Text filter searches
To carry out a text search you can choose Library Find, or you can click the Text tab in the filter bar and click in the Search field (see Figure 10.66), or you can use the (Mac) or (PC) shortcut to enable a text search and at the same time highlight the Search field in the filter bar. From there you can type in a text term that will be used to filter the photos in the current catalog view, looking for terms that match (see Figure 10.65). The problem with this approach is that a general search for a phrase like “ann” could yield any number of matches—probably too many to be really useful. There are ways, though, that you can limit a search and restrict the number of results you get when filtering the catalog contents. To start with you can select an appropriate search target. Rather than search “Any Searchable Field,” which will mean searching everything, you can narrow a search target down by choosing one of the following options: Filename, Copy Name, Title, Caption, Keywords, Searchable Metadata, Searchable IPTC data, or Searchable EXIF data.
Figure 10.65 A general text filter search of my Lightroom catalog using the term “ann” for any searchable fields yielded 720 results. I then narrowed this down by searching within Keywords. This resulted in 110 photos being filtered including the above photograph, which featured my mother-in-law, “Hannah.”
Figure 10.66 Filter bar text searches can be carried out by searching Any Searchable Field or by searching specific library criteria only, such as Filename, Keywords, or Caption.
A Filename search is fairly obvious. I often search specifically by Filename using a “Contains” rule and type the filename I am looking for in the search field. I use this filter method when clients have made their final image selection and send me over a list of filenames of the photos they want me to retouch. All I need to do then is make a general selection of this client’s photos and type in the last four digits of the selected filenames. This is usually enough to quickly locate each of the photos I am looking for. I discussed Copy Name more fully in the Metadata panel section earlier. Basically you can use this to search the copy names that have been used for all your virtual copy images. All the other types of searches enable you to narrow the range of a text search to concentrate on the selected metadata type such as Caption only or Keywords only. If you are unsure precisely where to search, the easiest option is to revert to using the more general “Any Searchable Field” approach, but as I have said, doing so might mean you end up with too many matches to choose from.
You can further limit a filter search via the Rule menu in the Text filter section (Figure 10.67). Here you can choose rules such as “Contains.” This carries out a search for text that partially matches anywhere in a text phrase. In the Figure 10.65 example a search for “ann” could yield results such as Ann, anniversary, or banner. If you enter two or more words when carrying out a “Contains“ search this will mean photos that match partially or fully are filtered. A “Contains All” rule is more specific and looks for an exact match, such as Ann. If you enter two or more words when carrying out a “Contains All“ search this will be like carrying out an “and” search where only photos that match both terms are filtered. For example, if I were to carry out a keyword search using “Cape Town,“ this would only show photos where both terms were found. The “Doesn’t Contain” rule excludes files that match the text that’s entered, while a “Starts With” rule could yield results where, when using an “Ann” search, only words like Ann or anniversary are filtered and an “Ends With” search will yield results for anything ending “ann” like Portmann (or also ann). These further search refinements can again make all the difference ensuring that you have full control over the filtering process and that you don’t end up with too many text filter matches.
Figure 10.67 Here is an example of the Filter Bar being used to search for a term that contains the letter sequence “ann.” You can use any of the rules shown here to further limit the search results and attain a more focused filter result.
Combined search rules
If you click the search field icon circled in Figure 10.68, this opens a combined menu containing all the Search Target and Search Rules options. You can navigate this single menu to choose the desired settings. Note that if you click the X icon on the right, you can clear a text filter term and undo the current text filter.
Figure 10.68 The combined Search Target and Search Rule menu.
Fine-tuned text searches
You could apply the “Start with” rule when searching, but it is handy to know that you can conduct a search for anything that begins with a specific search term by typing + at the beginning. In my Lightroom catalog, if I were to type +cape in the search field, this will display photos with any keywords that begin with cape, such as Cape Point or Cape Town, and exclude keywords like Landscape. Inverse searches can be made by typing an exclamation point before the search term. If I want to search for keyworded photos that were shot on location but not include Jobs, Europe, or USA, I can type Places !Europe !USA !Jobs in the Find panel search field (also shown in Figure 10.70).
To further illustrate the points made here, you can use a search term like +cape to search for all terms that start with the word cape and combine this with !USA to also exclude any USA locations that start with the word cape. So you could end up with search results that included Cape Town in South Africa but excluded Cape Canaveral in Florida (see Figure 10.69).
Figure 10.69 Here, a text search was carried out using the term “+cape” plus “!USA.” This allowed me to search for keywords that began with the term “cape,” excluded all the keywords that referred to the USA, such as Cape Canaveral or Cape Fear, but did include non-USA locations such as Cape Town, South Africa.
Figure 10.70 Examples of refined text searches using a + or ! in the search field.