is there a way to create a smart collection in Ligthroom 5 that extracts all the photos which are not already in a(t least) a collection?

I have moved lots of photos manually into collections, but I'm not sure whether I've missed any..

ps. as a workaround, i know i could tag all the photos in collections with a keyword, and then look for photos without that keyword. however I'm looking for a cleaner solution, which would also update automatically.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ never mind, I found a solution. the smart collection is set to match NONE of the following 2 rules: "Collection starts with (0 or 1). The smart filter can't manage folder hierarchies, so can't match the parent folder(s). luckily for me, my lower level folders always start with the month as MM so it's either 0 or 1. \$\endgroup\$
    – Patrick
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ You could post that as an answer. Someone else may have a similar problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 4:07

1 Answer 1


If you want a Smart Collection that will automatically update, you're on the right track. Set the rule to "does not contain" or "does not start with" and for the value use:


If for any reason you doubt whether the above has really worked, you can manually check using these steps:

  • Shift+Click to select all your collections
  • Ctrl-A to select all the images in those collections
  • Move to the Library Panel, click on "All Photographs"
  • Edit > Invert Selection.

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.