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non-destructive editing and sidecar on1 files



  • Rick Sammartino Community moderator

    Your edits are always kept in the catalog but there is no way to back up the catalog or move your edits to another location, so if you enable sidecars you get a copy of your edits in the .on1 file so you can keep your work and the original file together.  This allows you to move or backup your files without losing anything.

    On1 also uses the .xmp file for metadata. If your file can contain metadata you can embed it but the .xmp will keep that info with the photo the same as the .on1 does.

  • Alberto Guglielmi

    So let's say I change computer in a year, unless I have the sidecars, I would not be able to get my info over on the new computer on photoraw, correct?

    As the next question, what I would do in that case with all my albums?

  • Rick Sammartino Community moderator

    That's correct. If you change computers you're going to need to save your photos anyway, just make sure you take the sidecars with them. If you don't have sidecars enabled right now, you should turn that on.

    As for albums, you'll have to recreate those. I don't know how your albums are set up but you could give all the photos in an album a unique keyword so that you can sort them later. You'll need to keep the .xmp files with the photos too of course. If you use smart albums they can populate themselves. It's just a matter of thinking ahead.


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