|The current view in lighttable is called a collection. The collect images panel lets you narrow down the list of visible images to just the ones you want to work with.|
Information about all images imported into darktable are kept in a database, with various attributes describing each image. You define a collection by applying certain filtering rules to these attributes, creating a subset of images to display in the lighttable view.
The default collection is based on the film roll attribute – it displays all images of the last imported film roll or any other film roll chosen.
The left combobox lets you choose from the available attributes:
the film roll to which the image belongs
the disk folder where the input image file is located
the Exif data entry describing the camera make and model
any tag that is attached to the image; if activated a hierarchical list of known tags is displayed for quick selection
the date when the photo was taken, in the format YYYY:MM:DD
the time (date and time of day) when the photo was taken, in the format YYYY:MM:DD hh:mm:ss
choose images whose history stacks have been altered or not altered
any color label that is attached to the image: “red”, “yellow”, “green”, “blue”, “purple”
the title, as listed in the image's metadata “title” field
the description, as listed in the image's metadata “description” field
the creator, as listed in the image's metadata “creator” field
the publisher, as listed in the image's metadata “publisher” field
the copyrights statement, as written in the image's metadata “rights” field
the Exif data entry describing the lens
the focal length value, as derived from Exif data
the ISO value, as derived from Exif data
the aperture value, as derived from Exif data
the filename of the physical input image
the geo location of the image
In the text field to the right of the attribute, you write a pattern. The pattern is compared against all database entries with the selected attribute. This search detects a match if the images' attribute contains the pattern in its full text. You may use % as wildcard character. The collection gets limited to those images where the query matches. Leaving the text field empty matches all images for that attribute.
Attributes with numerical values as well as date and time attributes can be used in combination with comparative and range operators. Write <, <=, >, >=, <>, and = to select images with attributes less, less or equal, greater, greater or equal, not equal, or equal to the a given value, respectively. An expression in the form [from;to] selects a range of values.
The box below the search rule will list all matching database entries of the query you are currently working on. This list gets updated continuously as you type. You may also choose sorting criteria by scrolling through the list and double-clicking.
Clicking on the triangle button to the right of the text field opens a drop-down menu with options to finetune your current collection by adding further rules, or removing them:
Adds a new rule which is combined with the previous rule(s) in a logical AND operation. An image is only part of the collection if it additionally fulfills the added rule.
Adds a new rule which is combined with the previous rule(s) in a logical OR operation. Images that fulfill the new rule are added to the collection.
The logical operators defining the combination of rules are displayed to the right of the rule: AND by the symbol, OR by the symbol, and EXCEPT by the symbol. Clicking on either symbol gives a choice to change the logical operation.
While it is best to not touch imported files behind darktable's back, this module can help you recover from situations when you move imported folders after import. The collect images module has a feature that allows you to tell darktable about the new location of imported folders which have been moved. You set the combobox to folders to find the original folder name in the tree. The folder name will be displayed striked-out to emphasize that it is no longer there. Then you right-click on the folder name, select “search filmroll...”, and then select the new location of the folder.