I have a question about Adobe Lightroom 4:

Say I have a keyword "parent" and a nested keyword (subtag) "child" under that keyword. Some photos are tagged with "parent", other are (only) tagged with "child".

Is it now possible to view all photos tagged "parent", but not see the "child" photos at the same time? Either using the keyword list or text filter, I always get to see the "child" photos also...

I know I can exclude certain keywords when searching (ie. "parent !child"), but in my case I'm having about 20 child tags, so it's not very practical to write all 20 keywords as exclusions.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In what software? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 20:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That goes exactly against why keyword hierarchies are for. It sounds like yours is wrong. I use Family as the parent for individuals in my family and I guess you could put Parent and Child both under that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 22:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm: sorry, that was a stupid omission. I'm talking about Lightroom 4. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peter
    Commented Sep 1, 2012 at 8:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Itai: why does that go against what hierarchies are for? I'm pretty sure all photo management programs I've used before (IDImager, Live Photo Gallery, Picasa, MediaPro, etc) don't do it that way, were they wrong? And when listing files in a folder, you don't normally get to see all files from subfolders either? Can you explain why I am doing it wrong? \$\endgroup\$
    – Peter
    Commented Sep 1, 2012 at 8:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Me too I have used 6 or so DAM software and those which support hierarchical keywords all assume that matching a keyword implicitly match all parent keywords. Think of each level as a refinement. If you organize your keywords with that in mind, you should not have to do searches like what you are asking. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Sep 1, 2012 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


Ok, it seems the only way to do this, is using the Filter Bar. In the Keyword column, there is a little box to the right for the view settings, and here I can choose between Hierarchical and Flat. When it is on Flat, then only photos with the selected keyword are shown.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.