PL 7 Keyword redundancy

Long time DxO user…just installed PL7 trial mode. Almost every folder of photos that I have contain multiples of “same” keywords…ie 4 different keywords of 2023 (keyword for each year) in list. Locations keywords also. When doing a "search for “2023” (or others) I will see a keyword entry with “2023” four times. In three of them there is only one file and the other will show the remaining number (in the case of the year, there will be hundreds). I can add that “single” file to the main “2023” keyword in the keywords list and deselect the single redundant keyword for each single entry…then “delete unused keywords from DxO database”. Needless to say, this is frustrating and time consuming. It should be noted that apps like Photo Mechanic, Graphic Converter, On1 PR 2023 all show the “yearly” and other keywords properly (no redundant keywords).

It appears that the PL7 database gets corrupted somehow, which is a recurring issue for me in past year’s PL apps. So I deleted the database files in (macOS) User/Library/Dxo7, then reopened PL7 and the files that I had corrected reappeared. My only “guess” at this point is that the .DOP sidecars (for the raw files) contain the surplus keywords along with all my edits for each year. Needless to say, deleting the .dop files is not an option. The other apps are reading just the xmp sidecars without the redundancy issue.

I will follow up with Tech Support in a couple of days if no one has any corrective suggestions.


Self follow-up…Selecting “Synchronize metadata with xmp sidecar files” under SETTINGS - METADATA seemed to solve the problem …mostly. There WAS 1 file that still had an outlier keyword…which was easily corrected. I “kinda” thought that this was a default feature. No idea why 1 file “2022” was separate from all the other “2022” AFTER the “synchronize with xmp sidecar files” was selected.

This is somewhat of a relief…BUT…the metadata handling remains a bit unstable in my view.

Any other considerations welcome…thanks

Whatever you do with keywords, try to do it in one app only. This helps to reduce or prevent issues with metadata exchange between apps.

1 Like

Unfortunately, DxO have not followed the principle of SPOD (single point of definition). So, with data held in XMP files, DOP files and the database, things were always going to be likely to get a bit flakey.

As @platypus wisely says, only use one app for metadata management. Which app do you usually use? And are you running on Mac or Windows?

Thanks for these replies. As mentioned in my original post, I use Mac and am uncertain if it behaves differently in Windows. The reference to DxO not using SPOD is a new term to me and probably accounts for the issue I described. From most of what I have read, Photo Mechanic is the gold standard of metadata management and makes the most sense for me to rely on for control (although it remains frustrating that they STILL do not have Universal or native Apple Silicon product.

As a big fan of PL (and Optics Pro) over the years, I am not knocking the processing, but data handling is mysterious in other ways. For example when traveling I USED to do some initial work in PL on a laptop, then backup to an SSD, then copy to desktop for final edits. MOST of the time, this generates a bunch of Virtual copies that are unwanted and hard to eliminate. As of PL6, there was no way to search for Virtual copies in order to bulk eliminate, BUT searching for “most recent” tended to be useful as a “work-around”. (Even deleting the hidden database files would not eliminate them). Again, it appears that these Virtual copies must exist in the .dop files along with actual edits, so deleting those would “throw out the baby with the bath water”. I have addressed this with Tech support several times and although they have been super helpful, they could not offer a solution. Accordingly, I am reluctant to use PL in the future on anything except my main desktop (Mac Studio).

I appreciate all the helpful advice and look forward to any additional suggestions.

@30west , SPOD stands for “single point of definition”.

Applied to your work, this could mean that you cull images and add keywords and whatnot in Photo Mechanic and do all the image editing on your desktop. Doing this would provide SPOD for the respective areas:

  • Metadata SPOD = Photo Mechanic on your notebook
  • Editing SPOD = DPL on your Desktop

…but if you edit your files in DPL on both computers, you still risk the virtual copies. To circumvent this risk, you could add new images to a folder called “NEW” on your notebook, edit, and then move them with DPL to the intended target folder on your desktop, where you’ll do the rest.

Thanks…but I’m not clear on what is meant by “move them with DPL” to the intended target on desktop. Does that mean copy the “new” folder from laptop to the desktop (computer), then from within the library tree in PL drag the folder somewhere? Once the folder is already on the desktop after moving it, doesn’t clicking on it automatically result in PL indexing it? I don’t see how that is different than what I had been doing…so I must be missing something.

Appreciate clarification if possible.


If you move your files outside of PL, it will not know it and take the files moved for new files while keeping the old files as a base.
While if you do it in PL it will take it into account and you will not have “ghosts files”.

Okay thanks. I’ll give it a try on a test folder.

Read this: Manage images and metadata in the Library tab – PhotoLab

Once you have connected your external ssd to your desktop computer…

  1. Open PhotoLab, select the Photo Library view.
  2. Select the NEW folder and make sure that the TARGET folder is visible in the left sidebar
  3. Drag image(s) from the Light table/film strip to theTARGET folder in the left sidebar.

You have to make sure that an image is only seen once per folder aka computer by DPL, or it will create virtual copies if the images seem to be identical, but show changes e.g. in its dop files.

The English text I linked above seems to be different from what I read in German: Bilder und Metadaten im Register Fotothek verwalten – PhotoLab
Imo, the English text says the same for copying and moving files, while DE and FR don’t. Also, different words are used: image explorer and image browser, both mean the light table part between the left and right sidebars. If they are different things, then what are they? There is no difference in Wording in DE. I find the search in the manual is not good enough. A glossary should help. And and/or a synopsis of what the different parts of the window are called in the manual…and then stick to these words! Other than that, the manual contains too many references to DPL6,and the subsections cannot be collapsed, which makes reading the manual on an iPad rather cumbersome.

1 Like

I think I finally understand the point now, but will need to go out and shoot some “new” photos to experiment with. I believe that my problem(s) originate with copying a folder of photos initially worked on the laptop, then copying that folder to an external SSD, then connectng that to the desktop computer. Perhaps that would be OK in itself, but I MAY have continued working the photos on both computers. It would SEEM that as long as the files and sidecars are kept intact, that this would be “workable”, but clearly not. The fact (per the documentation) that there is a LOT of duplicate information in BOTH the .dop sidecars AND the database results in herding cats.

I think the more reliable and robust method for ME will be to NOT use PL on the laptop, but instead use the Photo Mechanic Plus software to ingest and review photos for culling, rating and other metadata while “mobile”, then introduce the folder of photos to Pl on one (and only one) computer - OR - perhaps if the photos folders exist on a single SSD (not including backups), they can be worked from both machines.


You’d need to copy the DPL database to the external SSD and edit DPL’s preferences file to set the database location. I’ve tried it a few times and it worked, but it is not an officially supported way on Mac and might cause other issues.

Good morning,

and that still seems a difference between MAC/Win because on Win you are able to customise the path to database and cache directory

nice start into the week for all