Lightroom Desktop: Search function - title and caption

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  • Updated 3 months ago
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I'm having a hard time using search in Lightroom CC, as it doesn't return any results when searching for information stored in title and caption field. I thought that these were the most basic database functionalities.
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Rado Zezulak

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Posted 3 months ago

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Dave Grainger

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Worse yet is the Windows search facility. It is only able to find a file IF you already know the first part of the name, and not able to find based on an internal part of a file name. That's just search on file name! I would like to have search ability accessing metadata information. I did find a search program for file names that can look anywhere within the name and, if a document file, content. That does not help me with photo files very much, but it does make it possible to locate images for which I know one or more parts of the name, not requiring the very first part. It is called Lookeen, is from Germany, small lifetime license charge.

Anybody out there know whether the search facility in Bridge, Photoshop, or Lightroom just leverages on the Windows search?

I sure would like to be able to search including XMP metadata!
(Edited)
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Rado Zezulak

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Thank you Dave for sharing your observations!

I have since found out that the search for titles and captions in the cloud version works into a degree and returns info stored in metadata (IPTC), but there is a slight problem. It doesn't support wildcards as most database programs do. So one can't just type the beginning of a string and then see what comes up. I have to type the entire word exactly as it is defined (or alphanumeric string). It will also return results if the original expression was made up of more words separated by spaces and I search for one of those words.
Better then nothing I guess, but it's still an issue because I don't necessarily remember exact names of what I'm searching for. Foreign names for example. 

What I'm also noticing is that there is some delay from when the titles and captions are inserted are readily searchable. I suspect it has to do with some delay related to database indexing. 

It would be nice to have more standard database functionalities in Lightroom in later versions. Like wildcard search, or being able to see lists of all unique fields, titles, captions, etc.
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Ankur Murarka, Employee

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Hey Rado

Thanks for trying it out and sharing the feedback. I can confirm that Lightroom already supports searching for captions and titles but it does not support wildcard search yet. Kindly log it as a feature request ( if you can't find one logged already ) so that other folks can also show their interest for that.

Lightroom also supports showing a list of all unique values for some of the fields. Just type the field-name following by ':' in the search bar and you can see all the unique values for that field. You can check out all the supported field-names here:
https://helpx.adobe.com/in/lightroom-cc/using/organize-photos.html#search-filter-sort-photos. The list doesn't support captions and titles, but there are a bunch of other fields you might be interested in and find useful.

Regarding the delay you are observing, it is because the search is supported through an online service and it can take a few minutes to update the servers with the latest information.
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Rado Zezulak

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Thank you, Ankur! Your information has been very valuable! I'll lodge the request as you have suggested. 
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Tom Hunsinger

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My searches in Lightroom CC Desktop on a Windows 10 machine return both titles and captions that fall within the search strings. I may have misunderstood the issue here but “Search” works for me.
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Rado Zezulak

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Thanks Tom!

I think that the naming is a bit confusing too.  I was referring to Lightroom (Which I believe was previously called Lightroom CC). This is the cloud base version. 

You might be referring to Lightroom Classic, which is a desktop version with more functionalities. 

The issue for me is that I don't want to use the desktop version, as I need to free up my diskspace. I prefer to have images I'm working with stored in the cloud and only download what I need and when I need it. 
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Dave Grainger

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Tom Hunsinger, et al: My curiosity was raised, so I went into Bridge and did an Advanced search. I discovered that Bridge is leveraging on Windows Search, but IS able to get past the first word only issue.  I have a large number of images of birds, perhaps a couple of hundred thousand of them. I tried first an Advanced search for the word "cormorant" but didn't remove the second condition of "Photoshop file" from the search, I had not noticed that the Search process took that second condition as an "OR"  and not "AND" so the PC ran for hours, called out every image until I realized what was going on and canceled.

I Started a new Advanced search, this time using only the word "cormorant" and let 'er rip. It is now several hours into the second pass, but seemed to be getting close to the end.

Right after writing that sentence, Bridge crashed and sent a crash report!

I tried prior to doing these two steps to make the same search using that third party software Lookeen. The result was that the search took one and a half MINUTES to complete, and found all the same files.

Neither one is capable of examining XMP metadata so far as I have been able to determine. 

Windows 7 64, 32 gigs RAM, 4 gigs on NVIDIA card, plenty of empty space on 2 TB data drive.

I did have PS CC 2020 running, plus Chrome with a number of open Tabs.

For other reasons I am reluctant to switch to Windows 10...
(Edited)
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Rado Zezulak

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I have a similar issue. I'm using the database to save common and botanic names of plants. So theoretically, I can have hundreds of images with the same metadata title (botanic name). Then there are also different cultivars which will be stored as a part of the original species name. So having more standard database functionalities, like the logical operators you have mentioned would be great. 
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Rado Zezulak

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I have since found out that the search for titles and captions in the cloud version works into a degree and returns info stored in metadata (IPTC), but there is a slight problem. It doesn't support wildcards as most database programs do. So one can't just type the beginning of a string and then see what comes up. I have to type the entire word exactly as it is defined (or alphanumeric string). It will also return results if the original expression was made up of more words separated by spaces and I search for one of those words.Better then nothing I guess, but it's still an issue because I don't necessarily remember exact names of what I'm searching for. Foreign names for example.