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I'll admit that I have a tendency to almost always leave my images in Lightroom sorted by Capture Time. In other words, I'm always displaying the images in the order I photographed them. But quite often, you might find that changing the Sort order can be very helpful in locating a particular image or grouping images together. Let's take a look at a couple of examples. The Sort order can be found in the Grid view, on the toolbar, down below the Grid. If for any reason that option is not available, you can click on the pop-up at the far right of the toolbar, when you're in the Grid view, and turn on the Sorting option.
We can then choose, from a pop-up, a variety of different sort orders. We can sort by the capture time of course, but also by the order in which the images were added to Lightroom, by the edit time. In other words, when the image was most recently edited, by the number of times we've edited an image, by star rating, pic flag, label text, label color, file name, extension, etcetera. You've got a variety of options to choose from. Let's for example take a look at Label Color. I've assigned color labels to a number of the images in this particular folder.
If I scroll up, you'll see that now I have all of my red color labeled images at the front and all my non-labeled images behind that. So that's a pretty good example of a situation where it can be helpful to sort by a something other than Capture Time, in order to group some images together. I'll go ahead and switch to a different folder and in this folder, I have images that have star ratings assigned, and so I can demonstrate these star rating option. Notice that when I sort by star rating, the Sort order actually is in reverse order, in Descending order. You see that I have a Z to A rather than A to Z. And so, if we scroll to the top of the list, we will be looking a the images with the highest star rating.
We can see that reflected in this case on the Film Strip. The images at the far left have the highest star rating in the folder and the images at the right have no star rating at all. I could of course switch that order at any time if I want to sort from lowest star rating to highest star rating. But notice that it goes to descending order automatically so that you can see your highest rated images first. You might also notice that there is a User Order option and this one is actually rather interesting. It allows us to sort our images manually by any criteria we like. For example, I'll switch to a different folder here. And I'm going to hide my panels by pressing Shift+Tab. And you'll notice that I have a number of images of horses, but all of the horses are not together.
I'll press the Shift+Tab key so that I can hide the panels and review the images. And let's assume that I wanted to change the order of these images in a way that makes a little bit more sense to me. I can actually just click and drag to move an image into a different position. Let's assume for whatever reason that I want all of my sunset with cloud shots to be at the beginning. Or, if I wanted to put them at the end, I could select multiple images, clicking on one image and Shift clicking on the image at the opposite end. In this case, I clicked on the last image and then shift clicked on the last image.
I can then drag that entire group of images down to the end of the list, for example. Now, that is a custom order. This is a completely arbitrary order for my images and it's referred to as the User Order. If I switch to, for example, Capture Time, we'll see the images shuffle back to their capture time order. But if I then select User Order, those images will go back into that custom order that I had defined. As you continue exploring the various options for that Sort order pop-up, I think you'll find that a variety of situations where that order can be very, very helpful to sorting and organizing and locating your images.
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