Lightroom’s latest update came out earlier this week. Features are now released every few months, so I wouldn’t read much if anything into Adobe calling it Lightroom 9.0. The new features that I like most are:

  • Content aware fill for panorama edges. This doesn’t always work perfectly but can be great when used in combination with the boundary warp and clever use of the spot healing tool.
  • Run multiple export presets can be handy if you want to run a few exports and then leave the computer. I don’t often need this, but it’s a sensible extension of the export function.
  • You can now filter folders and collections by label colour.

I would not claim that filtering folders and collections by label colour is an exciting addition, no more than I would call the folder and collection labels exciting. But I would say that these little features really punch above their weight in allowing you to manage large numbers of folders and collections. And the easier you can manage your photo collection, the more time you have for the creative aspects.

I’ll just add a few words on how I use labels, just in case you find it useful. It’s worth stating that much as I like it, I happen to think that the feature is over-engineered. I don’t think Adobe needed to let you change the labels from Red… Purple to terms that mean something. It’s very easy – you use the Metadata > Color Label Set menu command – but I feel it’s overkill. While it is relatively new, my preference is just to leave the labels as they are, and I simply remember that I use Red to mean “unfinished”, Blue for video projects and timelapses, and the others… well, I’ve not yet settled into any habits. I have a client who took a different view and set up terms for each colour, and I don’t see this as anything more than personal preference. The great thing is that it’s now a couple of clicks to find all my Red folders, or for him to find all his Client Review folders.

So filtering folders and collections by label colour is probably Lr9.0’s most-generally useful addition. After all, if you can’t filter by a colour, why bother adding the colour in the first place? Filtering by colour makes this feature coherent.