Skip to main content
Documentation & User Guides | FotoWare

Which codepage should be used when reading legacy IPTC metadata?

Metadata codepage setting - when is it needed?

Legacy IPTC used codepages to represent non-ASCII characters (used in non-English languages) in metadata. XMP metadata on the other hand, encodes metadata in UTF-8 so it can represent all Unicode characters without being limited to a single code page.

Hence, when migrating metadata from IPTC to XMP, the software needs to know the codepage that was used when the IPTC metadata was added.  An administrator configuring a FotoWare system where assets have IPTC metadata should take care to set the correct codepage so that the metadata is interpreted correctly.


If a user originally entered descriptive IPTC metadata in Russian, using the Cyrillic alphabet, the software needs to be set to use the Cyrillic codepage when reading the IPTC metadata block to successfully convert IPTC to XMP. If the system is incorrectly set to use e.g. a Western European codepage, the result that is stored in the XMP metadata will be utter gibberish. With the input codepage set to Cyrillic, on the other hand, the transition will be entirely smooth.

Where to set the codepage for reading of legacy IPTC metadata?

Color Factory

In Color Factory, the IPTC codepage conversion is set in the configuration of the Metadata channel feature. By running all files through a Color Factory channel set up to do only metadata processing is a brilliant way to convert all IPTC records to XMP in a one-time operation. By using Color Factory to process all files with IPTC metadata this way before the files are made available to users, you can ensure XMP metadata consistency throughout the entire FotoWare system.

Index Manager

Index Manager's general behavior is such that when it encounters a file that contains IPTC metadata, it will read the IPTC block using the codepage that is set in its configuration. When an asset's metadata is updated, Index Manager will convert all the IPTC metadata to XMP. Note that if you have already processed the files using Color Factory as described above, metadata will already have been converted to XMP, and thus the codepage setting in Index Manager will never be put to use.


FotoWeb communicates with Index Manager over the FWP protocol using Unicode. Hence, by setting Index Manager's codepage for IPTC correctly, it will also be correct in FotoWeb.


Like the rest of the FotoWare suite, FotoStation can read IPTC and will convert the IPTC metadata to XMP format the second a user updates the metadata on a file. So from a user's perspective, the transition between IPTC and XMP will go unnoticed. Simply set the IPTC character set to use on the Metadata node in the program configuration.

If FotoStation is used in a network environment where incoming files are processed by Color Factory all assets will normally have XMP-format metadata when leaving Color Factory.