Too Many Collections


Today’s Question: I now have way too many collections in my Lightroom catalogue. The list of collections is cumbersome. Is there a way to “bunch” them and save them so I can access them and not have to scroll through the entire list when I am looking for a specific image?

Tim’s Quick Answer: There are two features that can be helpful in this regard. The first is the ability to create Collection Sets that enable you to group (and collapse) your collections. The second is the ability to filter the list of collections using a the search box at the top of the list of collections.

More Detail: Collection sets are, of course, the more directly helpful feature for cleaning up a cluttered list of collections. You can create a collection set in much the same way you create collections.

Start by clicking the “plus” (+) icon to the right of the Collections header on the left panel in the Library module. Then choose the “Create Collection Set” option from the popup menu that appears. In the Create Collection Set dialog, type a name for this new collection set, which essentially provides a category for the collections you’ll add to this set. Note that a collection set can also go inside another collection set, providing multiple levels of organization. Click the Create button to create the collection set.

You can then drag-and-drop individual collections into the appropriate collection set. The “spinner” control (the triangle icon) to the left of each collection set allows you to collapse or expand each collection set, to hide or reveal, respectively, the collections contained within the collection set.

The search feature can also be very helpful no only for searching among a long list of collections, but also for searching for a collection that is “hidden” within a collection set. If you can’t remember which collection set a particular collection is contained within, the search can be invaluable.

To search for a collection (or collection set) simply click into the “Filter Collections” field at the top of the list of collections in the Collections section of the left panel. As you start typing text the list of collections and sets will be filtered based on those collections and sets that match the text you’ve typed.

The combination of collection sets and the search option for collections can be tremendously helpful for minimizing clutter among your collections, and for helping ensure you’re able to find the collection you need when you need it.