Enhanced Photo Organizing in Exposure X3 with Keywords

By | |Tutorials, Exposure|

Exposure X3 is coming soon, and it brings lots of new functionality with it. One exciting new feature is Exposure’s full support of keywords. Check out the tutorial above and learn how the new keywords feature helps you organize and access your photo library.

Keywords enable you to group your images in a number of ways, which makes it easy to find your images no matter how large your photo library is. In Exposure, you can use the keyword indexing system that fits your style, either by using a simple flat list of keywords, or by creating a hierarchy by nesting keywords inside other keywords. Keywords are particularly useful in situations where large numbers of photos need to be quickly searched, like photojournalism and stock photography.

There are tons of new features coming in Exposure X3. Stay tuned to learn more!

Exposure X4

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About the Author:

Finley Lee is the CEO of Alien Skin Software. He's a hobbyist photographer, electric bass player, video gamer, bread baker, and experienced napper.


  1. Mark Roberts October 1, 2017 at 9:13 am - Reply

    I’ve been following all the upgrades and really enjoy your product. So easy to use and get amazing results. I have X2 and want to know about upgrading to X3.

    Thanks so much,



    • Finley Lee October 2, 2017 at 10:13 am - Reply

      Thanks for the kind words, Mark. As a owner of Exposure X2, you’re eligible for our $99 upgrade pricing. We’re working hard to finalize the product and hope to have a shipping announcement very soon.

  2. Luca Rajna October 2, 2017 at 3:26 am - Reply

    Very very interesting. This is a must program for photographers!

  3. David Mantripp October 11, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

    It looks like a very thorough keywording implementation, pretty good for a first version. Is possible to import/export keyword sets following any kind of standard structure ? If X3 can “play nice” with DAM applications this would be a very compelling reason to upgrade from X2. But if it creates another “keyword silo”, not so much.

    I guess the next obvious request is to combine keywords with collections to create smart collections…

    • Jimmy Beech October 11, 2017 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Thanks for commenting, David. Exposure X3 can extract standard XMP keywords from image file metadata. And Exposure can import and export keyword sets, but it can only do this using its own format. Additional support of importing/exporting keyword sets with other apps is something I can suggest to the development team.

      Smart collections is a feature we have on the roadmap for a future version of Exposure.

  4. Alberto April 12, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Is there any plan to implement a real structured keyword list? Flat keyword and set are useful but not enought to keep organized the library.
    Sets are limited at one level while sometime there is a need for a deep structure to keep all the relevant keyword together. See the examples below.
    Set is something like this:
    Useful but now what if I need to stay organized with places? I need a more deep structure:
    To stay with the above examples, to keyword properly a picture I need a lot of sets or a plain keyword list where missing some keyword is basically sure. In my example also I have put synonyms into the braces to tag with both (or more), linked keyword a photo with a click. Places are easy, flower or animals following taxonomy is much more complicated, and really need the support of synonyms and more levels. The picture of a tulip can be a set under flower, the photo of a tulipa sweetheart for a lot of people is nested in LILIACEAE>TULIPA{TULIP}>TULIPA SWEETHEART
    I’m trying Exposure X3, I find this software amazing and well done, the things that I’m missing are perspective correction, CA correction and better keyword implementation. I think that your team did, and are doing a great work, hope to see this three things implemented.

    • Jimmy Beech April 13, 2018 at 11:57 am - Reply

      Thanks for commenting, Alberto. Exposure supports parent/child keywords, which enable you to assemble a deeply structured organization system with as many levels as you want. An example screenshot is just below. In the keyword set ‘Example,’ is the parent keyword ‘Animals.’ Within that is the parent keyword ‘Mammal.’ Within that, ‘Cat.’ And within that, ‘Lion.’ The lion species common name keywords are child keywords. Assigning any of those will also include all the parent keywords in the structure, which makes quick work of searching for specific images.

