LIGHTROOM Smart collections using keywords containing spaces.

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Lightroom: Exact text match in smart collections and filters, including matching spaces

When using Lightroom, I have tagged my photos with keywords, some of which contain spaces. However, I don't seem to be able to create an accurate smart collection using these keywords. For example, I have friends "John Adam", "Adam Peters" and "John Smith". When I try to create a smart set for "John Adam", I also get all the photos that have both "Adam Peters" and "John Smith" in them. I seem to get either too many photos or none, depending on what options I choose for the "contains" setting. Any ideas on how I can make smart collections work using keywords with spaces?
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Alyssa White

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Posted 7 years ago

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Rob Cole

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Lr treats spaces in keywords (and other metadata) as delimiters, not data.

You need to either:
* Remove spaces from keywords, or
* Use AnyFilter (or SpaceUrchin) to treat spaces as data.

Actually, there is a kinda 3rd option - once you are aware of how it works, you can define smart collections and lib filters accordingly, and do better that way, but such is still very problematic in my book.

PS - Beware: "contans words" has a nasty bug in it. For more info, do internet search for "big mallard ducks Lightroom contains words bug".

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William Warby

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This is by far my biggest bug bear with Lightroom. I use keywords extensively in my catalog, and I've got into the habit of using keywords with spaces because it looks better and works better in virtually every website or application you might export to, but creating smart collections which reference those keywords is an exercise in extreme frustration. I'm almost at the point of just replacing every single space with an underscore, except I keep hoping this will be fixed in the next release.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Based on past experience with versions 2 - 5, I think it is unlikely that Adobe will add the "is" operator (exact match) to the text criteria that currently don't have it (Folder, Collection, Publish Collection, Published Via, Filename, Copy Name, Title, Caption, Keywords, plugin custom metadata). There are basic bugs in the filtering and smart collections that have remain unfixed for years. But I'd love to be proven wrong!

Meanwhile, please add your opinion and vote to this topic:

As a workaround, you could use my Any Filter plugin (for more powerful searches in general) or my Any Tag plugin (to do quick "and" searches of keywords using exact match). But I'd much rather that Adobe built in the basic capabilities into LR than sell more plugins -- it's inconceivable to me that they omitted exact match from most of the text criteria.
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Neil Tonge

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Just wanted to add my +1 to this. I hit this issue very regulary. If LR offers an options to allow keywords with spaces then surely this should be supported everywhere in LR where keywords are used including Smart Collections.

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