clear the Quick Collection, which you can do by selecting File 124icon02.jpg Clear Quick Collection or pressing 131icon01.jpg162icon01.jpg170icon01.jpg(Mac) or 131icon03.jpg162icon01.jpg170icon01.jpg (PC). See Figure 4.59 for an example.



A Quick Collection can be converted into a collection, or you can convert any selection directly into a collection via the Collections panel. Whereas a catalog image can only be assigned to one folder at a time, you can use collections to create multiple instances of the master files. Collections are therefore useful for grouping images together from different folders in ways that are useful or meaningful (Figure 4.60). For example, Figure 4.61 shows a Library collection I made from filtering UK and Travel photos. As you conduct various catalog searches you can save the results as general collections (172icon01.jpg). However, since the Collections panel is now accessible in the Slideshow, Print, and Web modules, you can also save module-linked collections. Figure 4.60 shows examples of the different collection types, which are distinguished by the Collection icon appearance: Slideshow (172icon03.jpg), Print (172icon04.jpg), and Web (172icon02.jpg). The way this works is that you can create a module-specific collection while working in any of the above modules, and have the collection be associated with the module where it was created. Figure 4.62 shows the Create Collection dialog, and Figure 4.63 shows a Slideshow collection being created within the Slideshow module, which then appears in all the other module Collections panels with the Slideshow collection icon (172icon03.jpg).hen you click on a module-specific collection, this selects the collection photos from the catalog (regardless of what filters are applied, what collection type it is, or which module you are in). But if you double-click on a module-specific collection, it selects the photos from the catalog and takes you directly to the module the collection was created in. To give you an example of how you would use this, I double-clicked on the Stockholm trip collection to select the Stockholm trip collection photos and go directly to the Slideshow module. Once there, a single-click on any of the other listed collections allows me to access other collections directly within the Slideshow module. To help organize your collections, you can choose Create Collection Set. This adds a new collection folder (172icon05.jpg) allowing you to create folder groups for your collections (as shown in Figure 4.60). Figure 4.64 explains renaming a collection.

Collections sets

Collections can also be placed into collection sets. These are container folders for managing hierarchies of collections. To add a new collection set, click the + button in the Collections panel header (Figure 4.65), or right-click anywhere in the Collections panel to access the contextual menu. Choose Create Collection Set, name the set, and drag and drop to manage the collections as you wish.

Smart Collections

Smart Collections can be used to establish rules for how photos should be grouped as a collection, and Lightroom will automatically update the photos that should be included in that collection. To do this, you need to again click the + button or use the contextual menu to select Create Smart Collection. This will open the Edit Smart Collection dialog shown in Figure 4.66, where you can set up a series of rules to determine which photos will go into a particular Smart Collection. In this example, I used a Keywords filter to select photos with the keyword Jobs, a Filename filter to select photos with the .psd extension (Photoshop file format images), and lastly a Capture date filter to select images that were captured throughout the year 2008. You will note in the Match section that “all” was used. This means that photos would have to match the combined rules before being added. An “any” match can be used where you want to select photos that match multiple terms, but not exclusively so. You could create a Smart Collection with an “any” match to group photos that had both red labels and yellow labels taken in the date range of 2007–2008.

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020