Working with Multiple Catalogs

In Capture One you are not restricted to working in any one Catalog or Session at a time.

Switching between Catalogs Pro

If Capture One is open and you have previously created a Catalog, you can open and run another and switch between them, without having to close one. You can also open and work in a Session in the same way, when needed.

  1. Go to the Library tool tab and select a Catalog from the drop down menu.
  2. A Catalog will open in a new window.

Exporting a Catalog Pro

Any Catalog Collection, Folder or User Collection (Album, Smart Album, Group or Project) in an existing Catalog may be exported as a new separate Catalog, that can be shared and worked on by colleagues.

  1. From the Library tool, under Catalog Collections, User Collections or Folders, select the folder to be exported as a new Catalog. If certain images from one or more folders are required to be exported, create a dedicated album to export.
  2. Right-click (Windows) or control-click (Mac) the relevant folder or album and select Export as Catalog… Alternatively, select the folder or album and from the main menu, select File > Export as Catalog…
  3. From the dialog box, specify a name for the Catalog to be exported, and select a destination.
  4. Check mark the Include Originals box to add referenced image files, if required. Selecting this option will make a copy of the original image files (if they’re available to Capture One) and place them inside the Catalog. Any managed images selected (i.e. originals stored within the Catalog) will be copied regardless. Note, including the original images as managed files when exporting will increase the size of the Catalog proportionately.   

Deleting a Catalog

You cannot delete a Catalog from within Capture One. This can only be achieved from the Finder/Explorer (Mac/Windows). Warning! Deleting a Catalog with source images inside will also result in the loss of those files. You can check to see if a Catalog has any source images inside from the Library. There will be a number displaying the total next to the Catalog folder under the Folders sub-heading.

  1. Navigate to the Catalog (<name>.cocatalog) file in the Finder/Explorer (Mac/Windows), click on it and select Move to Trash/Recycle Bin (Mac/Windows).
  2. The Catalog along with the previews and adjustments will be moved to the system trash. Warning! Any source images files inside the Catalog (if there are any) will also be moved to the trash.
  3. Emptying the trash/recycling bin will permanently delete the Catalog (and potentially any source image files residing in the Catalog). Warning! This action cannot be undone.

Capture One doesn’t have an option to delete a catalog. This can only be achieved from the Finder/Explorer (Mac/Windows).

Offline browsing

Catalogs referencing source images that are located on an external hard drive or a server can still be browsed when they are offline. It is even possible to apply some image adjustments. Working offline can prove useful when, for example, you are working with a laptop and away from your image collection in the studio. A number of adjustments and metadata edits can be made.

  1. Go to the Folders section of the Library tool. By default the folder hierarchy shows the root folder, and the folder the images are stored in.
  2. To see the complete hierarchy, right-click on the folder and choose Show Folders Hierarchy. If the external location is unavailable, it will be flagged with a question mark. The image in the Viewer will also be tagged with a question mark and shown as offline. (See circled).
  3. Apply adjustments using the available tools. Tools that are grayed out cannot be used when the source images are offline. The full-range of Capture One’s toolset will become available once the Catalog is re-connected with the source images. 

Video tutorial: Offline browsing

Learn more about Offline Browsing in this video tutorial, and how to relocate images when they become seperated from the Catalog. (Click on the image to the right).

If your images are no longer online with the current Catalog, they can still be browsed and some image adjustments made. This is useful if you keep your cataloged files on external drives or servers but would still like to browse 'offline'.

Sharing and working in the same Catalog Pro

It is possible for several people to share and work on the same Catalog. It is also possible to lock a Catalog (restricting it to a 'View Only' mode) to ensure no changes can be made to it.

To lock a Catalog...

  1. Go to File > Lock Catalog...
  2. A dialog box will appear. Press the Lock button and the window will reopen.
  3. A locked Catalog can be opened by multiple users simultaneously, but no changes can be made to it. Notice the icon in the bottom right corner of the thumbnail. (See circled). All editing tools will also become disabled.  
  4. Go to File > Unlock Catalog... to remove the restrictions.