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How to Use Library Filters to Sort and Manage Your Images in Lightroom

Lightroom is an amazing program, designed to help you manage thousands and thousands of images, as well as quickly edit and process them for web and print.

If you are like me, your catalog has 10,000+ images in it. How can we quickly find the picture(s) we want, when we want them? Fortunately Adobe built in multiple ways for us to organize, sort, and search our images.

  • Keywords - if you aren't tagging your images with keywords, start TOMORROW!
  • Collections - a much smarter and more efficient way to organize your images than by folders.
  • Filters - sort, search, and select images via a large variety of choices.

Today I want to introduce you to the Library filters. With library filters, you can sort and search by:

  • File type (like JPG, raw, DNG)
  • Camera model
  • Lens model
  • Lens focal length
  • Aperture, ISO
  • Flash state
  • Keywords
  • Flag status (pick or reject)
  • Star rating (between 1 and 5)
  • Virtual copies
  • Much, much more

To find filters in Lightroom you need to be in the Library module and seeing the "grid" view, meaning you see multiple images at once not just one (the "loupe" view). At the top of that screen there are four words: Text, Attribute, Metadata, and None. Below is a screen shot of a sort via the Metadata view.

The sky is almost the limit with these, so I don't want to overwhelm or confuse those who are new to Lightroom by going on and on about every different filter you can use. Instead, I am going to keep it super simple by showing you in a quick, five minute video at the end of the post.

Along with the short video tutorial, we are giving you a free download of a few custom filters I made to use in my Lightroom. These are ONLY to get you  using the filters. Once you understand them a bit, try making filters for the things you consistently search for, or sort into groups.

Once you install the filters (shown at the end of the video), you will find them in the bottom, right-hand of your screen. Click on the option and a menu will open up/down to show you the filters.

If you cannot watch the video, here is a screen print showing the folder you copy the individual filter presets into.

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