• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • Stop struggling with Lightroom! There's no need to spend hours hunting for the answers to your Lightroom 6 questions. All the information you need is in Adobe Lightroom 6 - The Missing FAQ!

    To help you get started, there's a series of easy tutorials to guide you through a simple workflow. As you grow in confidence, the book switches to a conversational FAQ format, so you can quickly find answers to advanced questions. When you upgrade to subscription, there's also a Lightroom Classic version available.

Creating smart collections using keywords

Dinky

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
Messages
29
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
Hi all,

Because Apple is discontinuing Aperture I am now looking into LR6, of which I downloaded the trial version. My first impression is not bad and I think I can live with it. Of course some things are handled differently than in Aperture, some are smarter and more complete, other are not.

One of the things I am running into is the use of smart collections (comparable to smart albums in Aperture). I want e.g. to create a smart collection to show all photo's containing a certain keyword. In Aperture I would create a smart album, add a rule to indicate I want to filter on keywords and then select the keyword from the keyword list. I would expect something similar in LR. Strangely enough it appears not to be possible, in the smart collection creation dialogue box, to select a keyword from the keyword list. Instead I must type the keyword (and hope I did not make a spelling mistake). This is an even more strange omission, because filtering the photo's in the Library module does allow me to pick the keywords from the list.
Then I thought to be clever and do the filtering in the library module, then select the "create smart collection", hoping the current selection would be the basis for the new smart collection. Unfortunately it isn't and it is just showing the parameters used to create the last smart collection. Of course I can create a fixed collection using the filtered and elected photo's but that is not what I want.

Am I overlooking something or is the smart collection still "under development" ? Any help on this would be highly appreciated.
 

Dinky

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
Messages
29
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
When you define the smart collection, you don't select the keyword from the keyword list, you simply type it.
Thanks Johan. That is exactly my point. I miss the option to select the keyword.
 

DGStinner

Active Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
394
Location
New Jersey
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
If I understand the OP correctly, no there isn't a way to create a smart collection where you choose the keyword from a list. As Johan has shown, you must type it in. Depending on how often you want to review the collection, you could just filter for images with the keyword from the keyword list by clicking on the right arrow which shows up when you mouseover the keyword. Otherwise, you will have to make sure you type in the keyword correctly. Also keep in mind that there is a difference between 'contains' and 'contains words'.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
10,107
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Thanks. I know, but again: it is not possible to select a keyword. I must type it in instead. Especially in a complicate rule set this is an additional source for errors
Yes, like I said, you must type it. Learn to live with it...
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
5,465
Location
London
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Then I thought to be clever and do the filtering in the library module, then select the "create smart collection", hoping the current selection would be the basis for the new smart collection.
I remember suggesting this to Adobe when I first saw smart collections. I don't remember how long ago that was.....

No, you have to type.

One thing you might try is to save the Library Filter as a preset. That's the little menu at its top right.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,232
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Actually, I think Smart Collections are very robust.
The reason that you can't pick an item from the keyword list is that the field is multi keyword applicable. if you picked the first keyword from your keyword list, how would you add a second? Also you can search on Partial keywords In the example below the keyword "dog" will return images with the keyword "dog", "Doggerel" and "Dog-Tired" as well as "Hangdog", Houndog etc.
Some Examples:
Match {all}
{Keywords}{Contains}{dog} (returns all images with the word 'dog' present. Also returns images with the word "doggerel")
—————
Match {any}
{Keywords}{Contains}{dog}
{Keywords}{Contains}{cat}
(returns all images with the word 'dog' or 'cat' present. Also returns images with the word "doggerel" or the word "catherine")
—————
Match {all}
{Keywords}{Contains}{dog}
{Keywords}{Contains}{cat}
(returns all images with the words 'dog' and 'cat' present.)
—————
Match {all}
{Keywords}{Contains}{dog cat} (returns all images with the word 'dog' OR 'cat' present. Also returns images with the word "doggerel" or the word "catherine" The space acts as the OR clause in the query). While you can have keyword phrases that contain spaces, the space in the criteria field will always imply the OR clause. This is perhaps the only weakness in the Smart Collection implementation.
—————
Match {all}
{Keywords}{Contains}{dog !cat} (returns all images with the word 'dog' but not if 'cat' is present. The "!" is a string modifier meaning not)
—————
Match {all}
{Keywords}{Contains words }{dog cat} (returns all images with the word 'dog' or 'cat' present. Also should not return images with the word "doggerel" or the word "catherine)"

LR is using SQL to construct database queries It builds these SQL queries based upon the criteria that you supply. It probably helps if you are somewhat proficient in the Structured QueryLanguage, but knowing SQL is not essential.

I've included an example of one of my more complex Smart Collections. Note the variability of the third field. "a e i o u" will return all images that have a vowel in the field requested Since every word contains a vowel, then every image where that field is NOT empty or does not contain only numbers will pass the test.

 

rob211

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
1,115
Location
Walnut Creek, CA USA
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
I didn't like Aperture's method of choosing from a list as my list got very large. I liked Lr's keywording much more, which is one reason I moved.

But the OP's comment brings up a frustration I had forgotten about, mainly that I'd like to save a filtered set as a keyword smart collection.

One can do one-off keyword filtering very quickly; I'd recommend to the OP that they set up a present with a bunch of keyword columns. Clicking in more than one column is like an AND search. Clicking more than one keyword within a single column is an OR. Using filtering is more of a dynamic searching process since the criteria update as you drill down.

But I think Lr still doesn't have a way to use even a saved metadata filter preset as a criteria for a smart collection. Sometimes I'd like to save a preset as a smart collection because I know I'd like to get to those photos over and over again, AND have the collection update dynamically. I don't think there's even a plugin that can reference a saved metadata preset, but I hope I'm wrong.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
10,107
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
If you have lots of keywords, having to pick them from a list is indeed no longer an advantage over typing them. One advantage Aperture had over Lightroom is that it understands keyword phrases, though. In Aperture you won't get images of Jane Doe & John Smith if you make a smart album for John Doe...
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
5,465
Location
London
Lightroom Experience
Power User
I don't think there's even a plugin that can reference a saved metadata preset, but I hope I'm wrong.
I don't think there is one, Rob. It's something that would interest me, so I may play with a few ideas.
 
Top