Searching by Keyword in Lightroom Classic


Today’s Question: What is the easiest way to search for photos based on a keyword in Lightroom Classic? I’ve been using the Text filter option, but I feel that there must be a better way.

Tim’s Quick Answer: I think the very best way to quickly filter images based on a specific keyword in Lightroom Classic is to click on the arrow to the right of the keyword you want to search for in the Keyword List section of the right panel in the Library module.

More Detail: The Keyword List can be helpful for applying keywords to images without the risk of typing the keyword wrong, by simply turning on the applicable checkbox for the keyword you want to apply to the current image. You can also use the Keyword List to create and edit keywords. What many photographers don’t realize, however, is that you can filter images based on keyword using the Keyword List.

When you hover your mouse over a keyword within the Keyword List on the right panel in the Library module a right-pointing arrow will appear to the far right of the keyword, next to the count that shows how many images in the catalog have that keyword assigned. If you click on that arrow a filter will be applied so that you are viewing all images that have the applicable keyword in metadata.

Lightroom Classic will automatically switch to the “All Photographs” collection found in the Catalog section of the left panel in the Library module when you click the arrow associated with a keyword on the Keyword List. A filter will also be set on the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar above the grid view display for the keyword.

If you want to browse only the photos with the selected keyword in a particular location you can first make sure that the search criteria for the Library Filter bar are locked. At the top-right of the Library Filter bar you’ll see a padlock icon. If the padlock appears open click on the icon so that the padlock appears closed. That will lock the criteria so that when you switch to a different location you’ll still only be viewing photos that match the criteria, meaning photos that have the selected keyword assigned to them.

I find this approach much faster and more flexible than using the Text option on the Library Filter bar, or selecting a keyword manually on the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar.