How to get XMP Keywords Recognized and displayed by PL3.1.1 build 4314

I have XMP files with keywords created by another program and these files are associated with specific DNG files but the keywords are not displayed in PL when the DNG files are opened in the customize module. I don’t want to have to add these keywords individually to my DNG files as this would be a “PITA”. Exiftool recognizes and displays these keywords properly as does ExifPilot. have I been laboring under a mis-assumption that PL3.1.1 build 4314 will display the XMP keywords when the DNG files are opened in the customize module. Maybe I haven’t been doing the refresh proceedure correctly. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Hello @larrymc,

Could you, please, provide me with sme of your images+XMP? Please, upload them to under your forum name (instead of the support ticket number) and let me know when ready.

Thank you,
Svetlana G.

Note: I’m on Mac, so things might be different…

When I open a folder of images that have keywords in .xmp sidecar files from Lightroom, the keywords are read by DPL as promised.

Other than that, DPL should read the keywords when you created an index in the library module. Please not that some issues are associated with this: Keywords that you create in DPL only live in DPL’s database. Keywords cannot be written into sidecar files (yet). Moreover, creating an index (in the library module) can create virtual copies if you index a folder that is already selected.

Hi Svetlana,

I have uploaded three DNG files and the three associated .XMP files just now. I may be laboring under a false assumption that PL3 can read and display the XMP when the DNG file is opened. The XMP files are written with Zoner ZPS X when I add keywords after downloading from my camera’s SD card.

OK, does DPL not only read the keywords in the .xmp file but does it display the keywords that it read when in the customize module without having to add the keywords? Maybe I’m expecting too much and I probably should continue using the DAM in Zoner to do my keyword searches.


I use Zoner as a dam and pixel editor and will continue to do so because DPL’s keywording is very young (though it works very well for what it is).

The more I read of problems with keywords the more I’m convinced that keywords belong to the main/master file.
I don’t know much of the xmp-files, but can’t you add those files to the image-file? I think they are read then . Not sure.


Keywords aren’t a problem but will be if they are written to the DNG or other RAW file even if they could be because you are altering the DNG or RAW file. BTW, PL3 writes keywords to the .JPG file when exporting and its displayed in the customize menu of the particular selected .JPG file. So, PL3 does recognize the .XMP sidecar file and uses it when the developed DNG is exported to .JPG but it will not display it in the Customize module of the DNG or RAW file.

Hello Larry,

The issue is not in DNG but in the xmp itself. For example, if I open your images first in Lightroom and save the metadata there -> I see your keywords in PhotoLab:

Btw, ExifTool does not see the keywords as well:

Svetlana G.

Thanks Svetlana,

Since I don’t have the luxury of Light Room, I guess I’ll keep doing my keywording as I have been with the DAM in Zoner which works for me. I was thinking I was doing something wrong in PL but I guess not. Thanks again.

After doing a bit of reading about how Lightroom handles the XMP data, I can see how saving the DNG file in Lightroom and then opening the DNG file in PL results in the Keywords showing in PL. Apprarently Lightroom writes XMP data to the DNG file when saving in Lightroom.

After a bit more research I find that Zoner has the ability to write XMP data to DNG files exactly the way Lightroom does but they don’t recommend doing it. So since Zoner has an excellent DAM I’ll just do my Keyword work in Zoner and do my DNG processing in PL.


1 Like

You see you can add keywords to a raw file. Both the iptc and xmp and maybe others are just sections that are added tot the original raw file as a kind of comment. The data or the original file isn’t changed.
Adding keywords to a raw image should be done to the raw file itself, keywords are not related to the editing program. Having them added to the raw file makes them visible to all other programs and can always be added to the jpg etc. Only the difference between the iptc and xmp sections has to be solved. The use of catalogues or things like that won’t change.


As a test, I used Zoner to write to the Pentax K-3 generated DNG File but I found that the resulting DNG file was smaller than the original so rather than taking a chance of losing valuable data I choose to write to the Sidecar XMP. BTW, the file went from 28,249 Kb to 25,559 kb that’s a 2,690 Kb loss of data that I’m not wanting to lose. I’m not sure if the same happens when other programs write to the file but I’m tired of being concerned about writing XMP to the DNG other things are much more important to me.:slightly_smiling_face:

Not a good idea. Things like keywords should be kept in the ‘standard’ XMP sidecar file, which is exactly were most processing programs expect to find that data. On the other hand, keywords and other metadata should be embedded in JPG and DNG files, by standard convention.

