Staying organized is extremely important for an efficient workflow. Because of this, Lightroom gives you flexible options for organization by providing multiple tools, one of those being the Filter Menu. The Filter Menu allows you to quickly locate, sort, and label your photos to make each image accessible by a simple search. In this article, we will present five great ways to use filters that can help you save time.

Watch the Video Tutorial

The following video is from the SLR Lounge Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD, a 14-hour workshop covering everything Lightroom from file management to advanced artistic processing techniques. The video shown below explains the different settings available in the Library View Options.

Five Tips

1. Filters can be used to verify imported photos.

When your images are imported into Lightroom, you want to make sure that nothing has been left out. One way to verify that all your images have been imported is to use the “text” option. Simply type in the image number of your first photo and it should pop up right away. Do the same thing for the last image and if they both appear, then everything in between should have been imported into as well. This is just one reason why the “text” search field is so valuable a tool.

2. Toggle multiple options to narrow your search.

No one wants to scroll through hundreds of photos to search for a single image. With the ability to narrow your search by toggling several options, you can pin down an image or group of images in seconds so no time is wasted. As a result of Lightroom’s versatility, it is up to you to choose how exactly you want to organize your images and the Filter Menu gives you the option to locate your files according to your organization methods.


3. When organizing your photos, use simple yet descriptive keywords.

During a long shoot or an event for example, there can be many different types of shots and specific sub-events that may need to be separated. If groups of photos are categorized by descriptive keywords, you can simply search in the “text” option for that specific keyword and only the photos assigned to that keyword will appear.


4. Use filters to separate or delete virtual copies.

Say you created many virtual copies of your images to do an additional post production effects. To see all of the virtual copies, simply toggle the “attribute” option on the filter menu and select the “virtual copy” box. Again, only your selected photos will show up and can be exported separately if needed.


5. Sort your images by camera, lens, ISO speed, and more.

Within the metadata option, you can select one or multiple categories of metadata to filter by. For example, if you want to separate and label different cameras and lenses used in a shoot, simply select a camera and a lens to narrow down what is presented. This can be extremely useful if you want to assign a color, rating, flag status, or any other attribute to all images in that category to further organize your photos.


The Filter Menu is just another one of Lightroom’s tools that saves you time in organizing and locating images. Lightroom gives you the option to choose how you want to accomplish your post-production tasks by providing several of these tools to meet your studio’s workflow needs.

In our next Lightroom 4 A to Z DVD tutorial, we will be covering the Histogram and Quick Develop Menus in Lightroom.

If you are interested in purchasing the Lightroom 4 A to Z DVD, it can be purchased for $99 in the SLR Lounge Store.

Purchase the Lightroom 4 A-Z DVD Guide

The Lightroom 4 A-Z training DVD will turn any Lightroom novice into a complete master of Lightroom 4 in no time! The DVD which can be played on a Mac or Windows PC includes the following:
– 130 Video Tutorials and nearly 14 hours of content!
– Over 6 hours of tutorials dedicated to developing techniques
– Full Menu System for easy navigation through the tutorials
– Bonus DVD Content that includes Advanced Lightroom 4 Techniques
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– On-screen Shortcut Tooltips for Lightroom 4
– Exercise Files + Final Catalog so you can follow along during the tutorials
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