We have thousands of images we had a student intern tag with IPTC Core metadata. Some of what he did is good, for instance, his titles and captions are spot on. But some things, like Creator fields and copyright status are all over the place (my fault for not saying exactly what we wanted in those fields). I've created a metadata template in Bridge with just those fields I want to update and standardize checked, and things like caption and title left unchecked (image of template). I had hoped that when I applied it to his images, just those fields I had checked would have their information overwritten and those that were left unchecked would be left unaltered. Instead what I'm finding is that the ones I've checked are being updated like I want, but the ones left unchecked are being changed to blank entries. Not good, in fact, that's bad, as it represents a whole lot of work down the drain. Fortunately I made a copy of the images the student updated and have been experimenting on the copies, so nothing is lost yet, but I'm no closer to solving the problem. Is there a way to do this, or do I need to do them one at a time? Thanks for any insight you can give!
Not the best person to answer this as don't use the template. However, I vagley remember something about a non-intutive way to enter fields. Might google bridge templates and see how to enter a field to obtain a blank entry.
Omke will probably have a better answer.
Thanks, while I had done several searches, you sent me off on yet another one where it looks like I found what I need. First off, I was a little confused. What was being overwritten were the IPTC Extended fields, not core fields (the student was using IrfanView to work with the metadata so we didn't have to buy yet another license to adobe suite!). In general the way I was doing it was correct and leaving fields unchecked should not overwrite them (from bridge help, "Note:If you select a metadata option and leave the corresponding box empty, Adobe Bridge clears existing metadata when you apply the template."). Digging around in Bridge some more revealed an option to just append the metadata with a template, and using that has stopped it from overwriting the ITPC extended fields, which is what I need. I will test it some more and if I'm wrong I will add to this discussion.
I think what you want is Bridge Tools>Replace Metadata then select your template that contains data only in the fields you wish to update-replace. Metadata in other fields should be unchanged. I think your template as you've described it should work for this.
Test on a couple of your files, of course, to be sure I'm correct here (I haven't used this Bridge function recently).
The long and the short of it is Adobe is going to do away with my Caption (Description) created in IrfanView no matter what I do. