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Date of newly exported file is not correct

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Hi. The date of an exported file shown in Windows Explorer does not reflect the date or time it was saved. For example, I opened a file I created 7 months ago, resized it, then exported to a brand new file name. It's not overwriting an old file, it's a new one. In Windows Explorer the date next to the file name is from 7 months ago.

I know there is some technical explanation why this happens and you might blame Windows, but in the real, practical world when designers are listing their folders' contents by date, they like to see the newest files at the top or bottom making it very easy to pick out the file(s) they just saved. If there are 30 or 100 files in the folder it's a pain having to hunt for the file you just saved because the date is wrong.

I'm using Photo on Windows 10.



windows explorer (temp).jpg

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3 hours ago, Mark Ingram said:

Hi Gary, we don't set the date on the files, we just write the contents. This is either an issue with your Windows installation, or a third party piece of software.

When I save from Photo as a .afphoto file via "Save as..." it shows the current date in Windows Explorer. Then when I save the same image from "Export" it saves using the old date from the original file created 7 months ago.

I have no 3rd party software that changes file dates. My Win10 updates and anti-virus are up to date.

If I can duplicate this on a second Win10 machine will someone at Serif investigate it?

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Does the image have a 'Date Taken' date in the 'Details' tab?  Pics from my previous post HERE.

If it does, here are the two different scenarios you're likely facing:

Scenario 1 - You take a photo with a camera, make adjustments to it in Affinity Photo, save the working file with layers (afphoto/tif/psd) and also export it in the export image format (jpg/png).  The jpg/png files will contain a 'Date Taken' field from the EXIF data created by the camera, therefore the 'Date' column will always show the date the image was taken.  This is correct and how it should be, the date the photo was taken ('Date Taken') should never be changed.  The only exception should be when specifically needing to change the EXIF date (using ExifTool for example) because the camera clock was set incorrectly and therefore the 'Date Taken' fields in the EXIF need to be altered to show the correct date/time.

In this scenario, you would be asking for something to be changed to suit your style of working, but this is not feasible as 'Date Taken' is widely used by other people, other software, etc. and needs to remain accurate.  The Windows 10 Photos app for example uses this date to automatically sort and arrange photos.

So to overcome this scenario you will need to either replace the 'Date' column with the 'Date Modified' column, or add 'Date Modified' as an extra column and then sort by that.  You may also be able to set this as a default view in Windows File Explorer so that it always shows 'Date Modified' (see HERE), but I haven't tried this myself.

Scenario 2 -  You create a document from scratch (such as an art project).  Because you start with a blank file, there is no EXIF like there is from a camera file.  Therefore when you export it in the export image format (jpg/png), as the 'Date Taken' field is blank, image editing software should populate the 'Date Taken' field in the EXIF when the file is exported rather than leave it blank, as this is the equivalent to taking the photo.  It's possible this is where you're seeing the difference between Photoshop and Affinity Photo as Photoshop populates the 'Date Taken' field when it exports images.  Therefore the 'Date' column in Windows File Explorer would show this date in the 'Date' column.  Affinity Photo doesn't populate this.

What may complicate your case though is if you're opening jpg files in Affinity Photo that were originally created in Photoshop (I.E. 20170329_135637.jpg), Affinity Photo will treat it the same as a photo and pass the Photoshop EXIF data through, including the 'Date Taken' generated by Photoshop.  It may be possible for you to overcome this by changing the export setting to not export EXIF data (Untick 'Embed Metadata'), which should also remove the 'Date Taken' field.  This would mean Windows File Explorer should fall back to using the file 'Date Created' timestamp instead.  I can't test this at the moment though, as I don't have Affinity Photo installed on this machine.  But even if it works, it's obviously not an ideal solution.

How it should work is:

- Create a new blank document from scratch in Photoshop and save the layered working file as psd.  When you export to a export image format (jpg/png/tif) it adds the 'Date Taken' field time stamped to when you exported it.

- Create a new blank document from scratch in Affinity Photo and save the layered working file as afphoto.  When you export to a export image format (jpg/png/tif) it adds the 'Date Taken' field time stamped to when you exported it.  However it doesn't currently do this.

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Hi Sima. Many thanks for your well written reply and explanation.

I did some tests based on what you said about the "date taken" field in the EXIF data. You are completely right. This remains in tact from the original file, no matter how heavily worked on that image is, or even if a tiny fragment remains in the final artwork.

It seems I can't convince Serif to overwrite the "date taken" stamp with the current date when exporting an image, as that seems to be the issue I'm seeing with Windows Explorer. An option in Preferences would be good but I won't hold my breath. :-)

Instead I will try to remember to always start with a new canvas and copy photos into it. That will ensure it's never given a "date taken" and therefore every new export will show the correct date/time in Windows Explorer.

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2 hours ago, Gary_F said:

It seems I can't convince Serif to overwrite the "date taken" stamp with the current date when exporting an image, as that seems to be the issue I'm seeing with Windows Explorer. 

It's not that simple.  If you open some photos from 2004 for example, make some improvements to them and export them, the last thing you want is for the 'Date Taken' field to be changed to today's date.  Therefore they need to keep the original 'Date Taken' dates intact if they're already populated in the EXIF, otherwise Serif will have masses of pretty angry people to deal with when they realise their dates are all screwed up.

Date Created, Date Modified and Date Accessed can't be relied upon because when you start shifting files around between computers, back-up drives, etc. they change. 'Date Modified' is supposed to remain intact, but this is not the case as I've seen quite a lot of photos where the 'Date Modified' dates have changed at some point for reasons I do not know.  Even just rotating an image in the Windows photo viewer is enough to reset the 'Date Modified' date.  So all three of those dates are pretty much worthless long term.  This is what makes 'Date Taken' so important and not something to be played around with lightly as it's the only date we really have to rely on.

So for image files that didn't originate from a camera (such as art files), I don't really know of a solid solution other than applying the 'Date Taken' time stamp when exported to the export format.  You will still have the master working file (afphoto/psd) and the final exported file gets a 'Date Taken' time stamp.  Other than that it would be a case of maybe allowing the user to manually set the dates in the EXIF panel or export settings inside Affinity Photo.

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When I save an Affinity file it saves it with the current date and time, OK.  However, when I export a JPEG it always saves with the same wrong date, it is always 14/03/2010 16:37.


I didn't have the camera, the computer or Affinity Photo then!

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Here’s the solution:

Open the folder where your photos or jpg files are stored on your Windows computer.

Click on View, then click on Details.

Click on the drop-down menu next to Add Columns.

Uncheck Date and check Date Modified.

Click on the Date Modified column to sort in ascending or descending order.

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