Today’s Question: In Lightroom Classic, is there a way to filter on “Copy Name” for virtual copies? I want to find and delete these duplicate versions of my photos.
Tim’s Quick Answer: The images with text in the “Copy Name” field will generally be virtual copies. You can filter for virtual copies on the Attribute tab of the Library Filter bar. In addition, you can search for specific text in the “Copy Name” field using the Text tab of the Library Filter bar.
More Detail: When you create a virtual copy in order to have more than one interpretation of the same source image, by default Lightroom Classic will add the word “Copy” and a number (starting with “1”) to the Copy Name field in metadata. You can review this field in the Metadata section of the right panel in the Library module.
In addition, you could simply add text to the Copy Name field if you wanted to for any reason. You could, for example, update the name assigned to virtual copies by Lightroom Classic, or define your own use of the Copy Name field even when you haven’t created virtual copies.
The first option that might provide a solution in this case is to filter for only virtual copies. In the grid view display, make sure the Library Filter bar is visible at the top. If not, choose View > Show Filter Bar from the menu. Then go to the Attribute tab of the Library Filter bar. At the far right of the Attribute section, you’ll find the “Kind” setting. There are three buttons. The first enables you to filter by original images, meaning not virtual copies. The second button enables you to filter by virtual copies, which is what you want in this case. The third button enables you to filter by video clip rather than still photo.
If you want to filter based on the actual Copy Name field in metadata, that is an option found on the Text tab of the Library Filter bar. After selecting the Text tab (and closing the Attribute tab if you don’t want to use the settings there as part of your filter) you can first set the option on the first popup to the right of the Text label to “Copy Name”.
From the second popup you can choose how you want to evaluate the text in the Copy Name field. For example, you might want to choose “Contains” from this popup so you can filter for any image that includes the word “copy” in the Copy Name field. You can then enter the text you want to search for in the text field to the right.
Note that for all of the above filtering options you will be filtering based on the images you are currently browsing. So, you may want to navigate to a particular folder or collection first, or you might want to choose the “All Photographs” collection in the Catalog section toward the top of the left panel in the Library module so you can search across your entire Lightroom Classic catalog.