LR text search is not great -- it's missing obvious features, it's hard to remember exactly what it does, and it's buggy. I suggest you read this section of the Help: Lightroom Help | Finding photos in the catalog .
In particular, Any Searchable Field includes many fields that are not immediately visible in the user interface, such as the file path (containing folders), containing collections, and many metadata fields. If any one of those fields contains the string "hot" anywhere, the photo will match.
Also, if you use "contains words hot", that will match "hot air balloon" but not any fields containing "photo".
So, if you search for 'contains' (or 'contains all') "hot", then it returns all photos, because it matches the term "photo" somewhere in your metadata, but you can't find the word "photo" anywhere? Did I get that right?
Or is it that you can find the word photo in your metadata, but you're just not sure which field it's in?
My experience has been that Lightroom usually (not always) works as programmed, search-wise, but the programming is kinda wonky, so sometimes it seems like it's doing it wrong when it's not, technically..
Begging the question, is it doing it as intended in your case, but you just don't get it yet, or is it misbehaving?
It would be helpful if you could isolate the problem, and if true bug, report to Adobe with steps to reproduce. Lightroom does have bugs in the search facility, but it's not clear yet whether you've hit one.
Sorry if you already know all this, you did say this is a work in progress (experiment continuing..).
Also consider trying this: save xmp as a sidecar (you'll need a proprietary raw file to do that), then load into a text editor - you should be able to see all the metadata subject to searching, I think.
Thanks for the help.
You are correct with point one.
No I'm not looking for the word photo, just the short version of "hot air balloon" hot.
I thinks its misbehaving.
Yes, it's work in progress, my sole purpose to use LR is for photo cataloging because in the past [last six years] after each o/s holiday I change how I store photos but have realized that in years to come when I want to find a photo using a keyword search then the results may only produce a 100 so photos and I wouldn't mind looking at all of them, I,m not looking for a perfect search. The word hot will produce many combinations, hotel,hotmail,shot etc. The search for hot was my very first search ever in LR I picked one photo that happened to be showning on the screen went to the User Comment Field and entered "hot air balloon", did a ctrl-f contains was left unchanged in the dropdown box entered hot into the search field and got 1100 photos, not good for my first attempt.
Re you last question I'm a gps fanatic, and my camera has a gps function which works perfectly in Lr MAP view, the best thing ever.
I have a number of programs that can extract the meta exif and everything else i.e Opanda PowerExif 1.2 Pro is one I use a lot.
The word photo does not appear in the extracted data except for this field Scene Type | a directly photographed image | A301.
I did a search "contains" with just photo and had 1100 hits, change to photographed no hits, directly no hits.
I have even tried expanding the word photo, photoa,photob ,aphoto,bphoto right through the alphabet and there are no hits, so it seems the word is just photo and in no other form.
Before a launch into all the options available to tag,label,rate,colour tag etc. I hoped to get it right the first time and to have a clear understanding of LR's potential which is phenomenal.
Since the post I have now done a lot of experimenting with all the user editable fields and there are quite a few, I'm now happy with the results I get and apart from that one lousy word I picked "hot air balloon" I have had no other issues so to pursue the "photo" tag problem further won't be necessary, maybe it is a LR problem.
Many Thanks again for your excellent response.
It probably isn't misbehaving in this case. Some possibilities for what "contains photo" is matching:
- One of the folders containing the 1100 photos has the string "photo" in its name. LR won't necessarily show you the complete path of containing folders -- you have to look in Mac Finder / Windows File Explorer to see the complete path.
- The metadata fields EXIF:Software or XMP:CreatorTool contain the string "photo". For example, my catalog contains thousands of photos with these fields containing "Photoshop". These fields are displayed as the Software field in the Metadata > EXIF panel (on the right side of Library mode).
- Other metadata fields may contain "photo". The most authoritative tool for examining metadata is Exiftool -- most other tools don't show you all of the metadata.
You hit the nail on the head.
The folder tree was E:\Africa 2014 Photos\Nikon\Aug\7-8 Lemala\DSCN8723.JPG, I renamed the folder and removed Photos from the directory fixed up the lost folder in LR and no more photos were found for the "hot" search.
I will give Opanda PowerExif 1.2 Pro the flick and in future use exiftool.
Thanks very much for everyone help, especially you John.
It's a good thing you found it as folder name, since not even exiftool, nor xmp, could show you some of things Lr searches (like folder name, or collection name..).
PS - I never use "any searchable text" unless I've reached a point of desperation, because of experiences like this - hard to know just what "any" means..
Glad you got it whipped.
PS - I agree: John Ellis is great!
Gave the above problem some further thought and realized that any folder name will appear in the search results, now that I'm aware of this searching should not be a problem.
..now that I'm aware of this searching should not be a problem.
Don't be so sure - 1 down, N to go.. (sorry, I'm sure you're right ).