Support Center

Activation and Licensing

Activation and Licensing

Once your purchase has completed, a confirmation will be sent to the email address that you used when purchasing FotoStation. This email will contain your order number and a product key, which will be used to activate your new software. The product key will be a mix of numbers and letters, and will look similar to this: XXXXXX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX.

If you haven’t already downloaded and installed FotoStation, just click on DOWNLOAD on our home page to begin the download process. If you’ve already downloaded and installed FotoStation, you’re ready to activate with your product key.

To launch FotoStation on Mac OS X, open the Finder and goto Applications, then double click on “FotoStation LT”. You will now see a window that presents two blue buttons. The first gives you the option to use or continue a 14 day trial, while the second, which says “I Have a License Key” will prompt you for the key from your email. The easiest way to activate is to copy and paste the key into the field provided, although you can also manually enter the key by typing. You will need to type the dash “-” between the sets of characters, and also please keep in mind that the letters are all uppercase, and there is no capital letter “O”…we only use zeros, to avoid confusion between these two characters.

Once you’ve entered your product key, click the blue Submit button, and the activation process will begin. Clicking Submit will contact the license server via the internet and activate your product. Upon successful activation, you will see a Thank You screen with a blue box in the top right corner (X in the middle)…click on the X and FotoStation will launch. Now you’re on your way! Enjoy your new FotoStation software!

This is quite normal, as the trial mode will run for a full 14 days until expiry before the retail product key that you activated “takes over”.

Rest assured that you have access to all program features during the trial period, and that FotoStation will keep running with the activated retail key when the trial period ends (at which point the “Trial” notification also disappears).

Your FotoStation license is valid for one person but activation on two (2) computers.

This means that you can for instance install it at home and on your office computer, as long as you are the only user. The license is valid for both the Windows and Mac versions, so if you have one of each you can activate one on each platform

No worries, if you forgot to activate (or didn’t get the chance), we can help.
Use the form below to reset your activation key. You can then use it again activate FotoStation on your new computer.

Go here to reset your license

If you buy a new computer and want to install and run FotoStation on that machine, you will first have to deactivate FotoStation on the old machine, and then activate your license on the new one. Follow the steps below to deactivate FotoStation on your old computer so that it can be installed and activated on the new one.

Before continuing, make sure that you have the FotoStation software at hand for installation on your new computer, and that you have the email with your product key. The product key is required to install and activate FotoStation on your new machine.

  • Deactivate FotoStation on your old computer. To do so, start FotoStation, then open the Help menu and choose Deactivate.
  • In the deactivation window, select your license and click on Next to continue to deactivate the software. FotoStation will exit when the deactivation is complete.
  • Install FotoStation on your new computer.
    When you start FotoStation on your new machine, you will be asked to activate your copy of FotoStation. Fill in the product key exactly as it appears on your license card, in the email you received or as it is listed in the license center (you can copy and paste the key for easy entry).
    A green checkmark will indicate that you have entered a valid product key

Getting started with FotoStation

You’ve just launched FotoStation, but aren’t sure how to get started. Why not begin by finding your pictures? There are mainly two ways of working with files in FotoStation. You can choose to browse any folder on your computer by using the Desktop tab, or you can browse one folder at a time by creating an “Archive” (a shortcut) in the Archives tab. Creating an archive makes it easy to locate and browse a folder. Archives also provide extra functionality such as markers and file filters.

When FotoStation is running, the Desktop panel in the top left corner lets you browse the contents of hard drives attached to your computer and optionally other network computers.

You can for instance expand your user folder and click on a folder that contains pictures, and those pictures will be shown immediately.

If you frequently return to the same folder to view its contents, you can create an archive to it. In reality, an archive is a kind of advanced shortcut that lets you control how the contents of that folder is displayed and sorted, and you can set a number of options that let you filter the content precisely as you would like.

To create an archive from the main window in FotoStation, right-click a blank area inside the Archives side panel and select Create archive, or open the Archives program menu and choose Create archive…

You can also locate a folder using the Desktop side panel and then right-click it and choose Create archive. This way, the path to the folder will be filled in automatically in the Archive properties dialog.

