Professor Tips

Share Your Catalogs with Others in Capture One Pro 7

Sometimes it is helpful to have more than one person access a Catalog for collaborative sharing. This sharing process is very easily achieved within Capture One Pro 7.

A simple feature exists within Capture One Pro 7 to keep the Catalog structure safe and to avoid the need for duplicating the Catalog itself or the images within.

Capture One Pro 7 Catalogs can either be in a Locked or Unlocked state. In the Locked state, multiple people can open and view the Catalog, but not make changes. In the Unlocked state the Catalog can only be open by one user at a time. That “admin” user will be able to make full changes and edits to the Catalog.

Sharing Catalogs in Capture One Pro 7

When you create a Catalog in Capture One 7, a .cocatalog file bearing the name you specified is created and on an Apple system it looks like this in the Finder.


This is the one Catalog file that contains everything Capture One 7 needs to open and display your images with the Catalog information. Double-clicking the .cocatalog file opens it in Capture One 7 on your computer.

The Catalog structure is a little different in Windows. A folder is created with the name of your Catalog and contains a few items that Capture One 7 needs to open and display the images with the Catalog information. The file circled in orange (below) is the equivalent to a .cocatalog file as seen above on the Mac platform.
2013-05-14_10-24-21You need to double-click this file to open the Catalog in Capture One 7 on your computer. You can of course also access Catalog files via the File>Open command (on Mac or Windows) within Capture One 7 and browse to the Catalog location. Catalogs are compatible between Mac and Windows, so you are not limited to one platform.

Locking and Unlocking Catalogs

When a user has a Catalog open in Capture One 7 it is by default locked and unable to access for other users.

warning600If you try to open an already open Catalog you will see a warning message like the one above.

This behaviour prevents two or more people editing a Catalog at the same time. In order to edit the contents of a Catalog one user must first close it before another user can open it. If you wish for multiple people to open a Catalog at the same time it must first be Locked.  To lock a Catalog go to File>Lock Catalog in Capture One.


When locking a Catalog, the following warning appears.


After clicking Lock, the Catalog will reload in a locked state.  Multiple users can now access the ‘Read Only’ Catalog. To return it to its unlocked state, simply choose File>Unlock Catalog.

Please note, that if sharing a Catalog on a network, network speed may affect the performance of browsing and editing the Catalog. Optimize your network to have the best experience sharing Capture One Catalogs. Use the fastest network speed possible and store your images on high speed hard drives.

All the best,

The Image Quality Professor
The Image Quality Professor

The digital pioneer, Niels V. Knudsen, is Phase One’s Image Quality Professor and founder of the IQP blog. Moreover, he is responsible for breakthrough advancements in image quality both in Phase One’s medium format camera systems and in Capture One Pro.

Comments (16)

I am a LightRoom user and while I have only used Capture One for a short time I am getting very attached to it. The one blocker for me is this: I work on-site in tethered mode on my laptop, and create a new Session for each job. Now I get back to the shop and want to move (yes move, not copy) the raw files from the laptop to my network file system. How best to go about this, without losing any adjustments I’ve made? Would I be better off using the Catalog rather than Sessions? That would certainly be better in the shop, though Sessions are handy in the field. Can I convert from Session to catalog?


this is how I work with sessions in the field or in the studio:

– open a new session per shoot/project or whatever
– shoot thethered to this session
– select and rate images
– create albums or smart albums for sorting images
– export tiff, psd for further processing
– import processed images, the output folder will update automatically (unlike catalogs)
– archive the whole session on my NAS

Now the important part:
– open a C1 catalog which stays on my internal HDD
– import the whole session stored on my NAS
– C1 will now create a project with all my session albums, ratings and metadata
– this includes ALL adjustments and output files

Further I can work with my images from the catalog, show them to others, print them later, etc. I found this the most flexible solution for me.

Feel free to ask futher if needed.


This works well. I had failed to realize that a Session could be moved around on disk so freely. The only small problem I had is that after importing the Session the Catalog ends up with a lot of ‘Capture’ ‘Output’ etc folders, so I need to view with ‘Show Folders Hierarchy’ selected to show the context.

Dave, make sure you import the session via the menu: File->Import Session. C1 will then import the session into a project and add all albums and folders underneath in the user defined albums. When working with a catalog you are not free to browse the file system with C1 as you are with sessions. The preferred way to sort browse your images are albums and projects. The folders tab is just for referencing your images location.

Sven, NOW I understand! I was using the standard Import Images when I should have been using Import Session. Now I get a hierarchy under Collections, headed with my Session name and containing the session structure. Much better! Thanks again Swen.

How is makeover photo above, windows are blue. I would like to know how to do

David Grover

Hi Marcin,

Its the reflection of the sky – no trickery there at all!

I do beleive though I increased saturation of the blue sky and lowered luminosity, which will have affected the windows too.

I store my pics on an external 3TB drive at home. I use my PhaseOne on my Macbook Pro to store my files, hence the catalogue resides on my

I hook the macbook to a cinema display at work and edit my pics offline as and when I get time.

Now, I also have a 27″ iMac at home and would want to continue editing the pics on that too. Is there a way to work on the same catalogue on both my machines?


David Grover

Hi Jiten,

I guess the easiest way would be to have the catalog on an external portable drive so you can move it between machines.


Pablo Serrano

Can a second user with access the unlocked catalog open a file from the catalog in Photoshop CC 2014?

David Grover

Hi Pablo,

No, the catalog can only be opened in Capture One.


Jon Foshaug


I represent a small firm that is in need of an imaging software that will work in network, and we are in the process of considering Capture One.

Question 1:
I wonder if it is possible to store all our image-files on the local hard drives of each user and store the catalog-file in a folder on the network so that the catalog-file is available for all the users?? The reason why we are thinking of doing it this way is because of the presumable shorter access-time to the image-files when they are stored on local HDs (instead of also storing the image-files in the folders on the network).

Question 2:
If we are not extremely careful with updating all the computers in the network when new pictures arrive, I can imagine that we every once and a while will experience that the catalog file does not correspond with the files found on that one not updated computer. Will C1 be able to handle this ??
Will we get an error message??

I am very grateful for your answers and comments!

Best regards,

Jon Foshaug

David Grover

Hi Jon,

Technically the Catalog file can be stored anywhere and the images can be stored anywhere. There is no limitation in that respect. A catalog can be locked so it is read only then multiple users can access it but not adjust images. Unlocked, only one person can access the catalog at a time.

The only potential limitation is the speed of the network. As Capture One will want to access the Catalog file more frequently than the images themselves, then network speed is paramount. My only suggestion is to download the trial and test!

You won’t have to update all computers in the network as they will be reading one catalog file.


Wouldn’t it be better to keep the catalogue on a server and access it via a high speed network…100 mbps kinds. So everytime an import happens it happens on the catalogue on the server and anyone who access it is always in sync.
Also, the performance issue for over the network reading will come into play only once when the preview is being created on the local terminal and once when the file is actually being exported. Rest of the time it is like editing offline.
I have found it better to create separate catalogues for each job. That ways I can move the pics freely between drives/computers without worrying about sync.
Hope I am right 🙂

hello! I am having an issue with my shared catalog, which resides on a local server. The catalog is only stored on one machine, i am the only one who accesses it, but there seems to be a phantom session still going on my username, it won’t allow me to access the catalog, as I already have it open. i have tried reinstalling c1, dumping prefs, copying the catalog, opening from a new machine, etc etc.

Any help would definitely be appreciated!


Is it possible to get live capture on two different devices while shooting?