Using XMPs with Lightroom

So, you’ve read through our introduction to XMPs and have decided to take the plunge.  You sent in your RAW image files to Post, and we’ve returned to you a set of XMP files.  Now what?

Now you need software which can combine the RAW and XMP files to show you the final product. At Post we use and highly recommend Adobe Lightroom (get it here).  Assuming you have Lightroom installed and are familiar with the basics, here’s what you need to do to work with the XMPs you’ve received.

1. On your computer, open the folder which contains the RAW files you sent to Post.  Note that it’s very important that these images not be renamed or separated from each other after sending them to Post.  If the RAW files have been renamed, the XMPs won’t know which file to match up with.

Left: the original RAW files — Right: the XMP files from Post

2. Copy the XMP files you received from Post into the folder with the original RAW images.  Your folder should now have one XMP file for each RAW file.

3. Open Lightroom, create a new catalog and import the images from the above folder.  Alternatively, if you already have a Lightroom catalog with the files imported, open it and choose “Read Metadata from Files” from the “Metadata” menu.

That’s about it!  As the files are imported, Lightroom reads the XMP data and applies the changes to the images.  This may take a few minutes, so be patient if the images don’t immediately look like they’ve been modified.

At this point, you can see the corrected images as intended (you do calibrate your monitor, right?), but they are not in a format which can be put to use.  When you are ready to order prints or upload to your online gallery, you just need to export the images into JPG format.  Alternatively, you can continue to work on the images to your heart’s content.

Do you have a question about XMPs?  Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.



  1. I’m new to Lightroom and tried what you suggested above but it only does 1 file even when I select multiple images. Do I really need to go image by image to have it read the XMP file? There must be a better way. I’ve Googled online and found another suggestion: Library-Previews-Render Standard-Sized Previews but that didn’t work either…

    Thank you!


    • Hi Vanessa, thanks for the question. You definitely should not have to do this file by file. Assuming you have an XMP for each RAW file in the correct location, you should be able to select all the images in LR and choose Metadata->Read Metadata from Files. If this is not working, double-check that your XMPs are in the correct directory and that you’re working with that same directory in LR. Sometimes it gets confusing when there are multiple copies of images lying around, and you might have the LR catalog pointed to a copy which does not have the XMPs. Also, check the XMPs you’re using and make sure they are the ones we sent back (their “modified on” date should be the same as — or close to — the date we sent them to you).

      If you continue to have problems, feel free to give us a call (678-578-8770), and we can help figure out what’s going on.

  2. Everything was in the right place since I could click on one and it would read the XMP file so I shut the program down then re-opened and tried again in the thumbnail view. Seems to be working now! Thanks for you quick response.


  1. […] Learn how to sync XMPs with your RAW files using Lightroom. We offer a video tutorial as well as a write-up. […]