Selecting Images with Multiple Keywords in LR 2

Adobe Lightroom 2 Beta has changed significantly the way we filter the catalog or library of images to find what we’re looking for. In the process, the method of selecting images with multiple keywords has changed. Here I will show you two methods to get this done in Lightroom 2 Beta.

First, here are the assumptions in the Library:

1. There are four images with the keyword: farm
2. There is one image with the keyword: old farm
3. There are other images with neither keyword.

So the goal is to have the library only show images with the key words: farm and old farm.

Here’s how we do it.

Using the Text Filter

First open the filter at the top of the library and click on the Text type. This is as opposed to Refine and Metadata. For the Text Type, choose Keywords and then choose Contains All. In the search box type ‘farm’ or whatever you are searching for. See the image below and you will notice that five images are shown – four with the keyword ‘farm’ and one with the keyword ‘old farm’.

Note that if you are searching images containing multiple keywords that are different then separate them with spaces like the following:

If you are searching for images containing either of multiple keywords, change the type from Contains All to Contains like the following:

The Contains All and Contains logical types help control the use of the filter words. There are other filter types that can be used as well.

Using the Metadata Keyword Approach

Using the same filter in the Library as we did above, change the filter type to Metadata. Then in the left-hand column, choose the data type Keyword. When it opens, the ‘All Keywords’ item at the top will be highlighted. Go down and select two keywords by clicking on one with the mouse and another by holding the control (CTRL) key down and clicking with the mouse. See the example results below that match the same images using the Text filter previously:

Note that you can use the shift (SHFT) key and select a whole range of keywords consecutively, but I doubt that this would be used very often.


There are significantly more options available to search and filter a library. When thousands of images are included, this feature is very welcomed. The interface has changed significantly, but once you are used to the changes, is much more effective than in Lightroom 1.x.

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