Metadata: Ratings, Labels, Title, and Description

Creating and Reading XMP Files

FastRawViewer records all “changes” into separate sidecar XMP files (analogous to Adobe Bridge). The following can be saved/is read from these files:

  • Image orientation (see below, the “Changing Image Orientation” section).
  • White Balance in FastRawViewer and Adobe formats (see below “White Balance”).
  • Exposure adjustment in the FastRawViewer and Adobe formats (see below, “Working with Exposure”).
  • Ratings and marks (please see below).
  • Title (title) and description (description) of an image (see below).

If a folder contains files with the same name (for example, the source CR2 file and the result of its conversion to DNG), then, while recording an XMP file, a naming conflict may happen: it is necessary to record filename.XMP for filename.CR2 file, but a filename.XMP already exists in the folder, for filename.DNG file. In this case, FastRawViewer will issue a warning:

To switch this warning off, unset the setting: XMP - Warn if overwrite XMP for file with same name.

If the default settings are in use:

  • When the file is displayed in “Grid View” mode, the sidecar XMP files (those having the same name as the current by with a .XMP extension) are read.
  • When the file data is changed, both XMP sidecar files and XMP blocks embedded into RAW files (for those RAW file formats where such XMP blocks exist: DNG files mainly, but also some other formats) are read, and the most recent XMP data is chosen using the modification date. Ratings and Labels in XMP blocks are ignored to ensure that the data displayed in “Grid View” mode and single file mode is the same.
  • Only manual changes are recorded into XMP files (for instance, image orientation or exposure are changed from automatic to something else).

This behavior can be changed with the following settings:

  • Preferences – XMP – Use XMP for RAW Files – turning off these settings leads to a complete disregard of XMP files: they are not read, written, and not moved together with RAW files.
  • Preferences – XMP – Read Only XMP – blocks any recording of XMP files. Data (ratings, labels, white balance, exposure correction) will be read and used for display, but any changes to it will not be saved.
  • Preferences – XMP – Force XMP file creation – turns on the creation of XMP files, even if nothing was changed manually. The parameters which were (automatically) set up when opening the file will be set as the parameters in the XMP file.
  • The settings for reading embedded XMP blocks are described below in the “Embedded XMP blocks” section.

Exposure compensation and white balance are written to newly created XMP files according to the setting of Adobe Process Version in Preferences – XMP – Adobe process version for newly created XMP files.

To set color labeling scheme to be compatible with CaptureOne, set Preferences – XMP – Write photoshop:Urgency tag with color labels (for PhaseOne C1). This setting turns on the recording of the XMP-tag photoshop:Urgency, which is used by CaptureOne to recognize and set color labels.

Compatibility with RawPhotoProcessor (.rpps files)

FastRawViewer can create basic .rpps files (those contain conversion settings for RawPhotoProcessor).

The following parameters are recorded:

  • Exposure compensation.
  • White Balance.

This option is controlled through Preferences – Other – Write RPPS files checkbox. Another checkbox, Preferences – Other – Force RPPS files creation, forces the creation of .rpps files immediately after a RAW file is opened in FastRawViewer, with automatic exposure compensation and current white balance recorded as initial settings.

To import such .rpps files for further use, while in RawPhotoProcessor navigate to Menu - Settings - Import Multiple settings and select both RAW and .rpps files in the folder that you wish to process. The settings in .rpps files will be imported into RawPhotoProcessor History and the corresponding RAW files will be opened using the parameters you've set in .rpps files.

Ratings and Labels

FastRawViewer can set XMP ratings and XMP labels that are compatible with Adobe products (and other programs which support XMP).

Ratings are set as a number from 1 to 5. The setting is changed via Menu– XMP Metadata or by pressing the 1…5 buttons in the XMP Metadata panel.

To clear the rating, please press [X] button in the upper row of the XMP Metadata panel, or you can also use Menu – XMP Metadata – No Rating.

For the compatibility with Adobe Bridge FastRawViewer supports Reject rating (-1). To enable this, set Preferences – XMP – Use XMP Reject rating to ON (this is also switched on automatically if XML Label style: Adobe Bridge is selected).

As the result, the button [R] is displayed in the row for setting the rating, and the action Reject appears in the Label menu.

Color labels are named with text, and 4 styles of labels are supported:

  1. Adobe Bridge style (Select, Second, Approved, Review, To Do).
  2. Adobe Lightroom style, color marks (Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple).
  3. Adobe Lightroom ‘Review Status’ style (To Delete, Color Correction Needed, Good to Use, Retouching Needed, To Print).
  4. Custom user labels.

You can select the appropriate label style through Preferences–XMP–XMP Label Style section. For the Custom style you can also edit the names for the labels.

Setting and changing the label for the image is performed through Menu– XMP Metadata or by pressing the colored squares in the XMP Metadata panel. To delete the label, press the [X] button in the row for setting the label, or use Menu – XMP Metadata – Clear Label.

When turning on the Read Only XMP mode, labels are read from XMP files, but the program prevents any changes to them.

Embedded XMP blocks

Many RAW file formats can contain XMP blocks embedded in the file itself. In FastRawViewer they often can be treated as placeholders, since they contain just an empty label and a rating of zero, so there is no point in using these blocks. Moreover, the analysis of the metadata can be fairly time-consuming, especially when RAW files are located on a network drive or a slow HDD. For the aforementioned reasons, the analysis of embedded XMP blocks is, with default preferences, turned off – most users will get only a slow-down of their workflow and zero benefit.

However, in a few cases, these blocks can contain meaningful data, in particular:

  • When using the DNG format, and editing metadata using Adobe programs, the XMP data is recorded in the DNG file, not in separate XMP sidecar files.
  • When setting ratings to images with the camera (for example, Canon cameras can do this).
  • Some cameras (in particular, some Leica models) assign all shots the “Red” label, probably so that the new (unsorted) images stand out immediately when looking at them in Lightroom.

In the aforementioned cases, it is recommended that one turn on Preferences – XMP – Read ratings/labels from XMP blocks embedded into RAW files.

Title and Description

FastRawViewer can record the title and description of the image in XMP files.

To call up the editing dialog, use Menu – Metadata – Edit Title/Description or the corresponding macro (Alt-D), or double-click on the title or description field in the XMP Metadata panel; this summons the editing dialog:

After editing the name and description they are shown in:

  1. The floating tooltip in the Filmstrip/Thumbnails panel.
  2. The XMP Metadata panel: