Filtering for No Keywords

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Today’s Question: I have a Lightroom question. I’m trying to either sort or find files that have no keywords in either a folder or collection. I know the symbol in the bottom right of the thumbnail but there’s no way to sort with that. Any suggestions?

Tim’s Answer: There is actually a very easy way to filter images to show only those that don’t have any keywords assigned to them. The icon you refer to is a “badge” indicating that keywords are assigned to a given image. While there isn’t exactly a filter based on the absence of that badge, there is a filter for “No Keywords”.

You can navigate to a specific folder containing the images you want to filter, of course. Then you want to view the Library Filter Bar, which can be enabled by choosing View > Show Filter Bar from the menu if it isn’t already visible. You can also use the backslash key (\) to toggle the display of the Library Filter Bar.

Next, to clear any existing filters, click the “None” option. Then click the “Metadata” option to display a set of columns that allow you to filter your images based on a variety of metadata values. Make sure all of the columns are set to the “All” option initially, so the images are not being filtered. Then click the header for the right-most column, and choose “Keyword” from the popup.

This will present a list of the keywords that have been assigned to any of the images that are currently available (in other words, the images in the folder you’re currently browsing). You will also find a “None” option on the list. Click that option, and the images will be filtered to include only those without any keywords assigned.

You could, of course, combine a variety of different filters in addition to the lack of keywords, in order to further refine the range of photos being displayed. But as you can see, it is quite simple to filter a set of photos in Lightroom to include only those without keywords assigned to them.