In this post, we’ll look at how to use the powerful search facilities in Lightroom, and how to also use the flag and star ratings to identify your favorites.
(This post is uses the cloud-based versions of Lightroom, including Lightroom mobile. If you use Lightroom Classic, see our previous post: How do I use flags and star ratings with Lightroom Classic to identify my favorite photos?)
Refining the current view
The Refine toolbar filters the current view based on specific criteria, for example, to show all of your photos marked with 4 stars that were shot using your iPhone.
To show the Refine toolbar on the desktop, click the Refine button to the right of the Search bar at the top of the Lightroom window. On mobile, tap the Refine button at the top of the Grid view.
These filters allow you to show/hide photos and/or videos based on their star rating, flag, file type, keywords, camera models, locations and sync status pop-ups. Some are only available on the desktop at this time.
So for example, to search for ones you previously Flagged, click the Flagged icon.
To reset the Refine filters to show all photos, click/tap the Reset button (desktop) / X button (mobile).
More complex searches
If your photos are synced to the cloud, Adobe’s artificial intelligence machine learning tool, called Adobe Sensei, can search your photos and take a guess at their content. This image-analysis allows you to find your photos, even if you never got around to adding keyword tags manually.
This automated tagging is done in Adobe’s cloud, so there is a slight delay before they’re searchable, and it does rely on you being connected to the internet.
You can search for all sorts of terms, for example, subjects (boats, cats, dogs, trees), colors, locations, cameras, lenses, dates, filenames, file extensions, etc.
Entering search criteria
The text Search field is always found at the top of the Lightroom desktop window, and the shortcut Ctrl-F (Windows) / Cmd-F (Mac) moves the cursor to the Search field.
To access the search field on mobile, tap the magnifying glass icon at the top of Library/Grid view.
To search your photos, simply type the search terms in the search field and press the Enter key. In our example, we’re searching for boats.
Lightroom searches the photos in the current view. To search all of your photos, select All Photos in the left panel (desktop) / Library view (mobile).
To cancel the text search, click/tap the X at the end of the search field.
Here’s a quick diagram showing where to find the various search options on Desktop and Mobile to refine your searches:
One of the main benefits of having all of your photos in one place is they’re easy to search!
For extensive information on Lightroom Cloud Ecosystem, see Adobe Lightroom – Edit Like a Pro.
Note: purchase of this book includes the first year’s cloud-based Premium Membership, giving access to download the latest eBook (each time Adobe updates the software), email assistance for the cloud-based Lightroom apps if you hit a problem, and other bonuses.