What are XML files?

Today I received a question from a blog reader:

“I have a question about the Style file types needed for the latest versions of PSE.  There are .asl files and metadata.xml files and .xml files.  Do I need to keep all of these files types?”

What is an ASL file?

No matter what version of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (PSE) is being used, the .asl file is the file which contains the style effects.

There are different ways to install or load the .asl file, again, dependent upon which version of the software is being used. A quick search of Google or the Help section of your particular Photoshop version should provide installation / loading instructions for you.

What are XML files?

A .xml file is a text file that describes “the transportation, structure, and storage of data.”

In PSE versions prior to version 11, .xml files could be installed in an Adobe folder to organize the Style effects.  Beginning with PSE version 11, .xml files are not necessary, as PSE organizes the styles for you automatically.

So what do I need to keep?

So to answer our reader’s question, if you have a PSE version, prior to and including version 10, if desired, you would install the metadata.xml file and delete the .xml file.

If you have PSE version 6, you would use the .xml file and delete the metadata.xml file.

No matter what version of PSE you are using, you do not have to install any of the .xml files if you do not want to do so; your .asl file will still be functional. The organization will just be different (not as user-friendly).

Those using the full version of Photoshop may delete both the .xml and metadata.xml files, as they are for PSE only.

Thank you….

I love answering your specific questions! Please do not hesitate to leave comments or questions below!

Happy New Year to all!


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Comments (8)

  1. Sheila Phillips

    Thanks for this explanation! I have a question for you. I have purchased PSE-15, but I’m hesitant about installing it because I’m not sure what will happen with styles, brushes, etc. that I have installed on PSE-14. Will they automatically be there for me, or do I need to record what they are and re-install them to PSE-15?

    December 31, 2016 at 8:23 am
  2. […] What are XML files? – 1 freebie(s)? […]

    December 31, 2016 at 10:38 am
  3. Winnie

    This was so helpful to read! I didn’t even know I wanted to know about these file types until I skimmed past the question in the newsletter… I’m glad I came by to read about it. You are always so great with your tutorials! Thank you so much for all you do for the digi community!

    January 7, 2017 at 12:36 pm
  4. Renee

    Thanks Karen. This is a good explanation. I’m so glad I have PSE 15. Now I can I load and play and don’t have to worry about those files anymore 🙂

    January 7, 2017 at 8:06 pm
  5. Danica Staples

    I have a question. I recently added some actions and styles to PSE 10. When I open the program, the name of the actions and styles no longer appear under the thumbnails in the layer pallette like they once did. Any ideas what I may have done? They still pop up if I hover my curser over the thumbnail. I also have recently uninstalled some actions that i never used. Not sure if I screwed something up.

    December 25, 2017 at 1:03 pm
    • Karen

      It sounds like the metadata files aren’t present now, Danica. If any of them are mine, let me know, and I can give you a metadata file for that style to see if it fixes the problem. Then we can go from there.

      December 26, 2017 at 5:48 am
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