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File name, filename, image name, version name???

890 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Oct 6, 2011 7:54 AM by léonie RSS
rshammaa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 5, 2011 7:01 PM

Hi guys,


All above terms are used in Aperture 3 Help. When I go to the Metadata Inspector/General the only field available is Version Name.

Do they all mean the same?




  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,550 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 5, 2011 7:42 PM (in response to rshammaa)

    Aperture is a database.  The core record in Aperture is the Image.  The database is a list of Images, with a whole bunch of data about each Image stored alongside the Image as one record .  (You can get some sense of this by clicking Photos at the top of the Library tab of the Inspector and changing to List View.)  Apple doesn't like the word "database"; Aperture databases are called "Libraries".


    Every Image has a Master.  The Master is a file.  It is the image-format file that you imported into the Aperture Library.  Those files have names.  That is refered to as the File Name.


    When the User Guide needs to indicate the inclusion of a file name in a field or as a variable, it is written as "filename".  This is, I'm pretty sure, now standard practice (e.g.: "Insert the file name in 'filename'.").


    The Image is created from a Master + Version pair.  The Version is, literally, a text file of proprietary instructions that tells Aperture how to adjust (hence "adjustment" in Aperture, and not "edits") the Master to create the Image.  Every Image has a Version (and a Master), but the Version of the first Image created from the Master has no instructions (i.e.: "Don't make any adjustments") and is treated as though it is invisible.  The default name of the Version is the file name of the Master.  The name of the Version is used as the name of the Image.  You can use any name you want for your Versions.


    On the Metadata tab of the Inspector you can have shown:

    - the Version Name.  It is editable.

    - the File Name.  This is the file name of the Master file.  It is the name used by your OS to reference the file.  To change it, you must go to "Metadata→Batch Change".  You should never change the file name of any Master except through Aperture.  It is possible to use Aperture completely and never change a Master's file name.


    To see both of the above in one Metadata view, change the Metadata Preset (using the drop-down) to "File Info".


    Rest assured this is a confusing topology, and is not spelled out anywhere I have seen.  This is just what I understand from using Aperture.  (If anyone knows better, please speak up.)

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,330 points)

    That is nice, comprehensive survey, Kirby. Should be included in the manual.


    Perhaps one more small point:

    Usually you do not have to worry about file names or version names,

    • only  on the hopefully rare occasions when you have to track down missing referenced master files and need to know the file name,
    • or when you are exporting or sharing to other Apllications.


    When you share your images to the Media Browser, you will only see the file names, and you should pick file names that let you identify your images easily. When you export to the web or to other Applications, the file names should better not contain special characters, like "Umlaute", and characters used by the operating system should be avoided too. Some third party programs have difficulties, if the file names are longer then 30 characters, or contain "/", "\", "|", so better avoid those characters.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,330 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 6, 2011 7:54 AM (in response to léonie)

    Erratum: I just noticed, the Media Browsers in iWeb and Garageband show the Aperture Version name, not the file name, sorry!


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