Ratings filtering


Dear kind folks in the forum,

Quick question regarding how Portfolio handles embedded ratings in images.

I’m in the awkward position of asking a potentially stupid question here, because I haven’t actually gotten my hands on Portfolio Server at all… I’m writing you from West Africa, spending a few months working with an organization that uses Portfolio Server back in the states.

I’m used to working with the zero to five star ratings assigned using programs like Adobe Bridge or Lightroom, Photo Mechanic etc. And from what I’ve seen online, it would seem that Portfolio can recognize these ratings on import (right?)

My question is this: if you’ve got a large library of images with embedded ratings, how easy is it to filter by the ratings? How responsive is the filtering / searching with larger image sets over the web? The folks I’m working with don’t seem to be using this feature at all, but I think it might be very helpful to them in managing the large library of images that they’re building up.

When I work with Lightroom, if I pull in a few thousand images that have had ratings embedded by Bridge or some other program, they automatically get read, and then I can filter those images at the touch of a button. I may have just imported 20,000 images, but by filtering for one star and higher, I may then see just 2000 images. Two stars and higher gives me just 200. Three stars and higher gives me just 20, making a larger batch of images a bit easier to sort through, while maintaining other images in the background in case they might be needed in the future.

Does it work like this in Portfolio? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


Portfolio has it’s own database field called ‘Photoshop Rating’ that is automatically mapped to extract the standard metadata that is applied by the likes of Bridge/Photoshop/Lightroom into that field. The data is visible as ‘stars’ often in these applications, but is essentially stored in the file as a number from 0-5, zero being no value yet assigned.

You can therefore easily search in Portfolio for files based on a given ‘Photoshop Rating’ value, and as it’s a number field you can also do greater than, less than, equal to and between type searches to get to the specific ones you want. If you want to make it quick to browse in Portfolio you could also add a ‘pre-defined list’ of those values 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. Then you’d be able to view a ‘palette’ showing those numbers where you could just double click on any number to find all those items. You can also save searches as either a ‘saved find’ that you can run at any time, or a ‘smart gallery’ that you can just select. So you could create a smart gallery called say ‘Rating 3+’ that therefore automatically shows any files in the catalog with a Photoshop Rating of 3, 4 or 5. If you add new items into Portfolio they’d automatically be there when you click on that smart gallery.

We also support two way metadata for this field, so you can edit the ratings in Portfolio if you want and ‘embed properties’ to write those changes back into your files and you’d then see a different number of stars when viewing the file in Photoshop/Bridge etc.

So in short, it can work as you describe, but as Portfolio is completely customisable for it’s database, it’s down to you to create what fields, searches, views etc you want it to have. Metadata extraction/embed, and cataloguing options have a lot pre-configured to save you time.


Thanks Chris, muchly appreciated!



Hello Chris,

I’m struggling with the same issue… …loading Photoshop/Bridge (CS6) ratings into Portfolio (standalone).

I encountered this thread. Unfortunately, I’m unable to find the field “Photoshop Rating” in my catalog. Is there something special that I must do to activate it?

Note: I do see reference to “Photoshop Rating” in the metadata settings dialogues. However, I don’t see it in the item fields nor am I able to search on this field. I’m hoping to be able to change the image “rating” from within Portfolio and have this change reflected back to PS6 when I perform the embed command. Is this possible?

Thank you.



You don’t see it because you mention PS version 6. XMP metadata was supported in version 6 but wasn’t really supported well by other applications. Portfolio 7 though introduced a new default set of fields to new catalogs, which included all the standard IPTC/EXIF/XMP fields, including Photoshop Rating & Label. So you essentially have two options.

  1. Use a newer version of Portfolio to create a catalog that has these fields by default.

  2. Add the required fields, tags and extraction options to your version 6. Version 6 supports XMP metadata so it will work, it’s just not configured by default since version 6 pre-dates CS1 and XMP metadata. I can’t recall version 6 but from what you say it seems the ‘tag’ to extract is already in your catalog, so all you would need to do is create a custom field to store the data and then link the tag to the field via the ‘Metadata Settings’ option.

If this isn’t clear and you need more assistance with this feature, you should contact support directly.


Sorry Chris, but it seems that I was confusing in describing my software versions.

I have Portfolio Standalone v8.5.6 and Adobe Photoshop/Bridge vCS6… I believe that these are the latest versions for each of these products.

Sorry for the confusion.



New catalogs created in Portfolio 8.5.6 stand-alone would have fields and tags automatically configured for Photoshop Label & Photoshop Rating. I can only assume your catalog was originally created in an older version that didn’t?


Little details… LOL…

Yes, I’ve been using a ‘template’ from an earlier version of Portfolio to create my catalogs. Now I understand the issue. I think that I will try to create a new catalog from scratch, and then add in the ‘custom’ fields that I have. That way I will get the best out of Portfolio and have my own custom fields.

I’m busy on another project now and will get back to this later.

Thank you for your help and I’ll let you know how it turns out.



Hi Chris,

I’ve had a quick look at creating a catalog from scratch… …and Photoshop Rating does appear.

However, it doesn’t seem possible to edit the metadata settings to ‘embed’ this field back to the metadata. In other words, I would like to edit this field in Portfolio and have it changed for Photophop/Bridge.

Is this possible? Thanks.



Can it be embedded, yes. If you’re having issues with configuring your ‘Metadata Settings > Embed’ options, that’s best handled by contacting Technical Support directly for assistance, as it should just be a case of selecting to embed the ‘Photoshop Rating’ field into the ‘XMP - Photoshop Rating’ tag, and the same for the label.