All the archives you create are listed on the Archives tab by default. To view the files in an archive, simply click on it.

When creating an archive, you can configure the way you want it to work by adjusting the properties of that archive.

The file acquire wizard makes it easy to import files to FotoStation. This feature is particularly useful when importing files from a digital camera, since many operations can be automated, such as renaming of files and the application of a text template or a macro.

To import files, click on the Acquire button on the toolbar. The file acquire wizard will start.

Creating or adding to a job

Start by creating a job name and description. The files acquired will be added to this job, making it easier to retrieve all the acquired files later by clicking on the job name in the Jobs side panel. In the Description field, enter a job description, for instance the time and place the pictures were taken or a description of the files’ intended use. If you have already prepared a job, you may add the files to that job by selecting Add to existing job and then choosing the job in the list.

Click Next to proceed.


Selecting source files and setting preferences

Now, choose the source location of your files. By choosing Memory card, disk or camera, you can choose from all local disks recognized by the system. To acquire files from a network disk, choose Folder location below and then click on the browse button (…) to locate it.


Subfolder options

If the source folder has subfolders with files that you want to include, select the Include subfolders checkbox. When including subfolders you can also choose to mirror the entire subfolder structure of the source folder in the output folder, or you can add the folder names to the file names to avoid duplicate file names in the output folder.

Selecting Move files will delete the original files after they have been successfully imported to their new location.


Choosing file types to import

Since the source folder can contain many different types of files, FotoStation lets you choose the file types that you want to include when importing files. Choosing All files will make the program import all files in the source folder regardless of their file type. By choosing Specific filetypes you can choose the types you want to include by selecting the checkboxes below.

Click Next to proceed to the destination folder page.


Choosing a destination folder

Now choose the folder you want to copy the files to. Basically you have three choices:

Copy files to a folder: Choose this option to select the folder you want to copy the files to. Use the browse button to locate or create a suitable folder. If you also choose Automatically create a unique subfolder FotoStation will create a uniquely name subfolder within the folder you choose.

Copy files to an archive: Lets you choose among the predefined archives using the dropdown list. If you want to copy the files to a subfolder within the archive folder, enter the subfolder name in the Subfolder field. FotoStation will create the subfolder if it doesn’t already exist.

Send files to an action: Choosing this option will send the files in the source folder directly to an action. The action’s settings will determine how the files are processed and where they are saved afterwards


Creating a backup copy of the original files

If you would like to keep a copy of the original files without any kind of processing applied, also select the checkbox labeled Copy original files to a second destination and choose a backup location. If you would like FotoStation to place the files in a subfolder within the backup folder, also select Automatically create a unique subfolder.


Renaming files in the output folder

FotoStation can also rename the files in the output folder. To do this, select the Rename files checkbox, then, using the dropdown list, choose the sorting method FotoStation should use when reading the source files. The sorting method will determine the order in which the output files are named.

Enter a filename in the Name field and add a separator such as a dash or an underscore to distinguish the filename from the running number that will be appended to the file name. Finally, set a starting number in the Number field and choose between adding the number as a suffix (after the filename) or a prefix (before the filename).

Click Next to continue.


Applying text to the acquired files

The next wizard page lets you add text to the files you are acquiring. To bring up the text editor, select Add image text. The dropdown list lets you choose one of your existing text templates, if any have been created. You can also load a text template from a file by clicking on the Load text button.

Having entered text in the text editor you can save that text as a template file by clicking on the Save text button. To quickly clear all fields in the text editor, click on the Clear text button.


Adding a macro

It is also possible to add a text macro the files. Simply select Apply macro and choose an existing macro from the dropdown list. To make changes to the macro, click on the Edit macro button. If you would like to make a new macro from scratch, click on the New macro button.

Click on the Next button to continue.

Having set all your preferences, you can expand the source folder to get an idea of the number of files in the source folder and verify the source and destination folders and their related settings. Now simply click on the Finish button to start importing files.

