Understanding the Library

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Your Library is where you store one or more catalogs of photos. It is a key part of the asset management system. It lets you access the master files (original photos) as well as all the versions that you create. You can read photo metadata, and search and browse for photos based on the associated metadata.

Review the information in this section, and when you're ready to start importing, see Importing images.

The Corel AfterShot Pro Library and catalogs

If you choose to use Corel AfterShot Pro's asset management features, you will start by importing images into a catalog. This catalog is where data and metadata for your photos will be stored. The Library consists of one or more catalogs, which store data such as:

Links to original master files (path information and file information)
Metadata for image searching and browsing
Image adjustment settings, and a complete editing history
Previews and thumbnails
Catalog-specific settings

Asset management is optional

Although importing your photos to the Library is recommended, it is not required. You can still view and edit photos and use the RAW file conversion features without adding files to your Library. How? You simply click the File System tab and navigate to the photos in the Directory View.

When would I not want to import photos?

Here are some examples of cases where you may choose not to import photos:

If you simply want to see what photos are on a memory card or other storage device. For example, if you want to grab a few RAW files from your friend's memory card, you can use the File System tab to find and view the photos. You can then copy only the photos that you want to your computer and import those photos.
If you already have an asset management application and don't want to replace it. For example, perhaps you have third-party software that copies and builds an image folder structure.
If you have many photos that you need to import and you simply want to get started quickly.

Features available after importing photos to the Library

After you import your photos to a catalog in your Library, you have full access to the following features:

Browsing multiple folders — select multiple folders and view all the thumbnails in the folders and subfolders in one flat view.
Full editing history — an editing log is maintained for every change that you make to photos and versions over time. If you do not import your photos, the edit log is maintained only for the current session (the log is cleared when you exit the application).
Image search — find images by searching for filename, EXIF, IPTC or other metadata.
Metadata browsing — browse through your catalog using EXIF, IPTC or other metadata.
Image stacks — group versions from one or many master files together into stacks.
Offline image browsing — find and manage images that are stored on offline media like CDs, DVDs or external hard drives.
Initial image settings — Corel AfterShot Pro stores the first set of adjustments found for every image when you import. This lets you quickly revert to these settings at any time. The Initial Settings might be the same as the Default Settings, or they might be different because they include any edits or adjustments made in Corel AfterShot Pro before importing.

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