My Photo

Become a Fan

« Recharger on Steroids | Main | Wacom Howcome? »



Scott Anderson

The text filter "Any Searchable Field" does include the folder name.

The resulting search will show all photos that satisfy the criteria (and not the folder). So if you have 7 directories with "zee" in them and they each have 5 photos in them, you will see 35 photos. If additional photos have "zee" in another text searchable field, such as file name, you will see those photos too. Assuming you can identify the photo series/folder by sight, right-click the desired photo in the library module and choose "Go to folder in Library". The folder should now be highlighted.

To do this you will first have to choose the "Parent directory", for example if all your photos are in "Photos" and the sub-directories are the ones you have shown, then "Photos" is the parent directory. Alternatively highlight all folders that you want to search. The parent directory is the best approach. If you have a parent directory, but it doesn't show in Lightroom, right click on one of the sub-directories and choose "Show Parent Folder".

I agree that being able to search a folder field and have the result highlight the resulting folder(s) would be desirable. Until then, perhaps this alternate approach will help.

Brooks Jensen

Scott, thanks. Now I feel only partly foolish and partly frustrated.

My first attempt at your suggestion failed. "Zee" was still not found, but then I realized I had skipped an important part of your instruction — a part that is crucial, but silly IMHO. The Find function only works in the folder and sub-folders from the location of your selection in the folders panel. If I have any photographer's folder selected other than Zee, the text "Zee" is not found because Lightroom looks only within the folder/sub-folder I have selected. This is almost always the case, so "Zee" is never found.

In my case, all the individual photographers' folders reside within a master folder titled "Photographers". If I have that folder selected, your procedure works exactly per your instructions, sort of. The result of the search returns not the folder, but rather all the images inside the Zee folder because they are located within sub-folder within the "Photographers" folder. I can then right-click on any of the images and "Go to Folder in Library." It works, but boy is this clunky. And three steps — select the parent folder; type in the search text; Go to Folder in Library.

I guess I would expect this to work the way it does in Explorer and every other file shell I've ever used. Once I am in a list (folders or files), all I have to do is start typing and the cursor jumps to the folder that matches what I type. This is the behavior I'd like to see, but in the meantime I'm glad you've provided a work-around. Now I'll have to see if I can train myself to remember how to do this. (See my "Brain Fit" post from a few days ago.)

I wonder if Adobe could add an option to "Search Globally" so it would expand its search up the folder hierarchy as well as down?

Still, a simple search for folder name from the folder list would be better. And simpler. Did I mention . . . simpler?


Brooks Jensen

More . . .

You know what? This work around is actually not any better.

Let's say I'm in folder "1120 Snow in the Dunes." I want to go to "1113 Upper Salt River Canyon." I can grab the slider bar and drag up while looking for the target folder. Frustrating, and the original problem. Or, using Scott's work-around, I can grab the slider bar and drag all the way up to the top, select the parent folder; type in the search text; Go to Folder in Library. Is this really better?

Is there a way to press a single key that takes me up to the Parent folder? That might help. Unfortunately, I can't find one.

I think I'm back to being fully frustrated. Grrr . . .

Dan Roeder

Hi Brooks--

If you go to the space above the filmstrip, you should see something like Folder: 1120 Snow in the Dunes nnn photos/1 selected/filename.ext. Then you will see one of those little disclosure triangles. If you click on that a list of your recent sources shows up, but in addition, at the top of the list All Photographs, some other things, then a section of Your Favorites (if you have any), then the section of your recent sources, and then Add To Favorites. Rather than scrolling all the way up to select the parent folder, you could click on All Photographs and then do your search. Or, you could (one time) scroll up to the parent folder, select it, then add the parent folder to you favorites. Then in the future, you could select that folder using the disclosure triangle prior to doing your search. Still not perfect, but better than scrolling all the way up to the top.

Hope this helps.

Godfrey DiGiorgi

I don't use the file system to organize my photos in Lightroom, other than trivially by capture date. I use sort and filter operations, keywords, smart collections, and collections to organize photos that I'm working on.

For instance, if I'm looking for the last things I edited, I click "all photographs" and sort in reverse order by "edited date". When I see a photo I know is in the batch I'm interested, I control-/right-click on it and either go to its folder or the relevant collection I've got it in. Then all the ones I thought belonged together are there.

Or I use keyword searches and smart collections. I'm working on a series of people photos made in cafes ... I have a smart collection which includes "cafe" and "people". From any one of those images, I can jump directly to its folder or collection.

