Catalog Users Glossary


An album allows the user arbitrarily create collections of images. Drag and drop images into an album from the Browser. Albums are virtual, meaning they only contain references back to the file. Therefore the same image can exist in many albums. 

Albums are typically used to create collections of favorite images, cull from larger groups or create subsets for further filtering. Any edits applied to an image in one album will be reflected in all other albums that contain the same image.


An album contains a fixed number of images. Drag and drop images into an album from the browser


A catalog is a method of file organization and viewing in Capture One Pro. It uses a centralized system of storing settings and previews inside a single catalog file.

The location of the actual image files can be on any disc location but can also be placed inside the catalog file itself. It is also possible to shoot directly into a catalog from a supported tethered camera. There are many ways to implement Catalogs in your workflow, giving you the freedom of choice to create the image library for your needs.

Once image files are imported to a catalog, further organization takes place using user defined elements: Projects, Albums, Smart Albums and Groups. The folders section is used as an overview as to the location of the orginal image files in the file system registered in the catalog.

A catalog is the primary method of file organization and viewing in Capture One Pro


Export converts the variant to a final file (e.g. Tiff or Jpeg). It has, ultimately, the same function as "Processing". For Express users, Export is the only option to convert to final file. Pro users can use either method.


A Group is a organizing item used within a catalog. It can not show images on its own. It can contain other Groups, Projects, Albums, and Smart albums.

A group is a freeform organizing item commonly used within a catalog. It can contain other groups, projects and albums etc. - it is a simple way to group items

Hot folder

If Capture One does not provide tethered support for a camera, it is possible to shoot tethered using a camera's proprietary software and a Hot Folder. A Hot Folder, in essence, will make Capture One auto select the newest images added to a (capture) folder.


The term Processing is inherited from the days of exposing photographic paper and chemically processing the image in a darkroom. It is used in this context to describe the conversion process from the "negative" (RAW) to a "print"  (e.g a Tiff or Jpeg). For the purposes of comparison it is the equivalent to Export. Processing, however, is more powerful than Export, and with a number of unique features.


A project (like a group) is an organizational element for catalog users.  It can exist on its own or inside a group. It can not show images. The main difference between a Project and a Group is that it is search limited for contained smart albums. A Smart album in a Project can only search other Albums within it, whereas a Smart album within a Group can search the entire catalog.

Organize your images into albums, your albums into projects and your projects into groups.

Smart album

A Smart Album is populated with images based on set search criteria. It is a virtual album, meaning it is only referencing images from other collections that meet that criteria. A Smart Album can (for example), search for all 5 star images in the catalog or session. Its contents will change if you add or remove 5 star images from images in the search. In a Session, all folders that are Favorites will be searched by Smart Albums. When in a Catalog, Smart Albums will search the entire catalog, unless nested in a Project.

A Smart Album only contains the references and adjustments that will be applied to all views of the image

Selects collection

The Selects Collection is used within a catalog. It functions in the same way as a Selects Folder although it is worth noting that when images are moved to the Selects Collection it does not need to move them on disk.

It is possible to assign any folder to make it a Selects Collection when you want to quickly transfer images from one folder to another. The Selects Collection function can come in particularly useful when you want to edit and move your best images into a different folder whilst browsing through multiple other image collections.

The Selects Collection are used within a catalog. It functions in the same way as a Selects Folder although it is worth noting that when images are moved to the Selects Collection it does not need to move them on disk


Attaching a camera to the computer via a cable and shooting images directly to the hard drive instead of memory card. Images are shown on screen as soon as they are on the hard drive.


Tokens (also refereed to as Dynamic locations when used with import and output) are variables which extract some metadata from the file and use it to make up the naming structures of elements in the workflow.

Depending on the tool used Tokens can be used to automate folder structures or name images.


A variant is used to describe an image in the browser that is somewhere between the RAW file and the final processed file. As Capture One is a non-destructive editor what is shown on screen is effectively a preview/render of the RAW plus adjustments before conversion to the final file.