Question (or feature request): how to filter for custom metadata / attributes

I have defined a custom metadata / attribute field with a number of values to choose from (i.e. a drop-down field for this attribute) and I would like to filter the view based on that. I can filter for specific tags (as described in this blog post and would like to do a similar filter to view only items in the DB with that custom attribute set to a specific value.

Is that already possible? If yes, how? If not, please take it into consideration for a future release.

Sorry but the filter panes don’t support custom metadata. You could set up a smart group but it’s would not update results live.

You could also do a toolbar search as it is live, so changing selections in the Navigate sidebar would show different results.

The request is noted however.

Hello Bluefrog,

a follow up question concerning this matter—I, too, would very much appreciate a way to filter by metadata, so as to display all files that are assigned categoryA-Value1 and categoryB-Value4, e.g. The toolbar search doesn’t seem to allow for this: it takes the value names for full text and yields results accordingly or, if I type: Category:To Do (which is present as metadata in the database I try it on), it renders a very long code document but no search result. Is there any way to get a this (maybe in an updated version? Mine is 3.8.3)?


A screenshot of your search and of Preferences > Data would be useful.

Hello cgrunenberg, thanks for your reply. Here it is:

… I did however just now find out that smart folders do approximately what I was looking for (filter by sets of custom metadata). It would still be interesting to know why search won’t find them, but the main cause seems settled.

Hard to tell without knowing the exact used search term. However, it’s easy to construct search terms using the advanced search and to learn the syntax that way.

A bit tricky to find (one has to do a regular search first and then activate the advanced search by clicking first advances, then the + button) but yes, that works. Sorry I didn’t see that at first. Thanks!

Covered in Windows > Main Window > Search Pane in the built-in Help and manual.

Hello Bluefrog,

yes. I meant to beg grunenberg’s pardon by explaining why it took me a moment to get it. Of course it is well documented.

Thanks again, both of you,


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