I am using LR 4.1 RC2. This morning using LR I upgraded my PSE Organizer 9 catalog. It has about 50k photos with keywords and star ratings. It seems like the upgrade worked because I can now see all my photos in LR and they have the keywords and star ratings. Hurray! I am having some trouble figuring out how to do keyword searches in LR though so I hope someone can help.
In Organizer there are several ways to do keyword searchs:
1. Use the Keyword Tags panel and click on one or multiple keywords. Organizer will then display only the photos that have all of the keywords, i.e., it uses AND. This is very easy and is great for finding things very quickly when using one or more keywords.
2. Use Find > By Details (Metadata) which allows searching by multiple keywords and the choice of AND or OR. You can also combine the keyword search with other metadata so that, for example, you can find all Bird photos taken in Florida using a Canon 7D + 100-400mm at ISO 400 in April 2011 that have 3 or more stars. I use this option to search fairly often.
3. Use the Search bar and type in search expressions using NOT, AND, and OR. I occasionally use this for complicated searches that #2 can't handle. This is a pain in the butt to use since you must type everything out, but when #1 or #2 can't do it (which is rare) it is great to have this option too.
Several months ago I read on the PSE forum a thread about using Organizer and an Adobe developer recommended upgrading to LR since it was more flexible and meant for professionals and serious amateurs. Therefore even though I have read the LR help info and can't find how to do sophisticated searches I am sure it is possible and I just haven't found it yet. Here is what I have found so far:
1. Use the Keyword List panel where I can select only one keyword.
2. Use the Library Filter bar where I can do a ctrl-click on multiple keywords, but this results in an OR instead of AND. In other words, if I click on Birds and then ctrl-click on Florida I get all bird photos and all Florida photos (the union, not the intersection). This is probably almost never what a person wants.
I hope someone can tell me or point me to documentation so that I can at least do as much as the amateur Organizer can do. Thank you!
Searching by keywords is one area where PSE is definitely easier to use.
In the Library Filter bar, you can add more than one instance of the Keyword column. The selections within a column are unioned (OR-ed), and the results of each column are intersected (AND-ed). You can define a filter-bar preset with, say, 5 Keyword columns, so you can quickly do an intersect of several keywords.
The main problem with the Filter bar is that it is very fussy to use, with tiny scroll bars that take forever to navigate large keyword hierarchies.
Alternatively, you can use Smart Collections to define searches with arbitrary boolean expressions. But Smart Collections have two problems: Incredibly, there isn't an operator for exact match of keywords (a pain if you have a large number), and Smart Collections won't show your photos properly stacked.
You might check out the Any Tag plugin, which makes it much easier to search by exact keyword match.
John, thanks for the reply. Yes, I am discovering that the amateur Organizer has much better searching capability than the professional Lightroom. I have already mentioned in my post the flexibility and power and Organizer is not even as good as some other programs. I had spent time investigating LR, but mostly raw conversion and non-destructive editing. I had, I think naturally, assumed that LR's database functions would be at least as good as the cheap Organizer. I never dreamt that they would not be as good or as easy to use. I sometimes wonder what happens in corporations when they seem to forget their own past and come out with new stuff that is a step or two backwards compared to their older, lower end stuff. Oh well.
Thank you very much for the tip about having more than one instance of keywords in the filter bar. That helps.
After I posted I discovered using Smart Collections and that helps a bit too. It is sort of a cutdown, less user friendly version of the Find By Details (Metadata) function in Organizer. It also means that for just a one time search I would have to create a smart collection and then delete it. What's with that, I wonder? Of course, if you often want to do that same search then it is good (Organizer allows you to save the search too), but most of the time I just do it one time. Oh well.
I looked at the Any Tag plugin and also the Any Filter plugin (same website) and I might download them to try out.
What I would like for Adobe to do is have their LR developers (probably a more prestigious development team in the company) talk to their Organizer developers (maybe a less prestigious development team) so that the LR developers can learn a bit about this. Yes, I have been a software developer for many years so I do understand a bit about development organizations. LR and PS are standard bearing products so their teams probably are held in higher esteem. Time to be humble and talk to other people though, IMO.
If any LR developers happen to read this then please know that I mean no offense. But, please, at least, take a look at Organizer and see if you can come up with something simpler that requires less typing of multiple long keywords and more powerful searching using various types of metadata. I am not saying Organizer is the best out there, but it is much better than LR in this case.