When using FotoStation to view and organize your files, whether on a single computer or in a network environment, the easiest way for repeatedly accessing the files is by using an archive. In simple terms, an archive is similar to a shortcut in Windows or an alias in Mac OS – it works as a pointer to a folder containing files that you want to view and work with. But an archive is much more than a simple pointer to a folder on a disk. Archives can be configured with a number of advanced options that control how the content of that collection is displayed, filtering of the content and much more.


Creating an archive

To create an archive from the main window in FotoStation, right-click a blank area inside the Archives side panel and select Create archive, or open the Archives program menu and choose Create archive…
You can also locate a folder using the Desktop side panel and then right-click it and choose Create archive. This way, the path to the folder will be filled in automatically in the Archive properties dialog.

All the archives you create are listed on the Archives tab by default. To view the files in an archive, simply click on it.
When creating an archive, you can configure the way you want to display its contents on the Archive properties page.

Often when you work with a number of files, you perform the same tasks repeatedly. For example, it could be that you want to resize several images and add new metadata before you use an FTP client to upload the resized images to a web server. In FotoStation it is possible to create an action that can perform these and many other tasks in a single operation.

An action in FotoStation consists of several small operations called sub actions. Such sub actions can be combined in a chain to create an action. FotoStation comes with a few sample actions, such as for copying images to the My Pictures folder. If you need actions other than the predefined ones, you must create a new action or modify the sample actions.


Creating an action

To create an action, start by opening a side panel that contains actions (by default, the right side panel is configured to contain only actions).

The screenshot above shows an example action named Resize and sharpen, made up of the three sub actions: Resize image, Sharpening Filter, and Save file.

These are the main steps involved when creating a new action:

  1. In the Actions tab, right-click on a group heading and select Create action from the pop-up menu. The Action properties window will appear. You can also open the Action properties window by clicking on the Action menu in the program window and selecting Create action.
  2. Select a descriptive name for the action and enter it in the Name field.
    Click on the Add button to add a sub action to this action. The Select action type window (see screenshot) will open. Select the desired sub action from the list by clicking on it, and then click on the OK button. To be able to view and edit the sub action’s properties, click on the sub action in question in the Sub action list to select it. Remove a sub action by selecting it in the Sub action list and then clicking on the Delete button.
  3. When you are done, click on the OK button.

If, at a later stage, you would like to change any of the action properties (for example the action name, any sub action properties, etc), open the Action properties window by right-clicking on the action and selecting Properties from the context menu.


Action properties

The Action properties window also provides access to these settings:

Select Group: In the Group dropdown list, select the group you would like the action to be a part of. If you wish, you can edit the group name, add a new group, or delete a group from this view by clicking on the Edit button on the right-hand side of the Group dropdown list. If group headers are enabled, actions are sorted according to the group they belong to.

Ask For Confirmation: If the Ask for confirmation checkbox is selected, FotoStation will display a warning asking for confirmation before the action is executed. This can be useful e.g. if the action is configured to alter the original image data and you want to make sure that the action isn’t run unintentionally (e.g. by dropping a file on the wrong action).

Please note that there are also other ways to prevent an action from being executed by accident. You can disable one or more actions for a specific archive (the Set disabled actions property in Archive properties), or you can choose to hide one or more actions from the action overview (the Display only selected action items property in the Side panel properties). Keep in mind you can have more than one Actions tab.

Select Icon: Select an icon for the action by clicking on the Select icon button and then clicking on the icon of your choice. FotoStation comes with a number of included icons that you can choose from. You can also import your own icons if you have for instance purchased icons from a collection or made your own using icon creator tools. To do so, click on the Import button and choose the icon files that you want to add to your configuration. When imported into FotoStation, the files are converted to png format and stored with your active configuration. Typically FotoStation is set up with a per-user configuration, which means your icons are stored in 
C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\FotoWare\FotoStation\Configuration\Archive Icons


Running files through an action

To be able to run an action, you must first select one or more files in the image window. If no files are selected, none of the actions can be accessed. When you have selected the files you can either drag and drop them onto the desired action, or you can simply click on the action that you would like to perform. The action in question will then be executed.

One file at a time:

Select one file that you would like to add metadata to. Open the editor either by clicking on the Metadata button shown at the top of this topic, or by using the shortcut key Ctrl+T (Command–T on the Mac).

The metadata editor opens with the default editor. Note that there are several editors available. If you want to select a different editor (each editor has a different layout and may contain different metadata fields), choose your favorite by clicking on the File menu and then choosing the Select editor menu option.) You can also customize the editors or create a new editor to fit your needs. See the Choosing Metadata Editor topic for more information on using different editors.

Add text in the desired field. If you are happy with the text changes you made, click on the OK button. If you change your mind, click on the Cancel button to avoid saving the changes.

Note that it is possible to add text to more than one file using this method. Select the files you would like to add text to. Open the editor as described above. Add the required metadata to the first file. You can now choose between the following options:

  • Click on the OK button. The text is saved and the editor will open once more, enabling you to add new metadata to the next file.
  • Click on the Cancel button. The text change is not saved. The metadata editor will open with text for the next file.
  • Click on the Cancel All button. The text is not changed for the currently open file and editing of the remaining files is aborted.


Many files at the same time:

 Sometimes you may want to add the same metadata to several files. For images, this could for example be adding information such as where the images were captured, caption and copyright information. This can easily be done by using the Add to selected files option found on FotoStation’s Metadata menu:

  1. Select the files that you would like to add information to. Select more than one file by clicking on the first file in a range, then Shift-clicking on the last file, or by holding down the Ctrl key (Command key on the Mac) and clicking on each file that you would like to add text to.
  2. Click on the Metadata menu and select the Add text to selected files option (shortcut key Shift+Ctrl+T on Windows and Shift–Command–T on the Mac) from the menu. A new window will open.
  3. In this window you must select how the text you enter should be handled if any of the fields that you insert new text into already contain some text. You can choose between deleting previously entered text (Replace the existing text) and adding new text after any previously entered text (Append new text to existing text). Click on the OK button.
  4. The metadata editor will open. Notice that all text fields appear to be empty and that the preview area in the editor (provided that the metadata editor chosen has a preview area) doesn’t show any preview. This is because you are about to add text to several files, in which case it doesn’t make sense to be able to view previously added text or previews of the files.
  5. Type new text into the desired fields. When you are done, click on the OK button to add the inserted text to the selected files. If you decide that you don’t want to change the text after all, click on the Cancel button.

Quick Search

FotoStation has a search field in the main program window that lets you enter search strings in a quick and straightforward manner. This field is called the Quick Search field. Searching in this field is often useful when working with smaller archives or when you don’t need to perform a highly specific search. However, it is possible to use logical operators such as AND, OR and NOT in this field if desired. If you enter two words and don’t specify an operator, (e.g. “summer 2005”), FotoStation will assume that you wish to find files with both words present in the metadata, i.e. an AND operator is inserted – “Summer AND 2005”. Please note that the search is case insensitive, i.e. searching for “summer 2005” and searching for “Summer 2005” will return the same files.

If you would like to search for the string summer 2005, this must be entered as (summer 2005) into the search field, i.e. the string must be enclosed in parentheses.  When the search result is displayed, you can click the Clear/Show All button to display all files in the currently selected source.

Note that you can only enter up to 128 characters into the Quick Search field.

Tip: To clear the Quick Search history, open the File menu, choose Preferences, then Clear quick search history. On the Mac, click on the arrow next to the magnifying glass in the Quick Search field and choose Clear.


Advanced Search

If you would like to perform more advanced searches, such as searching for a string in a specific metadata field or searching for specific file attributes (size, last edited, etc.), you must use the Advanced Search. This option is accessed either by clicking on the Search button on the toolbar or using the shortcut Ctrl-F (Command-F on the Mac).

The Search dialog will open as shown above. You can combine up to four searches (i.e. strings of one or more words) by using the AND, OR and NOT operators shown as checkboxes underneath the search text field. For each of these four searches, you may specify whether you wish to search in all metadata fields or in a specific one.

