A Sticky Topic

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.

While we don’t want the application to be shackled to the past, there were enough complaints about the removal of “sticky” or persistent filters that the behavior has been reinstated.
[Update August 10th.  I was not clear in that it has been reinstated in Lightroom 3.2, release candidate is here: http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Lightroom_3.2]
Choose the File -> Library Filters -> Lock Filters, menu item then choose File -> Library Filters -> Remember Each Source’s Filters Separately.  Lightroom will now emulate the behavior offered in Lightroom 2. The behavior of clearing the filters upon return to a folder or collection will remain the default.

29 Responses to A Sticky Topic

  1. renambot says:

    It works, yeah ! Thanks guys 😉

  2. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  3. Shai S says:

    I found the sticky filters a bit annoying in LR2. but after upgrading to LR3 I soon realized how much time they saved me in day to day work. Thank you for letting me choose!

  4. David Naylor says:

    Interesting. Personally I like the new behavior much better.

  5. Walter says:

    I missed I so much! Thank you!

  6. Thnak You!!!! One happy customer here!

    I hated this new behaviour, because I need to do extensive “sorting” collections to fit thousands of photos culling process on many different catalogs, that is setting 1 star – next round 2 star and so on. It was so much better in LR2 where sticky filters was applied always and I could return to same work view in the catalog which was when last time closed LR.

  7. Paul Wasserman says:

    Thank you for fixing this after all the discussion. I hope that this issue can serve as a guide for addressing changes to existing features in future releases of LR.

    When this was a new application some experimentation with features made sense. Now that it’s been out for some time, you have an existing user base, many of whom have invested considerable time and thought in moving their workflow into LR.

    As can be seen from the discussion on this issue, there are a few loud voices out there who believe that their workflow is the right way for all of us to work, and that LR should be designed to guide us along the ‘correct’ path. It is also clear that there are many more of us who see LR as providing a rich toolset that allows us to tailor a custom workflow to our own specific needs and preferences.

    While new features we can take or leave are always welcome, please take into account our investment in making LR our workflow tool before removing features in the future.

    Paul Wasserman

  8. Ray Shan says:

    Hello there, can we please have the ability to move multiple folders at once in LR3?

  9. Chris Abbey says:

    Nice balance. Personally I love the global filter lock… but I’ve seen a few people grumble about that change from 2 to 3, so this should make them happy with a quick set it and forget it flag.

  10. Larry Williamson says:

    I’m ambivalent. I got used to the old behaviour and I was not annoyed when LR3 changed it.

  11. Tony Fiorda says:

    Thank you for at least adding an option to turn sticky filters on. It’s something that I’ve badly missed and look forward to using again in 3.2. It’s so much nicer to see only your filtered images on a folder that seeing all the other ‘stuff’ that we photographers put in there.

    Again thank you for listening to your users and giving us options!

  12. Nooooo! Unsticky filters please!!

    At least it seems that you can choose which behaviour you prefer, which of course is the correct thing to do.

  13. Zac says:

    Thank you for making it an option. Nothing is whippier than having to turn on the filters every time you go back to a folder! Especially when having to go back and forth between multiple folders within a single job. Thanks again!

  14. Many LR Users says:

    Thank you!

  15. Matt Connell says:

    The sticky functionality drove me nuts; I always prefer functionality like that to have the option to turn it off, even if it means complicating the UI. Good call!

  16. matt maier says:

    maybe a stronger, more noticeable visual indication that a filter is in effect on a specific folder would have been a better tactic, rather than removing the feature entirely? so, now that the feature has been put back in to lr3.2, is there a more pronounced visual indication that a filter is in place to alleviate the “what happened to my images?” scenario?

  17. Tim says:

    Yes! Thank you.

  18. Pål says:

    Thanks, much appreciated

  19. Brad Pedersen says:

    Thanks you. I did not like the new behavior.

  20. Francis Zera says:

    Thanks very much!

  21. Paolomix says:

    I think you did the roght thing. I had some “sticky filter panic2 events myself, and they were not pleasant… It is always easy to reapply a filter!

  22. Alex Krylov says:

    A lots of thanks. I’ve spended a lot of time to reenable the filters during work each time I visited a folder, now I can concentrate on photos instead of filtering.

  23. I like the sticky filters and it never caused “a great deal of panic or confusion” for me like the “large percentage of Lightroom customers”. What did cause panic & confusion was when I received Lightroom 3 and they suddenly DIDN’T stick (though it was more of frustration & annoyance than panic & confusion).

    Thanks for giving us the global option and don’t feel for a second that this comprise means you are “shackled to the past.”

  24. Luca Ragogna says:

    Oh, thank Christ! That was driving me crazy.

  25. +1 for thank you, thank you, thank you. I found the removal of the confusion very, er, confusing. Now we get to choose how we are confused 🙂

  26. Sean Hoyt says:

    I really appreciate that you allowed me to revert to the old sticky behavior. Thank you.

  27. J Horn says:

    The sticky filter is something I use all the time. I’m glad to see this note

  28. Matt says:

    I just upgraded to LR 3 with that amazing Amazon sell. I have been very frustrated by the filter reset behavior and finally found this page.

    This is the type of change you should have trumpeted loudly and and often. I have come to depend on the behavior of filters in LR 2, so that I could switch between folders and could see the pictures displayed the way I left them. Coming to LR 3 was a HUGE pain, because every time I would switch between folders I would have to try and remember what my last filter was, and reset all the filter criteria. Extremely poor change on Adobe’s part.

    You should not be changing stuff just to not “be shackled to the past”. I have not sympathy for people who cannot simply look at the filter bar to see that their filters are turned, when coming back weeks later. Confusion? Really? For my photograph management, filters are a part of my life. Filters are 2nd nature to me. The LR 3 behavior was like a splash of boiling water–very irritating and time-consuming. When I leave a folder in a certain state, the folder needs to look exactly the same way when I return to it later (be it moments later or weeks later), the way LR 2 did it. A better option to cater to those who fail to learn the use of LR would be to offer training videos/manuals/whatever, instead of destructively altering extremely useful features that a confused few didn’t know how to use.

    Judging by the complaints referenced in this post, I surmise that I am not alone in my rant…


  29. Great. Exactly what I was looking for. And for some users this new behavior can really be useful.