Search/Find that is contextual

  • 1
  • Idea
  • Updated 1 year ago
  • Implemented

I have a Smart Collection let's call it "Flowers". and in this collection there are 3500 pictures, established from my complete image library using the "Smart collection" criteria that one of the key words is "flower". This collection would like something like - 

I1 I2 I3 I4 I5

I6 I7 I8 I9 I10


... I200.CR2 I200.jpg I200.tif I200.CR2(Copy 1)


I3496 I3497 I3498 I3499 I3500

 Embedded in this collection are, let's say, 50 images that I have flagged as being of further interest and that image 200 is one of them. Further assume that for this image there are four copies as shown - I200.CR2, I200.jpg, I200.tif and I200.cr2 copy1. In my review of the 3500 images, I have flagged I200.CR2, but not the other 3. I want to search the 3500 images and when I find a flagged image like Image 200, I also want to be able to see all four of the images associated with it. I want Lightroom to show me where it is in the Smart collection and not just a collection of "flagged" images.  This would show me the context of the flagged image.

For example, if I was searching the previous paragraph in Word for the word "flagged", Word would show me the first example as shown in italics, then when I continued the search, it would show me the second example as shown in the second one in italics. Continuing on, I would find the third example as shown in italics, etc. I would not simply get a list of the five examples of the word "flagged" at the top of my screen display which would tell me that it (Word) found five examples of the word "flagged", but this would not tell me where they are in the document. The current search/find function in Word shows me the word "flagged" and the context of where it occurs in the document.

 Right now in Lightroom, if I searched for flagged examples in my Smart collection, the result would be a display of only the images that are flagged and that is not what I want. Like Word, I simply want Lightroom to show me not only all occurrences of a flagged image, but also where it occurs in the Smart collection and then I can page through the Smart collection and find the flagged documents and the images around them. Right now, I am beginning to believe that Lightroom does not provide this same kind of "search/find" functionality as it simply goes out and "finds" all the images that match a specific criteria as shown in the Library Filter bar and displays them for me. If this is the case, then I will have to go back and find the flagged images that I have already found and then flag any related images around them, While this will be useful to some extent, it is not as useful as I would like it to be.

Photo of Ronald May

Ronald May

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  • frustrated

Posted 1 year ago

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Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

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It's straightforward, though not immediately obvious, to do what you want:

1. In the Collections panel, select the smart collection.

2. Turn on Library filters by doing Library > Enable Filters.

3. In the Library Filter bar, click on Attribute then the Flag icon:

(Be careful, the flag icons are poorly designed and hard to determine when they're selected.) This will show only those photos in the smart collection that are flagged.

3. Select all the photos by doing Cmd + A (Mac) / Ctrl + A (Windows).

4. Turn off the Library filters by doing Library > Enable Filters. Now all the photos in the smart collection are shown, with the flagged photos selected.

5. Move to the next and previous selected photos by doing Cmd + right-arrow and Cmd + left-arrow (use Ctrl on Windows). 

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Ronald May

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John, thank you very much for your help with this.  It will make my work a lot easier.  You are right, it is not immediately obvious.  Makes me wonder how many other "processes" there are like this that are also not immediately obvious.

Ron May