If you insert two or more words into the search field, you will be searching for files containing this exact combination of characters in this exact order. Thus, inserting  George Bush into the search field will only return files with this exact string in any of the metadata fields. Files with the string George W. Bush will not match the search string and hence not be shown. Also note that the search is case insensitive, i.e. searching for George Bush or george bush will return the same files.


Reusing Metadata in Searches

On the right-hand side of the search text field you find two dropdown lists. The first list lets you access previously entered searches. From the second dropdown list you can choose Field is empty, which inserts xnoword into the text field. This option is used when you would like to find files where one specific metadata field or all metadata fields are empty. This option can of course be combined with other searches. If you have chosen to search in Keywords or another field that has predefined metadata (quicklists) associated with it, the dropdown list will let you choose from any of the keywords in the quicklist file. If you’re using linked lists, the search dialog will be populated with all the associated fields and their respective content.


Searching By Image Atrributes

Note that you must click on the arrow on the left-hand side of the Image Attributes label to show the advanced image options. Accessing an Index Manager archive gives you access to even more specific search options. See the subtopic Index Manager-specific search criteria for more information regarding these options.


The image attributes are:

Date Attributes

Select the desired date option from the dropdown list. For most of these options you also need to enter one or two dates into the text field. This can be done by clicking on the dropdown button found on the right-hand side of the field and selecting a date from the calendar that opens.

Size Attributes

Select the desired size option from the dropdown list. For most of these options you also need to enter one or two numbers into the text field. Please note the difference between file size and image size. File size is the size the file has when it is stored on the hard disk. The file will normally contain the image together with the meta data. The image size is the size of the uncompressed image when e.g. performing high-resolution editing.

Color Attributes

Select the desired color space from the dropdown list.

The options are Don’t Care, Grayscale, RGB/Lab, CMYK and Not Grayscale.

File Type Attributes

Select the file type that you would like to include in the search. Note that the search will be performed on the file extension, which means that if files have the wrong extension, this will affect search result. For example, a PDF file with a .jpg extension, will not be found when searching for “Adobe PDF”. It will, however, be found in an “Image” search. Since some of these choices include more than one file format, we advise you to read the appendix for a complete list of all supported file formats.

The file type options are Don’t Care, Images, Movies, Adobe PDF, Audio and Office docs.

Orientation Attributes

Select the file’s orientation if you would like to search for files with a specific orientation. Note that this option only applies to image files. If the image doesn’t have an orientation (i.e. the image is a square where the height is equal to the width), then this image will not be included in the search if you select Portrait or Landscape.

History Attributes

FotoStation keeps a log of certain events, i.e. processes that have been applied to images or other files in the archive. Note that the history event in question must be enabled before you can search for it. Also note that FotoStation only logs special events performed from within the program itself. Processes applied in other, external applications are not logged. Up to ten history events are saved for each file. If you would like to view a file’s history log, you can right-click its thumbnail and choose History… from the context menu, or you can click on the History button in the Text Panel.

Text Attributes

Select the amount of text that you would like to be included in your search. The options are:

Don’t Care: All files, independent of amount of text, will be included in the search.

No Text: Only files that don’t have any text (i.e. meta data) inserted, will be included in the search.

None or Very Small Text: Only files with no text or very little text inserted, will be included in the search.

Normal Text: Only files with normal amount of text, will be included in the search.

Storage Attributes

Specify whether you wish to search for online or offline files, or whether this is irrelevant. (Don’t Care, Online Files and Offline Files)

Having made a selection of files, you can rate them quickly in several ways:

  • Open the Metadata menu and choose Set Rating on all selected
  • Right-click one of the selected thumbnails and choose Set Rating on all selected
  • Use the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-1 to Ctrl-5 rates the selected assets with one to five stars. Clear the rating by pressing Ctrl-0

Having selected a number of assets, you can set their status in several ways:

  • Open the Metadata menu and choose Set Status on all selected
  • Right-click one of the selected thumbnails and choose Set Status on all selected
  • Use the keyboard shortcut: 1 to 9 to sets the status of the selected assets. Clear the status by pressing 0

When sorting files in an archive, one often finds a need to do a rough initial sorting.

