Bridge: Need more sophisticated keyword filtering options

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  • Updated 3 months 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 6 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. 
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Pablo Rothschild

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I just realised this, I'm short of words to describe the frustration
I need a list of keywords from which to select/add keywords. 
Doing a search every time I want to see somethings seems ridiculous.
Also keywords work as a trigger while wandering around, so searching for specific words is not always my way to go.
Only way is to move to lightroom? i can't believe it
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Rick Burress

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Aside from the wonderful request for more sophisticated keyword filters (and boolean abilities) Have you tried using saved Collections for searches? 
I live and die by their use—in Bridge.
(Edited)
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Group Melvin

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Hey, just FYI. I was struggling with this as well and found a little work around. If you use "find" (Edit > Find) you can add specific criteria. Under Results, you can change the Match setting from "If any Criteria is Met" to "If All All Criteria is Met". This will get you the AND Boolean functionality, if a little bit cumbersome. That said, we litterly have hundreds of keywords, so it makes finding them a little easier too.  Hope this helps!
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Kim Stratta

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The work around works - cumbersome, but it works - and it also lets you do subfolders.  Thank you.  This is a ridiculous design.  With such an easy to work with user interface I was stunned when I realized there was this limitation.  I've scanned thousands of photos and luckily started tagging a small subset to see how it was going to work.  Disappointing since it looked like it was going to work so well.  The work around does work though, so thank you for posting this.
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David Converse

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You cannot search for parent keywords, though. So if you have, say:

Birds|Raptors
Birds|Flycatchers
Birds|Waterfowl
Birds|Songbirds

If I try to search for images without keyword "Birds", I can't.
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Adam Tecza

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You should be able to use the search "if all criteria is met" to get Birds|Raptors. So for example if you have a catagory Birds|Raptors and one Dinosaurs|Raptors, if you search for Birds and Raports with the "if all criteria is met" selected, it should allow you to distingusih between the too groups. Again, it's a work around and it'd be great if they could just add the functionality, but it works for us for now. 

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David Converse

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This doesn't help if you are searching for untagged photos.
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robertswalker

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The problem is that we have this awesome keyword panel in Bridge that allows us to rapidly keyword assets, but then when we come back a month later looking for an asset we can’t use the same tree in the keywords panel that has our keywords organized to search for those assets. We now have to CMD-F and manually remember what keywords we used and type the keywords one at a time. This is a real problem that seems simple to fix by updating the keywords panel to allow it to be also used for searching for assets.