I have been sent a Lightroom catalog of about 500 images to edit. I have done that. The client just wants me to send back the xmp files to add to his raw files, which makes sense, since it's only data, I can just emai it to him. The question is , does LR still create xmp files without the raw files to place them next to ? Maybe I just have to create a new catalog and send that back. I have the auto save to xmp ticked

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you saying you don't/won't have the actual RAW files; and you want to know if you can create XMPs just based on a catalog? \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Jan 10, 2016 at 4:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi, my client has them, and yes does Lightroom create xmp files just based on the catalog \$\endgroup\$
    – Robert
    Jan 10, 2016 at 7:04

1 Answer 1


Several ifs involved here. If you can see an image to edit I would assume that the originals were saved with smart previews enabled. If so, any edits to the preview will be applied to the original when the xmp's which are created are 'reunited' with the originals. According to Adobe:

"Note: Smart Previews are stored in the [Catalog Name] Smart Previews.lrdata file, located in the same folder as the catalog."

See this Adobe link for more info:

So I'd assume that if you send the catalog folder back to your client the edited previews and xmp files would be sent as well.


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