I figure this has to be buried in LR somewhere, but I'm not finding it.........
For me, (yes, geek, software engineer, database designer) it is important that a "catalog" or database is easy to search by complex queries. So, for example, if I want to know what images I entered in the state fair in 2011 and am trying to enter in the state fair again in 2012, I'd like to be able to search on something like:
keyword "state fair" and "2011" and "2012"
since I have a "state fair" keyword with "2011" and "2012" as children.
In Bridge this is trivial since you can build criteria. How do I do this in LR? The only way I've been able to do this so far is to add a second keyword column to the library filter bar and fiddle around that way. It's pretty clumsy.
OR, for example, I want to see which 11x14 (or 14x11) images I have, that have NOT been used for a specific club competition... I'd want all the filenames that contain "11" AND "14" AND "x" and do NOT contain a keyword "xyz"
Since this one requires both keywords AND multiple pieces from the filename, I haven't figured out how to put this together in Lightroom. What am I missing?
Two things - use the filter panel for drilling down, and use smart collections when you know what you're looking for. In smart collections, use Alt/Option and click the + button to nest additional criteria.
Nifty! I think I"ve maybe created 3 smart collections in the entire time I've used LR so I never looked there.
Is there a delimiter I need for searching by text? For example, if I enter "11x" (without the quotes), it works, but if I enter "11 x", it finds all the "11x" images. I tried putting single quotes and double quotes around the text, but then it brings back no images. With NO quotes it appears to find everything with "11" in it (I'm not sure if it also finds anything with "x" whether or not there's an "11", but what I WANT it to find is ONLY those images that have the text "11 x" in exactly that order and spacing in the filename...
LR's text-matching operators have severe limitations (in particular, you can't do exact match or substring match against texts containing word delimiters), and I can never remember the meanings of the various "contains" operators. See the help for details:
Bad news: native Lr interprets space character as delimiter. i.e. if you type in 'foo bar', (without the apostrophes) it will always treat foo and bar as two separate terms, and look for each independently in the target text according to the "contains..." or "starts with..." criteria. (basically, what John said, only worded Rob-style).
Quotes and/or apostrophes do not serve to define a search term with spaces in it - as you noticed...
So, if I put in "black bear", I"m going to get EVERYTHING that contains "black" or "bear", including flowers like "goatsbeard" and grizzly bears and teddy bears and so on...
I"ll have to try the alternatives you listed...
Yeah, sorry about that.
This strikes me as a glaring weakness in Lr metadata handling, and quite frankly embarrasses me.
I was hoping Adobe would carve a few hours out of their Lr4 dev alottment to plug such holes, but no such luck.
Fingers crossed for Lr5.
In the mean time, that's what plugins are for...
Note: you can use "contains words" to keep from finding goatsbeard, (but no way without plugin to keep from finding teddy bears) just be careful: there is another nasty bug in "contains words" feature which will exclude some photos it shouldn't: