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Dave Beedon | all galleries >> Photography >> End of Film Photography > Boolean surprise in Lightroom
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Boolean surprise in Lightroom
13-APR-2009

Boolean surprise in Lightroom

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My understanding of Boolean operators suffered over the years, so I was re-learning their
meaning as I created Smart Collections in Lightroom. When I searched for all images
containing "West Bar," I got a surprising number of images, most of which had
nothing to do with West Bar. Included in the returns were images tagged with "barrier"
and "Subaru." The three thumbnails just above the blue border are shots of my
Subaru at Thelma and Louise Point (Fossil Point), near Moab, Utah. Eventually it dawned
on me that "contains" looks for strings, not phrases. DUH!

Realizing that I needed a refresher course in Boolean theory as applied to Lightroom, I
searched for definitions of the operators. It was an exercise in frustration, as no matter
where I looked, definitions were not to be found: nothing in Lightroom help, nothing on
Adobe's Web site, and nothing in several on-line forums I visited. It irritated me that
Adobe did not include that information in the software's "Help."

Exasperated, I asked Adobe about this by submitting a Web Case at www.adobe.com/go/supportportal/.
Figuring out where and how to do that was a challenge too (more irritation). But this
approach paid off: the next business day I got a response from Adobe that was exactly
what I was looking for. That response appears below (bolding is mine).

The contains operator returns images that contain keywords
that match any partial or full text strings entered.

The contains all operator returns images that contain keywords
that match all partial or full text strings entered.

The contains words operator returns images that contain keywords
that match all full text strings entered.

The doesn't contain operator returns images that do not contain
keywords that match any partial or full text strings entered.

The starts with operator returns images that contain keywords
that start with all partial or full text strings entered.

The ends with operator returns images that contain keywords
that end with all partial or full text strings entered.

The are empty operator returns images that contain no keywords.

The aren't empty operator returns images that contain keywords.

One is never too old to learn.
.

Nikon D80
1/20s f/4.0 at 26.0mm iso200 full exif

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dan dunn28-Apr-2009 13:37
I thought "Boolean" was what a ghost from Louisiana would say...
Jason Anderson14-Apr-2009 01:41
This is valuable information Dave, too valuable to be distributed willy-nilly.
The standard for help documentation specifically states (SIII.A.2.2.4.ii) "nothing should be included in any help file except references to supporting web sites, documentation or help files. Material information is not covered by this standard, but is intended to be included in a later release. For more information, please see the help documentation."
John Cooper14-Apr-2009 00:40
You are wrong Dave, I am too old to learn.
After reading this I am going to stick to my old filing system.
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