Bridge: Need more sophisticated keyword filtering options

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  • Updated 1 year ago
  • (Edited)
Greetings all,BACKGROUND:In my workflow, I export batches of photos from Lightroom (4.4.1 at present) (with keyword hierarchies intact), and then make those photos available to peruse via Adobe Bridge (CS6/v5.0.2.4). I have over 30,000 images, each exported in multiple sizes, and other variants, resulting in over 100,000 resulting jpgs, all in a nested, "/YYYY/YYYYMMDD - Description" directory hierarchy.Now, I have for years just used raw Windows Explorer to navigate these subdirectories and view images with a standalone viewer like irfanview, but of course that quickly becomes limiting with a larger library to wade through. Obviously, I should be able to use the sophisticated power of Bridge to tame this beast, especially now that I am getting serious about my keywording in Lightroom.Not so easy, as it turns out. Bridge seems to be missing some critical functionality to make the workflow viable. (And I won't speak at all of the pain of pre-cacheing the whole thing (Tools|Cache|Build), only to find it still takes a significant amount of time to build the resultset).In any case, rather than poke through physical directories one by one, I want to be able to filter my entire collection in one shot. Seems like all the essential features are in Bridge to do this, but the puzzle pieces don't quite fit together, and others are missing altogether.MAIN FILTERING/FINDING/COLLECTION PROBLEMS:
  1. KEYWORD HIERARCHIES ARE FLATTENED in the filter panel:This is a serious usability problem. Once you've got hundreds of keywords in your input images, one long flat list is practically useless. Of course, as in many things it will be a matter of preference, so for god's sake, give us the option of displaying the keyword filters hierarchically (with little pivot controls so we can expand and collapse them).
  2. NO OPTION FOR "LOGICAL AND" WITH MULTIPLE KEYWORD FILTER, and no option for other Boolean/logical or grouping operators:This is a real killer, and I can't believe Bridge does not give this option. It is a FILTER panel after all, I want to filter my image list here, not expand it. 1st selection filters, any additionally keyword selections expand it! Again, both logical AND and OR will have their purposes, I'm sure, but I feel the loss far more missing the Boolean AND. Example: I want to see just photos of cars I took in London. Easy, right!? Show my full image list, then in filters, just click London to narrow down to London images, then click Cars, to now show just cars in London!!! WRONG!! This of course shows pictures tagged with London PLUS pictures tagged with Cars. Not at all useful.Of course, I can instead make a Collection or do a manual Find operation which allows me to build some better logic, but A) that still falls well short (can't nest any logic like in LR collections); and B) It's too cumbersome to do Find over and over. A simple click on a keyword would be far quicker.
  3. COLLECTIONS NOT "STICKY"/"PINNABLE" like Filters.Collections have this little unassuming option in the Look in dropdown: "Use Current Folder". The order-of-operations to use this seems backwards to me though. First you have to select a folder, then select the Collection. So far so good. Now I want to check a different folder. Click it. Collection's no longer active! Have to click the Collection again. It could be far more useful if you 1st clicked the collection, THEN could browse the folder tree and have the Collection filtering applied wherever I browsed!!! Filters can be pinned, Collection-based filtering should be pinnable too. Of course, if the filter panel was more sophisticated, allowing at least some Boolean keyword logic, this Collection limitation would not be such a critical factor.
  4. FIND/SMART COLLECTION LOGIC NOT NESTABLE:Find and Smart Collections need to allow nested logic similar to what's implemented in LR Smart Collections.As an aside on this topic, for both Bridge and Lightroom, why not support a plain text query box, with perhaps some google-like search syntax thrown-in.(car | truck) AND london or perhaps(kw:car | kw:truck) AND loc:londonto permit specifying metadata tags and classes to search. Obviously this would need to be an "advanced query" window or some such, in addition to the more user-friendly gui options.Imagine if you could then save this as a Named filter, or collection, and if Collections allowed other collections as input (nested Collections). Before long you'd really have something really powerful!
Am I the only one feeling the pain of these Bridge limitations?Cheers.Peter
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Pete Dickson

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Posted 5 years ago

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Rick Burress

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I'd be happy with a Bridge Boolean Search feature.
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Jack Kramer

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I really really prefer bridge to manage my photo collection. But lack of boolean combinations is a real killer and the main reason I can't use it anymore as my collection has grown.
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Terry Hansen

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I am evaluating DAM systems including Bridge.  Shortly after putting a few photos in and keywording them I found this limitation.  Bridge will not be the chosen tool!  Its search capability sucks!!
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Mark Peterson

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I'm a CD for a software company that has to manage and maintain thousands of images. Bridge seems perfect for that if it wasn't missing the "AND" filter. 
Why I can't filter combinations of keywords like:

"Festival", "Nighttime", "Finished POST", "Marketing" 

is beyond me. 
Using Keywords without being able to combine them is such an obvious oversight I've no idea how that is still not a thing after so many years.