Filtering by Date Range


Today’s Question: You said [in yesterday’s edition of the Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter] that you could easily filter photos by date or by a date range. I’m stuck on the “date range” part. I’m using Lightroom, and sometimes want to be able to see photos from several days within a single trip. How can I filter by a date range in Lightroom?

Tim’s Quick Answer: When using the Metadata options for the Library Filter in Lightroom, you can easily select multiple criteria within a given column. To select a range of value, click the first value and then hold the Shift key and click on the last value, and all values in between will be selected. To toggle the selection of an individual item on a list, you can hold the Ctrl key on Windows or the Command key on Macintosh while clicking on an item to select or deselect that item.

More Detail: In the context of dates, you have considerable flexibility in terms of being able to select ranges of dates or a collection of random dates, as well as being able to select dates based on year, month, or day.

So, for example, you could filter images so you can see only those from 2013, 2014, and 2015 by first clicking on 2013 and then holding the Shift key and clicking in 2015. This will cause all of the years in between to be selected as well, so that you’ve defined a range of years.

You could also select individual years, months, or days within the range for the currently available images. So, for example, if you wanted to see the photos from Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a given photo trip, you could click on the applicable Monday date, then hold the Ctrl key on Windows or the Command key on Macintosh while clicking on Wednesday, and then hold the Ctrl/Command key again and click on Friday.

Note, by the way, that you can click the “spinner” control (the triangle icon) to the left of any year or month in order to expand or collapse the dates below. So, for example, if you collapse all of the years using the applicable spinner controls, you could have a list of only years. Or you could expand the years and all of the months so you can see the dates for all photos on a per-day basis.

By adjusting which values you’re able to see at any given moment on the date list, and then select specific ranges or individual values by using the Shift key to define ranges or the Ctrl/Command key to toggle additional values. The list of photos displayed will be filtered based on the criteria you have selected within the Library Filter controls.