The Photopia Blog

Tips, tutorials & inspiration for making slideshows

OCTOBER 3, By Photopia

How Does Photopia Manage Source Files?

When creating a show it’s common to use photos, videos, graphics, and music from different locations on your computer. Photopia automatically gathers all of those files used in a Project into a central location. 

Learn more about this process in today’s blog:

When you start a new Photopia Project, a folder with the name of your Project is created in the location indicated in the New Project Window.  If this location has never been changed, it will default to C:\Documents\Photopia Slide Shows\[Project Name] on a Windows computer and /Documents/Photopia Slide Shows/[Project Name] on a Mac.  Inside the [Project Name] folder is a newly created Data folder.

Each time an image, video, song, or graphic is added to your project, a duplicate is created and added to this Data folder. Collecting all files into a single local location helps prevent missing file errors, which can occur when content is added from a removable location. When archiving or moving a project to another location, there is no need to search for all of the content because Photopia has already gathered it into a single location for you.

To view both the duplicated and original location of any file in a project, select the image or video in the Layers List, select the Layer tab in the Options Panel, then click on the “i” icon for the File Information.

The duplicated location in the Project’s Data folder is listed first. This is the file that is being accessed in your project.  The original location is listed second.  Any adjustments made to that image within Photopia (crop, colorize, etc) will not affect the original files. If the original image is edited, however, Photopia will recognize this change and prompt you to respond to the change.

The example above shows an image of a cat that has been added to a slide.


The original image is then brought into Photoshop and the color of the eyes are changed.  This is then saved and the original file is updated.

Photopia will recognize that the file in the original location has changed, making it different from the duplicated file in the Data folder.  A prompt will appear in the lower right corner stating File Modification Detected. Clicking on this notification brings up a window presenting three options:

  1. Unlink – This will unlink the image in its original location from the duplicate in the Project’s Data folder, keeping the image that is currently seen in Photopia as it is (Cat with yellow eyes.)

  2. Reload – This will update the duplicated image in the Project’s Data folder to match the newly changed original image.  The image will then update in Photopia (Cat with green eyes).

  3. Dismiss – This option will keep the link between the two images intact, but ignore the current change.  Any future changes to the original image will trigger another File Modification Detected message.


Both Unlink and Dismiss will keep the image in the Project as the original (Cat with yellow eyes). 



Only Reload will change the image in the Project to the updated image (Cat with green eyes).

Opening a file into an external editor directly from Photopia (Right Click>Open in External Editor) will open the duplicate into the editor; not the original. The image in the original file location will remain intact.  When the image is saved in the external editor, Photopia will automatically update with those changes within the Project.


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