Lightroom: Add "Is Empty" and "Isn't Empty" to all attribute filters and Smart Collection filters

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  • Idea
  • Updated 10 months ago
  • (Edited)
Lightroom desperately needs additional filtering (and smart filtering) capabilities. Specifically I want to be able to find all images for which I haven't entered anything in certain metadata fields. It is important to ensure that every image has certain metadata fields completed before releasing those images into the wild, but it's not always easy to find those empty fields....

Only some fields in the Attribute filter or in Smart Collections currently have an available option to filter by "Is Empty" or "Isn't Empty". For example, I can search for Is or Isn't Empty in the "Caption" field, but not in the "Title" field.
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Sean Phillips

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  • confused

Posted 8 years ago

  • 53
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Rob Cole

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Agreed.

And, if I may tack on: "Is" & "Isnt" would go nicely too (in case you know exactly what you want to include/exclude).
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I agree with Rob's point: Testing for equality ("is" and "is not") is important for many fields, but most especially keywords. Just look at the postings on the forums about how much effort is expended and how much confusion arises when people try to get exact keyword match. It's more than a little surprising that a digital asset manager doesn't support exact match in its query language (smart collections).

This probably deserves a separate top-level topic.
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Sean Phillips

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This issue buts me in the butt at least once a week. I was just searching for some images that I hadn't completed the metadata entry and had to go through them one by one instead of being able to filter for them using "Is Empty". Please fix this!
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Joop Snijder

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And matching and filtering on the contents of smart collections will help too. Now, to my knowledge, we can only use 'normal' collections as a collection source to filter on.
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Rob Cole

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Joop - I'm not sure what you mean. Would you mind elaborating?
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Joop Snijder

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If I have a smart collection A and creating a new smart collection B, it's not possible to select photos based of their existence in smart collection A.
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Rob Cole

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Ah - gotya. Worthy of a separate 'Idea' me-thinks, lest it be lost in this one.
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Sean Phillips

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Please tell me that this got fixed in LR4beta??
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Yes.
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Sean Phillips

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Hmm, just tested it and no it doesn't. I think you're confusing this feature request with your comment below about how LR4beta now can filter by saved/unsaved metadata. That doesn't help me find empty captions or titles...
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Rob Cole

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Indeed - this should not be marked "Implemented".
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Sorry. I was replying way to late at night and working to fast to get things updated. Corrected status of topic.
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Bryn Forbes

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In LR5 beta they added "additional search criteria" to smart collections, which included some is empty, but not for title as memory serves.
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stefan ziegler

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: Find pictures that have an empty title field.

In LR5, you can easily filter all pictures that have an empty caption field. However, the same option is missing for the title field. It would be great to add this feature allowing to find all pictures that have an empty title field. It would also make the handling more consistent.
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Mike Gabelmann

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Title search criteria needs additional filtering.

When creating a smart collection you can search by Title, but you can't search for "are empty" or "aren't empty" like you can with other fields. Please add this functionality as it helps me to determine if an image is ready for publication.
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Marc Sinykin

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This would be really useful. Also seems easy. Should be available for all fields where it makes sense.
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Colin McDonald

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For a company that claims to listen to its customers, the lack of response to this request is staggering. SIX YEARS ago this was requested, and it has still not been implemented. Come on Adobe, lets cut down on some of the fancy new features, and concentrate on enhancing basic usability issues that seem to have been around for ever!
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john beardsworth

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49 votes.... Including mine, FWIW.

To work around it, use Contains / a e i o u
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Colin McDonald

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I've used that method for a while, and it works in most cases. However I have a few images taken on motorways such as the M1 here in the UK. If I use that as a Keyword, it is not picked up
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Sean Phillips

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I created this feature request so many years ago. I'm shocked that this (and many more seemingly simple requests) hasn't been fixed. However I started using the "Any Filter" plugin a couple of years ago and it makes complex searches so simple. I highly recommend it...

http://www.johnrellis.com/lightroom/anyfilter.htm
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Colin McDonald

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I've also bought that plug-in too (I checked, almost 5 years ago!)

But I didn't use it often enough to familiarise myself with it, so I've not used it much. Need to try a tutorial and see if I can get back into it
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Michael Burke

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The code is already there for some other parameters - just copy & paste it in for the rest!!
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Marc Sinykin

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How do you do this? Are you talking about writing a plugin?
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Michael Burke

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled make Title parameter options for smart collections the same as for Description.

so we can tell if there are any empty titles.
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Alan Harper

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To remind people (I just posted this in response to another metadata search request), there are two plugins that will solve most of your search problems: Any Filter and Data Explorer. Any Filter allows you to build saved searches, but is a little more baroque in its user interface. Data Explorer needs to be set up for each search, but is really useful when you want to explore a field's values (e.g., when you aren't sure what you are looking for). I use Data Explorer more, but both are useful.

And purchasing either is better than the seemingly pointless waiting for Adobe to make major changes in the search capabilities of Lightroom.
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Sean Phillips

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Agreed. I use AnyFilter all the time. Adobe obviously don't care to add this kind of basic functionality to the software so we're going to have to keep using workarounds...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Lightroom Classic 7.0 now provides "is empty" and "isn't empty" for Title.

Unfortunately, many other fields still don't have "is empty": Country, State/Province, City, Sublocation, Creator, Job. 
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Stefan Wieser

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Just came along with the same question. As I was reading the coments I got an idea for a nice easy work around.

In my metadata preset in the Lightroom Import dialog I write in the field title "no_title", in the field City "no_city" and so on...

Voila, now i can working with smart collection, searching for the "no_title"

Now, I just have to improve my english...sorry for it