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Thread: Searching keywords across multiple folders in Bridge or Lightroom

  1. #1
    Klickit's Avatar
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    Kit, aka Slimtla

    Searching keywords across multiple folders in Bridge or Lightroom

    Bear with me folks...longish post coming up.

    I generally download from the camera into a folder pretty much each time I go out for a shoot. The number of images will vary, of course. My folders are in Windows (XP) default "My Pictures" folder. The naming convention is date and general subject matter, with the date so the folders follow chronologically: eg

    20100121 - dogs playing, Ngawi in rain, Martinborough post office.

    I keep Nikon's default numbering system within the folder and shoot RAW + lowest quality jpeg. The jpeg is so I can see the image in Window's folders.

    The last time I used Photoshop's Bridge was back at about Photoshop CS, or maybe CS2. I found that I couldn't search keywords across different folders, but only within one folder. So if I wanted to show all macros with spiders in them from all folders i.e using "macro, spider", as keywords, I couldn't bring them all up in one place. Maybe I just had it set up wrongly?

    I had Lightroom as a trial at some stage and found that I could search keywords across multiple folders. So my question is, does Bridge in it's current form ie, with CS5, allow searching for multiple keywords across multiple folders, or am I going to have to fork out for LR as well? That would seem a very expensive way to get an efficient catalogue system.

    I did use Picassa at one stage, but that grew huge and cluggy and very, very slow.

    I am getting a bit desperate as I have so many images and trying to find specific ones with my current set up is becoming a nightmare. But I'm reluctant to set Bridge up if it is not going to perform as I want.

  2. #2
    rob marshall

    Re: Searching keywords across multiple folders in Bridge or Lightroom

    I've never had a problem with this. You just create an extra line in the search criteria and specify the keywords on different lines. Change the search option to 'If any criteria met'

    Searching keywords across multiple folders in Bridge or Lightroom

    You can also save searches as 'smart collections' by clicking on the small icon in the top-right of the results panel. You can then add the smart collection panel to your screen menu by right-clicking on thefolder tab and adding it. If, subsequent to creating the smart list you add another file with one of the keywords it seems to automatically adds it to the search result. So, they are like saved lists that get updated. Got to admit I didn't know you could do that.

    Here http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-us...bridge-293955/


    Searching keywords across multiple folders in Bridge or Lightroom
    Last edited by rob marshall; 21st January 2011 at 08:39 AM.

  3. #3
    Klickit's Avatar
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    Re: Searching keywords across multiple folders in Bridge or Lightroom

    o-kay. I think. I see that you have searched subfiles under your landscape file, so I imagine I can have a primary file, eg, Window's "My Pictures" and search subfiles in that. Just kind of thinking out loud here. As far as you can on the interwebs. Maybe Bridge has become smarter over time?

  4. #4
    rob marshall

    Re: Searching keywords across multiple folders in Bridge or Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by Klickit View Post
    o-kay. I think. I see that you have searched subfiles under your landscape file, so I imagine I can have a primary file, eg, Window's "My Pictures" and search subfiles in that. Just kind of thinking out loud here. As far as you can on the interwebs. Maybe Bridge has become smarter over time?
    Yes - think of it like a tree structure. You start at the appropriate level and it can search down (provided you have 'search all sub-folders' ticked). It doesn't matter what folder it's in, so long as it's part of the top level structure from where you started.

    Bridge has gotten smarter. It wasn't very good in CS2/3, but CS5 is fine. I have thousands of images and the onlt time I can't find anything is when I have accidentally deleted it.

  5. #5
    Klickit's Avatar
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    Re: Searching keywords across multiple folders in Bridge or Lightroom

    Thanks Rob, for that. Makes sense.

    Now, one more ?? if you don't mind? How fast is Bridge when doing a search?

  6. #6
    rob marshall

    Re: Searching keywords across multiple folders in Bridge or Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by Klickit View Post
    Thanks Rob, for that. Makes sense.

    Now, one more ?? if you don't mind? How fast is Bridge when doing a search?
    Most search facilities (in any program) don't actually go though the data looking for your search parameters. They usually have a reference file that has previously been created that indicates where the data can be found. I think that is essentially what the search engine robots do on Google etc - the make a list of where everything is.

    Bridge is the same. It's called 'indexing'. When you search for something specific it refers to the index to see where it is, so it's pretty quick. The only time it slows down is when you add a new keyword, which obviously is not in the created index. If you tick the 'include non-indexed file' on the search panel for a new word, it has to hunt physically through the folders in your tree structure to find the new keyword you have specified in the search. But that won't happen very often. best thing is to set up your keywords properly to start with so you don't need to keep adding them.

  7. #7
    Klickit's Avatar
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    Re: Searching keywords across multiple folders in Bridge or Lightroom

    Thanks muchly. Now I just need to get started....

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