This plugin fills in some gaps in Adobe Lightroom's image-search capabilities.
This plugin works in Lightroom 5 (and older versions as far back as Lightroom 2, though some features depend on the version of Lightroom).
The same download works for both Windows and Mac. See the box to the upper right for the download link (in orange) and installation instructions.
Lightroom offers a number of ways to search for images with its Library Grid filter; this plugin adds a few more. Invoking it via the “File > Plugin Extras > Extended Search” menu item, a dialog is brought up allowing various search criteria to be entered.
(The screenshot is just to give you an idea of what the plugin can do; the specific search shown is exceedingly specific and is not likely useful.)
Note: For another take on an “Enhanced Search” plugin for Lightroom, consider John Ellis' AnyFilter Lightroom Plugin, which from the excellent-looking docs appears to be both more powerful than my plugin, and devoid of the baggage associated with Lightroom 2, which was the version under which I developed this plugin (and is still supported by this plugin, for what that's worth).
Docs for my plugin continued further below where we have more room...
Text searching allows finding....
filename without extension
leaf folder name
does not start with
does not end with
does not contain
any of the comma-separated items
any of the space-separated items
any of the line-separated items
|entered in the box|
Large amounts of text can be cut-n-pasted into the text-input box. In the example dialog screenshot above, I've pasted in the base filenames of 692 images (Lightroom's text-input box doesn't show a scrollbar, but you can use the arrow keys to move around inside.) I had used these images in the construction of a big photo book, and wanted to mark them as such in Lightroom, but until I wrote this plugin, I had no easy way to isolate just those images.
Other Search Criteria
Other search criteara may be used along with (or instead of) the text search:
- Cropped Status (cropped or not cropped)
- Aspect Ratio (within some threshold of an aspect ratio you specify)
- Virtual Copy (master without copies, master with copies, virtual copy)
- Stacking (not stacked, in stack anywhere, in stack at top, in stack at bottom)
- Exposure Bias (presence and amount)
- Image Size (megapixels or megabytes)
- Sidecar Presence (audio, XMP, JPEG)
How it Works
Before starting a search, you must be in the Library Module (Grid Mode recommended) with no images selected. You can use the Control-D / Command-D keyboard shortcut to deselect all images. All images showing in the grid/filmstrip will be searched.
Bring up the extended-search dialog (File > Plugin Extras > Extended Search..., or, enable plugin keyboard shortcuts to buy yourself some sanity), enter your search parameters, and start the search.
After the search completes, if you had enabled the “Update grid filter with results” option, you'll be shown the results automatically. Otherwise, see “Manually Isolating Results” below.
To quickly run a search again on all the images in the selected source (e.g. in the folder or collection currently selected in the Library Module), thse keybaord shortcuts can make searching a breeze:
- Control-L / Command-L — to turn filtering off, thereby revealing all images in the source.
- Control-D / Command-D — to deselect all images, thereby allowing the plugin to search when invoked.
Manually Isolating Results
If you choose to not show the results automatically (or if you're still using Lightroom 2, where results can't be shown automatically), you can manually visit the “Extended Search” metadata item in the Library Grid filter to isolate the matched images, as illustrated here:
If you had been using the metadata filter for other things (e.g. to search only a range of dates), you can simply add “Extended Search” to a column at the end.
Select “Match” to par down the grid to just those images that matched. In the example above, selecting “Match” would isolate the matching 693 images in the grid.
Lightroom 2 Warning
There is a bug in Lightroom 2 that sometimes causes proper images to not show up even though the “Match” line is selected. Restarting Lightroom after the search brings up the proper results. This is fixed in later versions of Lightroom.
This plugin is distributed as “donationware”. I have chosen to make it available for free — everyone can use it forever, without cost of any kind — but unless registered, its functionality is somewhat reduced after six weeks.
Registration is done via PayPal, and if you choose to register, it costs the minimum 1-cent PayPal fee; any amount you'd like to add beyond PayPal's sliding fees as a gift to me is completely optional, and completely appreciated.
Note: a Lightroom major upgrade, such as from Lr4 to Lr5, de-registers the plugin in the upgraded version, so if you want to maintain registration, a new ($0.01 if you like) registration code is needed in the upgraded version. It makes for a hassle every couple of years, I know. Sorry. See this note for details.
For details on plugin registration and on how I came into this hobby of Lightroom plugin development, see my Plugin Registration page.