Keyboard navigation of the Folders and Collections panels is lacking, for sure, but that's mostly because Lightroom is centric to the image files, not where they are in the file system, I think. Or they just thought it would be too complicated to determine where you wanted the focus of the keyboard input to be. Or it was just a really difficult problem that they've so far punted on. ;-)

Scott Jones

That does seem to be a missing feature doesn't it?

But you know I was thinking. If the names of the folders are so important to your finding certain images, I am surprised that you have not put those phrases into keywords. I keyword in country, town, state, home (if I am there)and any subject identifiers including peoples names etc. Just a thought.

So many ways to skin a cat.

Scott Anderson

An alternative way to search for a folder is to create a Smart Collection.

In the Library module create a Smart Collection (click on the "+" beside Collections and select "Create Smart Collection"). Give the Smart Collection a meaningful name (I chose "Folder Search"). Enter the following rule for the Smart Collection: "Folder" "contains" and in the parameter box enter the string you are searching for ... for example "zee". Save the Smart Collection and you should immediately have a selection of all photos that satisfy the specified rule. As before, right-click on a photo and select "Go to folder in Library".

The benefit of this method is that you do not have to highlight folders to be searched beforehand, and the search is limited to Folders (does not include file names etc.).

The next folder search would be accomplished by right-clicking the "Folder Search" Smart Collection and choosing "Edit Smart Collection". Change the criteria in the parameter field, save, and you you will have the results of your new search.

Bruce Johnson

Brooks, do you really have 1200+ folders at the same level in your folders list? No wonder you're frustrated by all the scrolling. If I had that problem, I would stop fighting the search function and set up some sort of hierarchy in your folder system. For example, in your authors list, why not add alphabetic parent folders between your 'Photographers' folder and the individual, named folders? Close all the ones you aren't working on and you only have 26 folders to scroll through to get to the correct subset; disclose that subset and scroll among those to the one you are looking for. One extra click, but a lot less scrolling. Of course, the same thing can be done with collections, using collection sets. Good luck!

Brooks Jensen

1200? Not yet, but I could foresee it. I

I set up my numbering system for 4-digits, so the first file is 1000. This preserves the sequence in the hard drive — a trick that one learns after seeing 1,11,12,2,3,4,5 . . . in a folder of a hard drive. I suppose I could have started with 0001, but leading zeroes can be a problem because some applications see this as text rather than a number. So, starting with 1000 seemed a logical choice. I currently have used 239 folders.

Obviously, this gives me only 8,999 potential folders which, at my age, seemed sufficient. :-)

Brooks Jensen

Have any of you noticed how many work-arounds are being offered by our creative community? Part of me marvels as the wonderful suggestions. But I must confess, this all seems like an exercise that would be instantly eliminated if Adobe would simply address it in Lightroom itself. In fact, the very need for so many work-around discussions would seem to me to be a self-evident indictment of the missing feature. Clearly I am not the only one frustrated by this issue.

Brooks Jensen

Scott, you win the gold star for creativity with your suggestion about a Lightroom Collection called "Folder Search." However, I hope you won't be discouraged if I tell you that at the end of your instructions my head exploded. :-)

Charlie Seton

Funny, I just now did a Google search for a solution to this EXACT problem and it landed me here. I have emailed Julieanne Kost about this issue and I hope that she'll either come up with a solution or tell Adobe to fix this. Obviously it's a problem...

Thanks for posting this,



Right click on the image and select "Go to folder in library"


Yes, that technique will work, but that's not the nature of the problem. The challenge is to go to a folder when you know the name of it but are not looking at any of the images.


It's important that all folders is placed in a parent folder, and you need to select the parent folder when you search. This will find the photos in the folder. Then you can right click to find the right folder.

I do it like this:

All my photos for 2012 goes in Parent folder: 2012

Child folders:

... and so on

Now I can select the 2012 folder which will list all photos. Now I can search for the folder name.

file dividers

Are your folders in Lightroom a mess because you don’t know how to take charge of where Lightroom puts them? Are you not sure where they are going? Do you have date folders that are meaningless to you because you don’t remember what you shot on any given date? If you answered yes to any of these, you are not alone — they are very common issues.


I agree. Completely. This is such a simple request. I get it.
So, thanks for saving me lots of wasted googling.
I thought it was yet another Mac issue.
I too meticulously name my folders [less tedious than using keywords] and want to be able to pull up, say, THE ten folders of pictures of a particular oak tree on a particular farm at particular time of year. blah blah blah.

the work around i have been using on this mac is to go to finder/pictures and then enter search terms. this pulls up a smaller universe of possibly relevant folders.
usually. often.
not always.
ok, this work around wholly inadequate too.
but it's all I've got. sometimes Smart Collections can work, but alot of work to set up 'perfectly'.
the best solution is to be able to search folder titles. period.

The comments to this entry are closed.