Lightroom Duplicate Finder – Tip

If, like me, you use Lightroom to manage your photo collection then it is highly likely that you have several copies of many of your photos floating about your hard disks just taking up space and slowing your workflow down.

To help discover these duplicates I use the superb Lightroom Plugin Duplicates Finder  by Jim Kier (

Jim has done a few excellent videos explaining how to use this plugin and I recommend you view them before using it:

Once I started using the plugin it threw up a lot of photos that were duplicate candidates but were not actually duplicates. You can tune the plugin to look at various criteria to find duplicate candidates (see the videos!) but even with the tightest of the selections there were still many candidates thrown up that were not actual duplicates.

This is all very well… I can simply ignore them in the duplicates collection but I found that the non-duplicates started to cloud the real duplicates to such an extent that it started to make it difficult to find the real ones in the collection. What I needed was a way to exclude any pics that I knew were not real duplicates permanently from the duplicate search.

This is what I do:

  • Create a copy of the “All Duplicates” smart collection (right click > Duplicate Smart Collection). Rename this to “All Duplicates –  DupExclude”
  • Edit the “All Duplicates –  DupExclude” smart collection (right click > Edit Smart Collection)
  • Add a new rule by clicking on the + sign to the right of the first rule. Make this new rule select on Keywords contains DupExclude. Save

This creates a new smart collection that contains only those photos that the plugin finds but have the “DupExclude” keyword assigned. In other words, these the duplicate candidates that you have rejected as duplicates.

Now the good part…

Create a copy of this new smart collection… call it “All Duplicates –  without DupExclude” but this time change the rule to Keywords doesn’t contain DupExclude.

Now, this second copy will show all the duplicate candidates thrown up by the plugin but without those you consider are not duplicates.

I expect some of you are saying hang on a minute… isn’t there an option in the plugin to exclude keywords? Can’t I just exclude from the search the “DupExclude” keyword?

Well, yes, you can do that and that would simply exclude photos with the DupExclude keyword from the search altogether but then you would not have an easy way to see what photos would have been considered as duplicates. Doing it with copies of the All Duplicates smart collections in this way allows you to run different options and easily see what is happening. I find this considerably more useful in determining what photos I do consider as duplicates in a much cleaner way.

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