      Parent/Child Keywords Example

      Your keyword synonyms suggestion is a good idea. I’ll make sure the design team hears about it.

      I will make notes about your comments on perspective correction and chromatic aberration in the appropriate project logs. They are both on our list of features to consider adding in a future version of Exposure.

  5. oliver April 16, 2018 at 12:33 pm - Reply


    congratulations first of all to a really amazing gem! it wins hearts instantly. the no DB philosophy alongside speed is really superb!

    seconding that call for interoperable metadata!
    – as David said in this thread: making Exposure “‘play nice” with DAM applications” seems like something more professional users, as you are aiming at, will definitely want and indeed *need*. so I encourage you strongly to suggest that “Additional support of importing/exporting keyword sets with other apps”.

    I know AlienSkin comes from the filter/film emulation side. but as you enter into metadata use and the like, I´d think sticking with interoperability also in the field of metadata would be something ‘looking good and supporting the overall clout of professionalism that AlienSkin has/deserves. as someone working with image archives and year long history with metadata systems (for personal management as well as in pro contexts), I can tell you: in the end no keyword system is better than one that doesn´t play with the standards + other apps. this will be a source of frustration to all serious users otherwise, and it takes Exposure out of the center of any workflow for people who work with keywords/metadata.. (and you surely wouldn´t even consider such an approach of insular functionality for so-called ‘content’ + image file-formats themselves, right?! 😉 )

    I am personally 2 clicks away from jumping at (buying) Exposure and would love to see it can become the serious go-to choice in the suite of photo-apps on my machine for the slick feel + robust it has. but as long as it is ‘autistic’ in relation to (central) metadata, I will have to stop myself from giving in to that temptation and will have to put Exposure back on a second row seat, going with other apps that I rather would like to ditch for something more integral like Exposure…

    best + keep up that good path!

    ps: having synonyms, smartfolders … all that would be nice, indeed terrific! … but before you do ‘b’ and ‘c’, you should do the ‘a’. having an non-interoperable metadata-scheme, as I said, is the equivalent of having your own image format to save the beautiful results of AlienSkin-filter/-processing. and in all other aspects ALienSkin is praising the way it would work together in workflows with other photo-apps… which is really a good point to make 😉

  6. oliver April 16, 2018 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    hey Finley,

    just to say that you can ditch the second comment (the ‚PS‘).
    I am not yet sure why; but somehow the keywords from external files do now proliferate in Exposure. somehow there was some (long) latency; and though I am not yet understanding the source/mechanics of this lag, I guess it would be unhelpful to lay that to the feet of Alien Skin.
    … still, my general plea for an interoperational working of keywords/metadata between Exposure and other apps is still the same, and I would still second David on this 🙂

    best! oliver

    • Finley Lee April 16, 2018 at 5:35 pm - Reply

      Hi Oliver,

      Thanks for the comments! I’m a fan of supporting open standards and would like to write metadata in a way that is visible to other applications. We haven’t yet started to tackle this as there are some other big things on our plate at the moment. I have recorded your feedback for when we are able to work on it.

  7. Alberto April 17, 2018 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    Thanks for answering Jimmy. I’m trying X3 and more I use it more I like it. As a side note, to me really important I found in the metadata panel in the far right the menù which allow to import your own plain text file with keywords and sets. This is great!

    • Jimmy Beech April 17, 2018 at 5:27 pm - Reply

      No problem, Alberto. It’s great to hear that you’re liking Exposure. Thanks for sharing!

  8. J.Galhoz June 17, 2018 at 11:17 am - Reply

    I’m using Exposure 3 more then Capture One…that says all…!
    The other day I misspelled a keyword…how can I get rid of it?

    • Jimmy Beech June 18, 2018 at 12:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks for commenting! Yes, you can easily remove or rename keywords in Exposure. You can access the Keyword Library at the bottom of the Metadata panel. Simply right-click on your misspelled keyword and choose Rename or Delete.

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