To this end, you can apply tags to selected files based on whether they’re Tagged  (for example approved for keeping), Rejected (stuff you don’t want to keep) or Unclassified (assets you have not yet tagged for one or the other).


How to apply tags

Using the keyboard for navigation, you can apply tags using the T (Tagged), R (Rejected) and U (Unclassified) keys. You can tag files from the Thumbnail Grid view or any other view in FotoStation, even in preview windows.


Filtering by tags

Having tagged a number of assets, you can apply a filter to only display files with a given tag: Use Shift-T/R/U to display files marked as TaggedRejectedand/or Unclassified, respectively. The keyboard shortcut can be used to toggle the filter on and off.

Tip: Before you start tagging files in an archive, hit Shift-U to display all Unclassified files (in practice, at this point all files that have not yet been classified will be shown). Then, as you choose to keep or reject files using the T and R keys they will disappear from view to help you keep track of which files remain to be tagged.


If you encounter problems when trying to activate FotoStation, the below instructions can help you troubleshoot the issue yourself before you contact support.

Problem: You have activated a license for which isn’t valid for this version of FotoStation. Only licenses purchased on are valid.
Solution: The license key has already been activated on this machine, but it is not valid for running this version of FotoStation. This could happen because you’re trying to activate a FotoStation Pro key, while you are in fact running FotoStation 8.0. If you do have a key for FotoStation Pro, you need to download the correct version of FotoStation from the Customer Portal at

Problem: You get the following error message after activating a license: “The license key you are trying to activate is already activated on this computer”
Solution: The license has already been activated on this machine, but it not valid for running this version of FotoStation. Could it be that that you’re trying to activate a license for FotoStation Pro while you are in fact running FotoStation 8.0?

Problem: You are not allowed to connect to the Internet and cannot activate the license
Solution: You can perform an “offline activation” using the “Activation Wizard”

Open the Windows start menu / home screen and start typing Activate licenses. When the start menu shows the Activate licenses shortcut, click on it to start the activation wizard and fill in the product key as instructed.
An alternative way to start the activation wizard is to choose Start – Run and type fwappactwiz and press OK. That will also start the FotoWare Activation Wizard.

Mac OS
Open the Terminal application on the mac and type the following to start the Activation Wizard:
“/Applications/” -activate

The rest of the offline activation procedure is described here:

Problem: Activation fails with “Error 0/0”
This error code can also be manifested as 76/61026 or 21/126. The problem is local to the machine. This is an issue with the FLEXNet licensing service.

Solution for Windows:
• Go to the Control Panel and select “Services” – FLEXnet Licensing Service. If this service is not present then you need to run the FotoWare installer again. If the service is there and started, then proceed to the next point.
• Go to C:\ProgramData\FlexNet and delete the activation files “fotoware_006ef600_event” and “” (or similar). Do NOT delete anything else. Other products that use the same activation scheme also store files here – these must NOT be deleted. (If you cannot see the file, check the Windows folder settings and make sure that hidden files are being shown.)
• Try to activate your product key again: Hit Start | Run “fwappactwiz” and enter your activation code. Then try to restart the FotoWare application.

Solution for Mac:
• In the Finder, open the Go menu and choose Go to Folder
• Type in:
/Library/Preferences/FLEXnet Publisher/FLEXnet

then hit OK.
• Find two files that are named somewhat like this:
• Delete these files and try again to launch FotoStation and activate your product key.

Important: DO NOT delete any other files from this folder! Doing so can break the activation for other software products on your machine.

If you’re running a version of FotoStation downloaded before sept. 28th 2017, it will not run on macOS High Sierra. You can download an updated version of FotoStation that is compatible with macOS High Sierra.
Your existing FotoStation configuration will remain intact after updating to the latest version.

We are working on fixing this problem, but until further notice, it is necessary to manually allow FotoStation to run on your machine. This is completely safe, and is easy, just read the instructions below:

How to allow FotoStation to run on your Macintosh

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