( Update Log via RSS )
|20140902.53||New build system|
|20140731.52||Registration fix for Lr5.6|
|20140729.51||Work around what I think is a bug in Lightroom when trying to upgrade a very old catalog to Lr5. The upgrade will flush the results of your most recent extended-search operation, and could take a minute or so on a large catalog. This should be a one-time operation.|
|20140729.50||Previous updates broke support on Lightroom 2|
|20140720.49||More Creative-Cloud support.|
Fixed an issue with Creative-Cloud revalidation.
Lr5.5 and later Creative-Cloud installs can now revalidate themselves if needed.
|20140710.46||Sigh, had a bug in the Creative-Cloud support.|
Now supports Lr5.5+ Creative-Cloud Installs.
|20140704.44||Sigh, introduced an error for some folks with the rebuild the other day.|
|20140619.42||Changed "no match" label to "No match".|
Fixed a bug in the "smoother revalidation" stuff recently added.
Make the revalidation process smoother, especially for folks using Lr5.4 and later.
|20140204.39||Added some extra debug logging to track down a problem.|
|20130613.37||Better support for plugin revalidation.|
|20130611.36||Yet another Lr5 update|
|20130524.35||Apparently, a recent change broke things on Lr2, which some folks apparently still use.|
|20130501.34||Update for Lr5|
|20130412.33||Build system update.|
|20130328.32||Fix for the registration system.|
|20130209.31||More build-system maintenance|
|20130206.30||Tweak for my registration system|
|20121012.28||Added support for snapshot-name search (in Lr3+)|
|20120815.27||Bug fixes and tweaks to the previous update.|
Can now search for XMP and JPEG sidecars.
If a search is canceled, don't update the filter with partial results... just cancel.
|20120714.24||Added the ability to filter on images with audio sidecars.|
|20120608.23||Fix an "attempt to perform arithmetic on field" error.|
Update to handle the Mac App Store version of Lightroom.
Megapixel search was broken; added some extra debug logging.
Tweak for Lr4.1RC2.
Enhanced the send-log dialog to hopefully make reports more meaningful to me, yielding, I hope, the ability to respond more sensibly to more reports.
|20120330.20||Update to handle 4.1RC|
|20120309.19||Had broken registrations in Lr2; Update to the debug logging to better track down timing issues that might arise.|
More on the march toward Lr4, including upheaval in the code to handle Lightroom APIs being discontinued in Lr4.
|20120114.17||More tweaks for Lr4b|
Update for Lr4 beta: explain in the plugin manager that the plugin can't be registered in the beta.
Had issues with the registration button sometimes not showing.
When doing a plugin upgrade, offer the ability to flush all the old copies of the plugin.
Added a system-clock check and reports to the user if the system clock is more than a minute out of date. An incorrect system clock can cause problems with various kinds of communication and authentication with some of my plugins, so I've just gone ahead and added this to every plugin.
|20110810.14||Added the ability to filter on a specific aspect ratio.|
|20101028.12||In Lr3, now updates the grid filter to display the results of the search.|
|20100829.11||Made the revalidation process much simpler, doing away with the silly need for a revalidation file.|
|20100820.10||Discovered a bug in my plugin build system that caused horribly difficult-to-track-down errors in one plugin, so am pushing out rebuilt versions of all plugins just in case.|
|20100625.9||Yikes, shaking out some more build issues.|
|20100624.8||Discovered a nasty build bug; pushing a new version in case it affects this plugin.|
|20100516.7||Update for the Lr3 beta.|
Completely changed how the one-click upgrade applies the newly-downloaded zip file, in the hopes that it'll work for more people. Rather than unzipping over the old copy, it now unzips to a temporary folder, then moves the old folder out of the way and the new folder into place. Prior versions' folders are now maintained (with the version number in the folder) in case you want to revert a version; you may want to clear them out from time to time. Of course, it won't take affect until you try to upgrade after having upgraded to or beyond this version.
Wholesale changes that attempt to honor the user's locale settings for numeric display (e.g. Europeans writing 3,14156 for pi). I've probably missed some spots, so let me know if you find some.
|20091214.5||Added the "image size" row, where you can search via file size on disk, or post-crop size in megapixels (the latter offering a fine-grained search complement to my megapixel-sort plugin.|
|20091205.4||Minor internal debugging tweaks.|
|20091202.3||Added an Exposure-Bias row, and fixed a bug that caused the search to fail if the text row was not included in the search.|
|20091022.2||Added a first draft of some rudimentary support for Lightroom 3 Beta. See this important note about plugin support in Lightroom 3 Beta and Lightroom 3, including future plans for features and my registration system.|
|20091017.1||Initial public release.|