We’re constantly trying to improve the usability of Lightroom not just in the creation of new features but also refining existing behaviors. One troubling Lightroom behavior that we evaluated during the Lightroom 2 cycle is the “stickiness” of the filters applied at the top of the grid view in the Library module. These filters are often used to show only the 3 star or above images or maybe just the flagged images in a folder or collection. In Lightroom 2, if you applied a filter and visited another folder or collection and returned to the previous folder, the filter would still be applied. This can be useful if you only want to see flagged images in a folder but don’t necessarily want to delete the unflagged images or create another collection or smart collection to cull only the flagged images. Unfortunately, a large percentage of Lightroom customers were returning to a folder days, weeks or even months after applying a filter and experiencing a great deal of panic or confusion because the folder did not show all of the images they believed to be in that folder.(We call this the “What happened to my images?!” scenario) In the end, the value of a sticky or persistent filter was outweighed by the ensuing confusion. In Lightroom 3 we changed the behavior so that upon return to a folder or collection after visiting another folder or collection, the filter is cleared. We also offered a global filter lock so that if you wanted a filter to stick, it would stick for any folder or collection visited. For instance, a global filter could be locked to show only five star images regardless of the folder or collection visited.
By Tom Hogarty
August 9, 2010