Just keywords. I don’t know what more things you mean.
A sidecar file is meant to keep info of the used program in some way… A keyword is a hint to the content of the picture.To me a keyword belongs to the image itself. And I want to make a selection of my raw files independent of a used program, just with any file browser.
Read wiki From the capter ‘embedding’:
Embedding metadata in files allows easy sharing and transfer of files across products, vendors, platforms, without metadata getting lost; embedding avoids a multitude of problems coming from proprietary vendor-specific metadata databases”.
I really don’t see problems adding keywords to the raw file. I am doing it, all the converters I could try are reading them, including PL.


You left out important parts of the ‘embedding’ section:

Embedding metadata in files allows easy sharing and transfer of files across products, vendors, platforms, without metadata getting lost; embedding avoids a multitude of problems coming from proprietary vendor-specific metadata databases.

XMP can be used in several file formats such as PDF, JPEG, JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, GIF, PNG, WebP, HTML, TIFF, Adobe Illustrator, PSD, MP3, MP4, Audio Video Interleave, WAV, RF64, Audio Interchange File Format, PostScript, Encapsulated PostScript, and proposed for DjVu. In a typical edited JPEG file, XMP information is typically included alongside Exif and IPTC Information Interchange Model data.

For file formats that have no support for embedded XMP data, this data can be stored in external .xmp sidecar files.

Note that the list of file formats does not include any raw formats such as NEF. Nor are Keywords supported in the Windows file browser (although other metadata such as Copyright and Camera Maker are supported for both raw and jpg/etc files). Adobe, PL and other converters transparently read Keywords stored in XMP sidecar files, which may make it look like they’re in the raw file, but they’re not.

It’s not meant as a full listing of files. The Nikon NEF by example is a TIFF based file.
Have a look here at the section ‘description’ at the top of the file. There you see the filetypes exiftool can handle.

One may wonder if a raw-converter is the right place to deal with this or not. But it is possible. Adding keywords to the raw-file means that the keywords can be used in other converters and file browsers. I do add the keywords using CaptureNx2 and ViewNx2, both Nikon converters. But Nikon did leave the edit market so the newer models are not supported.

I don’t know about your specific situation, but when adding something to something that first something should grow. Have a look what happens if you use a “Save As” in Zoner without editing anything. You force a diskwrite and compare the filesizes then.


Embedding user-writable metadata in the files which support it (see list in responses 14 and 15 above) should increase the size of the image file. In such a case, it is expected that the “keywords” field is consistent with the “keywords” field in the IPTC metadata.
In most cases IPTC metadata can be written to these files, or can be saved as XMP sidecars.

I have looked at the metadata saved by Nikon in their raw (NEF) files with Exiftool. There is a surprisingly large amount of data, but very few of these fields are writable. I found that I could write “copyright” and “user comment” to nef files with the Exiftool commands [ -xmp:usercomment=“some text here” filename.nef] and [-xmp:copyright=“info” filename.nef] respectively. I could find no entry for keyword(s), thus indicating that this information must be stored elsewhere by PL3.

I personally use Photo Mechanic to classify and catalog my files on ingestion. Others use other programs as noted above. I do all of my processing in PL3 on the raw images and do not do my conversion to DNG until the end (late binding). Thus, it is imperative that I maintain all of my metadata in xmp sidecars and thus have a very robust backup system so that the sidecars do not get separated from the raw images. I use many of the roughly 100 IPTC fields to classify my images and cannot be limited only to the “keywords” field that is now used, especially since that field is not compatible with the IPTC keyword field in the sidecar.

It would be a great help if DxO would have their metadata fields at least read xmp sidecars and allow their search engine to use many of the IPTC fields. For me, being able to write IPTC metadata in PL3 to the sidecar is not important (bout would be nice), but it is critical that I have a way to be able to search on these data in order to create projects in PL3.

In fact, PhotoLab does read XMP sidecar fields, and uses the contents (keywords and a wide range of other metadata tags) to write metadata to output files (JPG files in my case).

DxO is just beginning to get into the realm of metadata management (an incredibly complicated field due to differing and inconconsent standards used by the major players including camera companies), and it’s likely to take a while for them to get beyond initial steps. If you’re interested in anything beyond the bare essentials, you should rely on other digital asset management programs for now. (I use IMatch, but other solutions may serve your needs.)