XMP File: How to Open and Convert

xmp file logo XMP is an image file format created during editing a RAW file in Lightroom and Camera RAW (Photoshop plug-in). It contains information about the settings of the converted RAW file. This format is used to save files in Lightroom, which is considered to be one of the most versatile and popular programs for photo editing.
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What is XMP File?

An XMP file contains metadata that describes a document, such as an image, database or web page. It may be a description of a file, its title, keywords, author’s name, date of creating and other information. All of this is saved in a standard format that can be found through applications compatible with the XMP format. The format is supported by Adobe software and different third-party programs.

If you copy a combination of RAW + XMP, you can open an already edited RAW file on any computer (regardless of the platform and programs).

  • All changes are saved to a file
  • Enhanced security to save all your edits if crashes occur
  • Edits can be transferred between catalogs
  • Can cause loading issues sometimes
  • Can greatly slow down the performance of Lightroom if it is enabled
  • Only Adobe software can fully read edits in the XMP file
  • Learn more about different formats by checking out information about PDF file.

How to Open a XMP File?

XMP files are not meant for a manual opening like PNG, JPG or BMP. Instead, they are referenced by the application used to open the corresponding file of the unedited image. However, you can open the XMP file in a text editor to view metadata. Since this format has been developed by Adobe, you can see it in such programs as Photoshop or Lightroom, as well as continue editing the file itself.

There are also a few popular alternative programs that you can use to open the XMP files. They will be helpful for those who are not going to purchase a paid program for opening and editing this file format.

Installing New .XMP Lightroom Presets

Step 1. Download Lightroom presets and open them in the saved folder.

Step 2. Open Lightroom.

Step 3. In the Presets window, go to your Develop module (in the upper right corner)

Step 4. Click “+” and then select “Import Presets”.

Step 5. Select the preset files and click the Import button. They will be added.

Installing the .XMP Format as a Folder

Step 1. Select “Preferences” on the Lightroom (for Mac) or Edit (for Windows) menu.

Step 2. Go to the Presets tab and click on the Show Lightroom Presets Folder button.

Step 3. After the Camera Raw folder opens, select “Settings” and download the folder with presets.

Lightroom Alternatives for Opening XMP

Adobe software. If you use paid versions of Adobe, you can open and edit XMP files in such programs as Adobe Extensible Metadata Platform, Adobe Bridge, Adobe Prelude and Adobe XMP Toolkit.

ACDSee Pro. ACDSee Pro uses XMP to embed ACDSee metadata in each file. When making changes to the ACDSee image, they are saved as an XMP file in the original location of the edited file on the hard disk. Only some file formats and file extensions support XMP. These include GIF, JPEG, DNG, PNG, PSD and TIFF.

Darktable. XMP data files are connected with Darktable. The XMP file is Darktable Sidecar Data. Darktable is an open-source app for working with photos. When you first import an image into Darktable, an XMP file is automatically created with the default settings.


  • What function does an XMP file perform?

An XMP file is a metadata file used by Adobe programs, such as Photoshop and Adobe Bridge free. XMP (Extensible Metadata Platform) files are saved in a standard text format that you can look for in XMP-compatible applications.

  • How can I create an XMP file?
  1. Open an Adobe application, for example, Adobe Fireworks.
  2. Click on the "File" button on the top navigation bar and then click "File Info."
  3. Click "Save" in the "Advanced" section of the File Info dialog box.
  4. Add the name of your XMP file to the File Name input box and choose a location where you want to save it.
  • What is an XMP file in Lightroom?

It’s a special text file that comprises all the edits or metadata changes that you have made to your RAW files. The file shown above is the .xmp file for the RAW one with the same name but with the .xmp extension.

  • Is it possible to delete XMP files?

If your picture is exported in JPEG format, you can safely do whatever you want in the RAW source. XMP files are just an archived history of a RAW file editing steps and it has nothing to do with the exported JPEG file. However, it’s better not to delete XMP files as they can be useful in the future and don’t take much memory.

  • Can I convert an XMP file into lrtemplate?

To convert XMP to lrtemplate, you need to:

  1. Place a preset in XMP format and any RAW file in a new folder.
  2. Give both files the same name without affecting the extension.
  3. Open the RAW file in Adobe Lightroom.
  4. Save changes to the preset supported by your version of Lightroom.

Ann Young

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