Lightroom: Filter images in a collapsed stack

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
In LR Library module, Grid view, if you filter on a KW (Keyword), it does not show you images that are burried in collapsed stacks (see screen shot attached). As it stands, the only way to find these images is to turn off all the filters, select all photos in the catalog, then Expand All Stacks (thereby erasing all the hard work done collapsing some stacks and expanding others) then re-filter on the keyword.

I would like to see an option or some means that will either

a) show all images that match the filter regardless of stacking state, or

b) once a filter is applied, click something to "expand all stacks containing images matching filter"

Thanks -- Dan

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  • Sad that it's so complicated right now

Posted 7 years ago

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jdv, Champion

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What happens if you click the "4" in the keyword panel next to the selected keyword?
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I agree, it's inconvenient. The Photo > Stacking > Collapse/Expand All Stacks commands only apply to currently visible photos. So if a photo with the keyword is buried in a collapsed stack, and you filter by that keyword, Collapse and Expand All Stacks won't have any effect, because no photo from the stack is currently visible. So, as you point out, you have to turn off filters, select all photos, and expand all stacks.

In general, LR's support for stacking is pretty weak. Please add your opinion to these topics and vote on them:
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Click the "4" next to the keyword results in the screen shot supplied in this thread. It creates a filter with the clicked on keword as the only filter criteria and shows no images that are burried in collapsed stacks.
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There is a simple trick to do what you want: Create a smart collection "all pictures", e.g. using "rating >= 0". Because smart collections are not "stack-aware", any library filter will work on all photos regardless of their stacking status.

However, this is just a workaround and cannot be used if you want to use the library filter for folders or normal collections.

EDIT: You can use this trick with folders and normal collections, too: Create another smart collection "no pictures", e.g. using "rating > 5". Then, when you have selected a folder or a normal collection, Ctrl-Klick on the "no pictures" smart collection: Now, the union of both pictures is shown, which is the same as before (because the smart collection is always empty). The trick is that by including the smart collection, stacking is disabled completely and you will see all photos in the original collection, even if they are currently hidden in a collapsed stack.

So, the "no pictures" smart collection essentially becomes a "temporarily show all stacks as expanded" tool.

EDIT 2: I just found out that an empty *normal* collection can be used as well. The general rule seems to be that if two or more collections (or > 1 folder and > 1 collection) are selected at the same time, stacking will be disabled. Which makes sense because in this state, multiple stacking states could be "intermixed" (the folders, and each collection have their own stacking), so the only solution is to disable stacking completely.
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Lasse Bigum

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Say you have a stack of 3 images and you "Flag as Pick" image 3/3 in that stack in the Library view. Now collapse the view and now enable the filter to only show flagged.
No pictures will appear!
You have to expand all your stacks before doing the filter. This is *not* intuitive!

Can this be worked around?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
LIGHTROOM: Filter->Show Flagged Only not working with stacked images.
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I think this is a bug in LR 4.3:

Create a virtual copy. Flag the copy. Collapse the stack. Filter by attribute=flagged. The flagged copy is not displayed. Uncollapse all stacks. The flagged copy is displayed.

The flagged copy (and only the flagged copy) should be visible in the filtered view, whether or not the stack is collapsed.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom 4.3 (bug): Stacking interferes with filtering.
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david hancock

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I find it hard to believe that after 3 years and various versions later, this is still an issue. I just started using flags for various workflow and was not aware at first that if a stacked 'top' photo is flagged, any stacked photos below are not flagged. Same issue above, kind of but in reverse.

Is this ever going to get resolved??, im assuming not seeing as this topic is over 3yrs old.
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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: Color label filter does not work correctly for photos in collapsed st....

Color label filter does not work correctly for photos in collapsed stack in Lightroom 5.3.

Let's say we have stacked photos where photos in stack are color labeled. If this stack is collapsed and color labeled photo is in the stack and is not visible then color label filter does not pick up this photo.
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Dan Hartford Photo

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Hi all,


This is still a valid request for a change, however, over the 5 years since I originally posted this request I have come up with a work around.  A bit annoying but better than constantly expanding and collapsing stacks.  

Let's say you want to filter on a Keyword or Color Label or anything else you can do with the top filter bar but you also want the results to include matching images which may be buried in stacks.  

Step 1 - Create a Smart Collection with one rule in it.  That rule is ">= 0 stars".  In other words this smart collection contains every image in your catalog.  You can verify that the count of images in the smart collection matches the "All Photographs" count in the "Catalog" Panel.  Name this smart collection "All Photos".  You only have to do this step one time as the Smart Collection will stay up to date on its own.

Step 2 - Show your filter bar and lock it (it's the pad lock icon at the right end of the filter bar after the words "Custom Filter".  If the padlock is open, click on it to close it.  Actually I leave it locked all the time so it doesn't blank out all my filters when I change source folders or collections.  If you leave it locked all the time then this too is a one time step.

Step 3 - set your filter for whatever you want, then select the "All Photos" smart collection (or vice versa) and you'll see all the images matching your filter, even though some may be buried in a stack.

NOTE 1:  A known bug that some folks have, and which has been reported but not yet fixed, is that many times when you have a collection selected as a source and click, say on a folder the collection remains highlighted even though the source is now the folder.  But then if you want to go back to the collection clicking on it does nothing.  You have to click on some other (non highlighted) source first, then click on the desired collection.  I just keep an empty collection handy for this purpose.

NOTE 2:  If you use the right arrow to the right of a keyword to set a Keyword Metadata filter, it clears all your other filter criteria and also automatically changes your source to "All Photographs" in the catalog panel which excludes buried stacked images.  If you use this method to set a keyword filter, after pressing that right arrow, click on the "All Photos" smart collection again and all will be good.