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Using the Filter Bar in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4

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The filter bar is the main place to go to whenever you need to make refined filter selections of photos in the catalog. Martin Evening shows you how to use it.

The filter bar (Figure 10.64) can be accessed whenever you are in the Library Grid view mode. To make the filter bar visible, go to the View menu and choose “Show Filter Bar,” or use the Image key shortcut, which can be used to toggle the filter bar visibility on or off.

The filter bar is the main place to go to whenever you need to make refined filter selections of photos in the catalog (although you can still use the filmstrip controls for filtering by ratings and labels). The filter bar therefore rationalizes the filter controls in order to make the filtering process more centralized and flexible. As was mentioned on page 591, one of the important things to note in Lightroom 3 and later is that filters are no longer automatically sticky. Quite often in the past you would find yourself trying to work out where all your photos have disappeared to, and all because you forgot there was a filter active. There is now a lock button in the top-right section of the filter bar (circled in Figure 10.64). Clicking on this locks the filter settings and has the same effect as selecting “Lock Filters” in the File Image Library Filters submenu. The filter bar lock behavior is therefore also governed by the “Remember Each Source’s Filters Separately” option that’s highlighted in Figure 10.63. So, if this item is checked, enabling the lock in the filter bar allows you to lock filters for specific view sources. If unchecked, enabling the lock in the filter bar allows you to lock filters globally. Remember, you can also use the Enable Filters shortcut Image (Mac) or Image (PC) to toggle a filter search on or off.

Figure 10.63 This shows the File Library Filters menu with the “Remember Each Source’s Filters Separately” checked and made active.

Figure 10.64 The filter bar lets you filter the photos shown in the catalog using Text, Attributes (like those in the Filmstrip), Metadata, or a combination of all three.

The filter bar layout

There are three components to the filter bar: Text, Attribute, and Metadata. These can be used to make a filter search of the entire catalog or a subset of catalog images. This is an important point to remember, because if you want to conduct a search of the entire catalog, you must remember to go to the Catalog panel and select All Photographs first. This then allows you to carry out a global search. For speedier, targeted searches, make a sub-selection of photos first before using the filter bar. It is so easy forget this important rule; there are many times where I will go to the filter bar with the intention of carrying out a global search yet forget that I have a sub-selection of photos active. So if a filter bar search doesn’t seem to be working properly, check that you have All Photographs selected. And to combine two or more types of filter searches you’ll need to hold down the Image key as you click on the Text, Attribute, or Metadata tabs.

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