Cascading Search Filters


Today’s Question: [As a follow-up to yesterday’s question about filtering based on multiple keywords in Lightroom Classic], How about using Metadata -> Keyword in multiple columns from left to right to do a cascade filter of the words in common?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you could absolutely use cascading Keyword filter columns in the Metadata section of the Library Filter bar in Lightroom Classic in order to filter photos that include all (rather than some) keywords.

More Detail: In yesterday’s Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter I explained how you can use the Text section of the Library Filter bar in Lightroom Classic to search for photos containing specific keywords. More to the point, I covered how you can use the “Contains All” option for a keyword search, so that only photos containing all (not just some) of the keywords will be included in the search results.

In addition, as suggested in today’s question, you could use the Metadata section of the Library Filter bar. When you choose the Metadata tab on the Library Filter bar, the default columns are Date, Camera, Lens, and (Color) Label. You can, however, change these columns or even add more columns.

So, you could start with the left-most column, and click the heading so you can select “Keyword” from the popup. Select the first keyword you want to require for your search from the list, and then change the next column heading to “Keyword” as well. In this way you can gradually narrow the search results.

When you select a keyword in the first column, the second column set to “Keyword” will only show keywords that have been added to metadata for photos that also contain the keyword from the first column. You could continue using multiple columns as needed to narrow the search results to only those images containing all of the keywords you have selected from the columns.

One of the advantages of this approach is that you don’t have to type the keywords manually, so there’s no risk of typing the keyword wrong when searching. Of course, the potential drawback of this approach is that you may need to scroll quite a ways down the list of keywords for the first column in order to get to the keyword you want to filter by initially.