DOP file values being lost when moving images with Photolab

I am using the Photolab 5.0.2 on Windows 10. I have applied keywords to some of my images. I have verified that these keywords are correctly present in the DOP files. If I move or copy these images with Photolab to another folder then the keywords do not follow in the database - and the DOP file is being rewritten without them!
Another problem - most image adjustments are correctly transferred when I move or copy an image with Photolab. However, if I have rotated an image (because it was taken in portrait mode, for example) then this rotation is getting removed during the move/copy so I have to redo this afterwards.
And a further one - the “Picked” tag is not being transferred and is being reset.
Don’t know if there are any others not being transferred properly.
A simple look using a text editor shows that the DOP file is not just being transferred and reloaded in the move/copy process - it is being completely rewritten with entries in a completely different order. This makes me think that the DOP file for the image in the new location is being created before all the data in the original DOP file has been loaded.
These are all extremely irritating and seem to have been around for some time: I have noted reports of similar behaviour in PL3, for example.
I have found that if I manually export the Metadata for an image before I move/copy it then the keywords and the rotation are correctly transferred, although the state of the “Picked” tag is still lost. The difference here is that XMP files are being created and the missing values are in these files (as well as in the DOP files). This extra manual process is an irritation. I suspect that if I check the synchronise metadata preference option then things might improve, but I have no interest or use for XMP files so why do I have to activate this feature when Photolab’s native files have all the information in them already?

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Might there be some commonality with this issue ?

John M

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Good morning,

To have this data stored when you copy/move files from folder to folder you have to enable this option (Auto synchronization):

Svetlana G.

Is that not going to adversly effect using an external DAM?

I agree in as much as the other issue refers to loss of tag data. However the other issue seems more concerned about moving between different versions of PL. My observation is what happens when moving an image using the same version of PL. My observation also covers a lot more attributes.

Not sure what you mean by this. If PL has assigned an attribute to an image then when I change the location of that image using PL then I would expect the attrributes that I set originally to applt to that image in its new location. External DAM seems irrelevant in this case (and I don’t use one anyway).

Yes but we have been told when using an external DAM not to enable this setting.

Dear Svetlana, I am aware of this setting, but as is detailed in the screenshot this relates to synching between PL and XMP sidecar files. I don’t have a need for XMP files so I would expect attributes set using PL would be preserved when I move an image using PL without the need to use some external filetype like XMP. At best your suggestion is a workaround for a failing of DXO to adequately anaylyse the Use-Cases when adding Keywords to DOP files. There is the other issue of why the image orientation setting and the Tag settings get lost when I move/copy a file using PL. Orientation, in particular, is an image adjustment just like changing the contrast and should not need any special steps to keep it synchronised!
I have made some more experiments. Having moved the image using PL (and losing keywords, orientation and tags) if I then overwrite the DOP file in the new location using Windows explorer (and I know this is not advised) with the DOP file from the original location then restart PL I see that the image in the new location has the Master copy and a Virtual Copy - this behaviour is documented in other threads and is to be expected. What is strange is that the Master copy has no keywords etc. but the new Virtual Copy has the Keywords, Orientation and Flags from the image in its original location - all this without using XMP files or the setting you advise or manually saving/loading sidecars and Metadata etc. So, PL is capable of reloading this data from a DOP file - but only when the image already exists in the database. As I wrote in my original post, it seems to me that PL is recreating the DOP file after a Move/Copy before it has completely loaded the information in the DOP file from the original image.

I set my PhotoLab apps to NOT automatically sync settings and metadata. This means that I have to think and then sync manually if I really want. While this might sound annoying, I found that this way of working is the one the works reliably.

The following is about transmitting info from PL4 to PL5, you might want to try a similar test nevertheless because of possible quirks in how PL reads/writes/syncs stuff…

I only have PL5 installed so transferring information between two versions is not an interest to me. But, if I move an edited image using PL from one file location to another then I would expect any attribute I set with PL to move around with that image without taking any special steps.


I agree, it’s the interest of *.dop files
Any modification made to the image must be stored in this file.

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One more quirk: If I copy the Correction settings from my Virtual Copy to the Master Copy then all the edits are transferred. If I copy the Metadata in a similar manner then the Keywords and Tags are transferred. Neither of these operations transfers the Rotation setting of the image - why is this?

Agreed. My point is to look for reasons and workarounds that will help DxO to fix the bug and help you to be able to do your thing, respectively…
a) check, in Explorer, if the move includes the sidecar file(s) and
b) check if a manual import will bring settings back (auto settings on/off)

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Moving the file with PL results in a DOP file appearing in the destination folder. However, this is not the original DOP file, it is a recreation of the original with all the adjustments that have been made apart from: The Keywords, The image orientation and the Tags (as far as I have checked). A manual import either of Metadata or Sidecar does nothing because the information is no longer included in the DOP file.

@JeremySaul, can you redo that test after disabling automatic actions on settings and metadata files?

None of my tests were done with the Auto Synch active because this only works because it creates XMP files. The information is in the DOP files originally so it should be handled correctly and transparently by PL

Jeremy and all,
Not hijacking but only confirming …. I have the same issue with missing keywords, star ratings and orientations. I also only work within PL, editing and then copying the raw and .DOP file to an archive drive.
IF IT HELPS find the issue, the missing data issue began with the PL5 version update. PL4 and earlier versions copied/moved all without issue.

This certainly appears to be a PL5 bug. It won’t help you, but one of the reasons I use a digital asset manager (DAM) - in my case, IMatch - is that it will transparently copy ‘buddy’ files like .dop and/or .xmp files along with the original image. This bug seems to be in how DxO has implemented move/copy operations in its ‘DAM’. A workaround may be for you to copy/move both your raw file and the corresponding .dop file to the new location. Of course, you’d have to do this outside PL5 for the time being.

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