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The smart-collection text operators are, in the opinion of many, poorly designed, but they are behaving as designed. See here for the help on text filters: How to find photos in a catalog in Lightroom .
keywords -> contains all -> Evelyn - 5th Birthday
This finds all photos whose keywords collectively contain the sequences "Evelyn", "-", "5th", and "Birthday". Each of those sequences can be embedded anywhere in the keywords, e.g. if "5th" is embedded in "15th", it matches. Note that if you had two separate keywords assigned to a photo, "Evelyn" and "115th", that would still match.
keywords -> doesn't contain -> Evelyn - 15th Birthday
This finds all photos whose keywords collectively contain none of the sequences "Evelyn", "-", "15th", or "Birthday" embedded anywhere in any of its keywords. That's why you got 0 results.
To the chagrin of many users, LR doesn't have exact match for many text fields, including most especially keywords. There a few workarounds:
- Use "contains words", which requires that the keywords collectively contain all of the given sequences as "words" (space-separated sequences). So "contains words Evelyn - 5th Birthday" won't match "Evelyn - 115th Birthday". This usually gets the job done, or close enough for government work. Note that there isn't a "doesn't contain words".
- Use the Library Filter bar's Metadata browser, with the Keyword column. Selecting multiple keywords in a column gives you the boolean "or" of the keywords, and adding multiple Keyword columns gives boolean "and". You can save filter presets just like smart collections, and filters have the advantage of being limited to the currently selected folder or collection.
- For more complicated filtering, use the Any Filter plugin.
Finally, please add your me-too vote and detailed opinion to this feature request in the official Adobe feedback forum: Lightroom: Exact text match in smart collections and filters, including matching spaces | Photoshop Family Customer Comm…
Great, it gave me an idea...
to fix my issue I just need to get rid of the spaces... need to update all keywords.
ex: Evelyn - 5th Birthday -> Evelyn_5th_Birthday
and the problem is gone.
Thanks for your suggestions!