Filtering for Multiple Keywords


Today’s Question: I like to organize my photos in Lightroom Classic by adding keywords. If you click to the extreme right on a keyword in the keyword list, you see all the photos with that keyword. Is there any way to be able to select a second keyword to see only the photos containing both keywords?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can filter for photos that contain both keywords, but only by using the Text filter option rather than the Keyword List.

More Detail: When you click on the arrow that appears to the right of a keyword on the Keyword List when you hover the mouse over a keyword, the images will be filtered so that you’re seeing every image in your Lightroom Classic catalog that includes that keyword in metadata. However, this is a filter for a single keyword.

The arrow button on the Keyword List is actually just a shortcut that selects the applicable keyword from a Keyword column on the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar. If you switch to the grid view display and make sure the Library Filter bar is not hidden (choose View > Show Filter Bar from the menu if it is hidden) you’ll see the applicable keyword selected in the left-most column on the Metadata tab.

If you hold the Ctrl key on Windows or the Command key on Macintosh, you can click on additional keywords to add them to the filter criteria. However, this operates using “or” as the logic. In other words, you’ll see photos that contain any of the selected keywords, not just photos that contain all the keywords.

To filter with “and” as the logic you’ll need to use the Text tab on the Library Filter bar, which unfortunately means you’ll need to type the keywords manually. If you have keywords selected on the Metadata tab, then click on the Metadata heading to disable that filter. Then on the Text tab set the first popup to Keywords. In the text field to the right enter the keywords separated by a comma. Then choose “Contains All” from the second popup for the “and” logic or select “Contain” if you want the “or” logic.

For example, let’s assume you’re searching among images captured on a safari in Africa. You’re looking for photos that include zebras and elephants. In this case you would enter “zebra, elephant” in the text field, with Keywords selected from the first popup. If you select “Contains All” from the second popup you would only see photos that include both zebras and elephants (based on the keywords). If you select “Contains” from the second popup you would see photos that only contain zebras, photos that only contain elephants, and photos that contain both zebras and elephants.