The alternative way is to just do it when you need to. Simply select the images you want to save metadata for and from the image menu choose “Sync Metadata”. Just be aware that this goes both ways, and it will load changes from the sidecar file if any exist.
I have seen complaints from people about Capture One’s metadata not being compatible with other software, but for basics like ratings and labels it should work fine.
How to Apply Styles to a layer
If you’re using the pro version of Capture One then one of the best features of the software is its layers system. If you use styles, you can actually apply styles to a layer rather than to the base adjustments. This means you can use styles in conjunction with the various masking options.
To apply styles to a layer, simply go to the Styles and Presets tool and locate the style you want to apply. Now right click (or control click) on the style and choose “Apply to new layer”. If you want to apply a style to an existing layer, make sure you’re on the layer first and choose “Apply to Selected Layer” when you right click on the image. Just make sure that the layer has a mask on it and doesn’t have an empty mask.
You can also do this from within the layers panel, but you will need to create the layer first. Once you do, right click on the layer and choose: “Apply Adjustments from…” And navigate to the style you want to apply.
One thing to be aware of is that not all styles will work on layers, as some adjustments aren’t available on Layers.
How to control the overall amount of a style applied, and how to blend styles.
Speaking of styles and layers, there is one big advantage to applying styles to a layer is that you can fade them out. If you apply a style to a layer, you can use the overall opacity slider for that layer as a “volume” adjustment for the overall style. If you like a style but wish it was just a little bit less, then apply it to a layer, and then use the opacity slider to dial it back a bit.