I see a list of collections in the left sidebar in Darktable, and now I wanna open one of the older ones, but I don't see it in the list. How would I go about opening it?

Am I supposed to just "import from folder"? I didn't try that because I didn't wanna duplicate my collections by accident.

Right now if I right-click on the folder and tell my OS to "Open with... Darktable", it works as expected, but I'm looking for a way to do this from UI.


There's a much more powerful way.

Among the lighttable's left hand side tools there is "Collect Images." It's above the recently used list and below "Import." That has a list of all collections, if you are patient enough to scroll through them all, and a search widget. The right hand side of it is a text box to type your search term into. To the left is a drop-down menu to choose what sort of meta-data you want searched.

So you could set the menu to 'folders' and type 'paris' and the list will contain only directories that have that in the name. Or set the menu to 'Camera' and type 'Canon.' Or set the menu to 'tags' (you tag your photos, right?) and type 'flower.'

It is possible to search on a combination of these, but I haven't tried it yet.

  • Yep, except mine had a "$HOME/Downloads" in the path so it probably hasn't shown anything when I was looking back then. Now I saw it, clicked "Clear all rules", and got all my collections, film rolls etc. – Zlatko Apr 5 '20 at 16:51

Yes, Import > Folder is the right way to go, and you will not duplicate your collections by doing this. The information Darktable creates resides in the .xmp files inside the folder and is simply re-read every time the folder is (re)imported.

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