How do I filter color-coded images in Lightroom, Capture One, Photo Mechanic, Finder and Explorer?

You've probably seen how to filter out your clients' image selections in Lightroom, Capture One, Photo Mechanic, Finder, and Explorer. The whole thing is not only possible with image selections but also with all color-coded images.

Many image editing programs allow you to use the file search to display exactly the images of an image selection you or your clients made in picdrop. This saves you the trouble of searching for each individual file. Here we show you how to do it:

Copy the filter text to your clipboard

Filter out all images with the desired color flags using the filter function on the left side. Now you see only the images with the desired color flag.

Click on "select all images" (bottom left) or use the keycombination of cmd-A or Ctrl-A to select all currently displayed images.

You have now created a selection that you can use to filter out the images locally on your mac / PC.

Click on the "Export Selection" icon in the selection, bottom right. There you will find various options to filter the selection in Lightroom, Capture One etc.

Optionally, you can save this selection permanently in picdrop to make it easier to find it again later.

Once you have copied the list of filenames to your clipboard, please continue on your computer in your tool of choice:

Filtering the images in Lightroom Classic

  • Open the folder of the shooting in Lightroom’s Library mode.
  • Press the "<" key (to the left of the Z) to display the filters at the top.
  • Select the "Text" category there.
  • Select "Filename" and "Contains" from the drop-down menus.
  • Paste the filenames from your clipboard into the search field.
  • Now you will only see the images you have saved in the selection.

You can now save the filtered images in a new collection or mark them with stars / colors for your further workflow.

Filtering the images in Capture One

In Capture One, you can search for your images in multiple places using the exported folter text. To do this, open a folder or collection in Capture One with the images you want to filter. Then you have three options:

1st option: Search in Browser

  • Press cmd-F or ctrl-F to open the search in the browser. 
  • Paste the text from the clipboard directly next to the magnifying glass. 
  • The images you searched for will be displayed in the browser.

2nd option: Filter-tool

  • Open the Filter tool in the toolbar.
  • Paste the text from the clipboard next to the magnifying glass. 
  • Only the searched images will be displayed in the browser.

3rd option: Select by file name list

  • Open in the menu bar the item Select > Select by > File name list ...
  • Paste the text from the clipboard into the search field. 
  • Select "Space" as separator under the search field and "Ignore file extension".
  • Click OK. 
  • Only the searched images will be displayed in the browser.

Done! You can now save the displayed images as your own collection or mark them with a color / stars.

Filtering the images in Photo Mechanic

Open the corresponding project folder in Photo Mechanic.

Paste the filter text from your clipboard into the search box (via Edit > Find... menu or cmd-F on Mac or Ctrl-F on Windows) and set the following search options:

  • Find: Any of the words

  • In: All items

  • Searching: Filenames

After clicking "Find" in the lower right corner, Photo Mechanic will now select all photos of your choice from picdrop and you can continue working with them.

Please note that the search in the upper left corner of Photo Mechanic ("Search my Mac") cannot be used for these steps.

Filtering your images in macOS Finder and Windows Explorer

  • Open the folder containing your images

  • Click into the regular search field

  • Copy the list of filenames into the search field

  • You will now only see the images that were previously saved in the selection.

Please note that the filter text in Explorer can only hold a maximum of 259 characters.

The filter text in Finder is limited to 2048 characters or 99 files.