Color labels

Expression Studio 2.0

Labels provide a visual identification and classification system for items in your catalogs. For example, you can use a color label to mark favorite items or to mark items to delete, archive, or convert. You can track items that are in different stages of a workflow, or adjust the colors for aesthetic preference or to better match the tone or contrast of the background color of a particular view. You can also match colors to a labeling scheme in another program or environment.

After you label your items, you can quickly sort the catalog by using the labels in the Catalog Fields section.

Labels in the Info panel

A label in a thumbnail


To help you use your desired method of marking items, you can customize the colors and names of labels as a global program preference. Because this customization is global, shared catalogs inherit the label names and colors of the user who is opening the catalog, and not the preferences of the person who created the catalog.

To customize labels

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Preferences, and then click Labels and Colors.

  2. Click the color swatch you want to change.

  3. Select any label text and type a new name. Customizing a label name helps you remember the label's purpose or definition.

  4. To restore the default label colors and names, on the Options menu, click Reset All.

  5. On the Options menu, to save a group of label preferences, click Export to File. Once you have saved the labels to a file, these label preferences can be loaded into other installations of Microsoft Expression Media using the Import from File option.


Custom names that you use for labels become indexed as search terms for associated items in Expression Media. For example, if a label is named "Client Picks," then any free-form text search in the Expression Media toolbar for the word "client" will return images assigned with that color label.

You can assign and remove labels in any view.

To assign a label

  1. Select or display one or more items.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Select a color from the Assign Label drop-down menu Cc294858.129b38d1-e7b9-487f-8737-640356f4488b(en-us,Expression.10).png on the toolbar, or right-click, point to Label, and then select a color from the list.

    • Press a number key (1 through 9). This applies the associated color (for example, 1 = Red).

    • Drag the items from the view to one of the colors in the Label sections of the Catalog Fields index.

To remove a label

  • In any view, select or display one or more items, and then do one of the following:

    • In the Catalog Fields section, select None from the Assign Label menu on the toolbar.

    • Press the number zero (0).

To show files associated with a label

  • Do one of the following:

    • Click a color label in the Labels sections of the Catalog Index.

    • On the Find menu, click Show Labeled, and then select a label value of items that you want to be displayed.


    Labeled files can also be sorted during slide shows. To create a slide show, use the Show Labeled menu from the Slide Show controller.

Labels in Expression Media are mapped to the IPTC standard's Urgency annotation field. When annotations for images in a catalog are synchronized (written) to the original files, all images tagged with a label have the corresponding label number (1 through 9) written into the Urgency field. For Photoshop CS users, these are the same values that are used in the Urgency field, w hich you can access on the File menu by clicking File Info, and then selecting Origin.

Even if you have customized the colors and names of labels, the values 1 through 9 are written into the Urgency field in order to comply with the IPTC annotation standards. If the Urgency field is important to your workflow, you might want to customize the label names to match the standard.

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