Lightroom Tip – Search Presets

Scott turned me on to this tip in the Library module. If you turn on your Search Filter Bar (View > Show Filter Bar), you’ll see the bar appear at the top of the grid. In that bar you can, of course, choose your metadata, flag, and other filter-related searches. But if you look on the far right side of the bar you’ll see there’s a preset list next to the small lock icon. Well you can also create your own presets. So if you find yourself searching your photos for the same thing a lot then it’s easy to create a preset so you don’t always have to change the search filters. For example, when I teach, I always have to find a high ISO photo (to demo noise reduction) so I’ve created a search preset for that. I’ve also created one with a combination of flagged photos and an empty copyright field. If you’ve got other ideas, I’d love to hear them but I think there’s lots of potential options, so give it a try. Have a great weekend!

Author: Matt Kloskowski

Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based photographer. He's the Editor-in-Chief of Lightroom Magazine, the lead instructor on the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom LIVE Seminar Tour and author of several best-selling Photoshop books. Matt also hosts the world's top Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com, where he's built up a massive library of Lightroom videos, presets and tips. In addition to teaching Photoshop, Lightroom and photography seminars around the world, he's an instructor at Photoshop World and one of the full-time staff writers for Photoshop User Magazine.

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19 Comments

  1. I have seen this ability numerous time but tend to use smart collections instead as I like the ability to organize them in collection sets.

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  2. Funny, I’ve been using this feature for quite sometime and actually thought I had learnt about it here :-)

    I have a preset called Hide Rejects that simply shows only flagged and unflagged photos. This combined with the Auto Advance Photo section in the Library module lets me do a very quick cull of my images by simply using the X key and the right arrow key to shoot through them.

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  3. It would sure be nice to be able to do a catalogue-wide search without having to turn on ‘Show photos in subfolders’. If there is, I’m missing it. I have photos in folders and subfolders for a reason and normally only want to view the specific content of the folder/subfolder that I’m in. (End rant)

    Great tip though. I always forget about that preset ability in Filter.

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    • From the Navigator section in Library mode (upper left corner) or from the Tool bar at the bottom of the screen (T) select “All Photographs” and select a Filter Preset at the top. Quick and easy.

      I have several presets but the most used are shooting data (shutter, aperture, ISO) to find comparisons with the same settings and a modified Locations preset that includes Geoencoding from Jeffrey Friedl’s plugin to find photos that I haven’t filled in the Location metadata or GPS coordinates. As they get filled in or tagged, the disappear because of the filter. If it’s empty, I’m done!

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  4. I agree with Colby.

    I prefer the flexibility of smart collections — especially when I’m looking to decrease the number of items being searched for (no keywords, no title, no copyright,?).

    When I have time, I can drop into one of those sets.

    The problem with search results solution set is that it’s not dynamic. And you have to redo it each time you remember that it’s necessary.

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  5. I use one for my images that I tag with a “blog” keyword. (aka, the ones I plan on blogging.)

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  6. During my usual multi step selection process I mark every photo that I really want to delete with the 1* tag. My preset “1star_goners” makes it easy to delete all of them in a simple step later.

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  7. It seems to me that the difference between this and Smart Collections is that you cannot act on those in Smart Collections, such as doing a mass delete or something less destructive. Knowing about this, I will use both filter presets and smart collections, depending on what I want to do with them.

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  8. I’m kinda new to LR and I don’t understand how to do this. How do I get it to filter on iso, for example? My little padlock is unlocked, but I only see the presets to choose from.

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  9. From the Navigator section in Library mode (upper left corner) or from the Tool bar at the bottom of the screen (T) select “All Photographs” and select a Filter Preset at the top. Quick and easy. I have several presets but the most used are shooting data (shutter, aperture, ISO) to find comparisons with the same settings and a modified Locations preset that includes Geoencoding from Jeffrey Friedl’s plugin to find photos that I haven’t filled in the Location metadata or GPS coordinates. As they get filled in or tagged, the disappear because of the filter. If it’s empty, I’m done!

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  10. Matt, I find many of your presets great. Are you able to put all the presets (and possibly include the sample shots) you have published on Lightroomkillertips into 1 zip file for easy download? I think that would be handy for many people

    Keep up the great work.

    Chris

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  11. I haven’t tried it but there is an item at the bottom of that little pull down menu next to the lock that says “Save current settings as new preset” so I assume you make your selections from Text, Attribute and Metadata as to what you want the preset to be, then choose this “Save current settings as new preset” from the menu. It will probably show up in the menu.

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  12. Hi,enjoy your podcasts since years-thank you!also since years Im working with LR and never manage to save a custom nameplate and find it anywhere. As I use a new catalogue for each job : How can I save one or more nameplates and import them in a new cat? Or make one a default, which is there each time I create a new cat? I tried and searched but obviously Im too stupid for this – as I cant believe this is not possible.
    Thanx for an answer!

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  13. I have a preset that only shows unrated, not rejected photos. Helps me when I have a mountain of stuff to go through.

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  14. Is there a way to search by orientation? I’m looking to search for pics for a project that needs portrait oriented pics. Thanks.

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  15. Matt could you do video examples of these for beginners, like me. Love the stuff you share, cheers

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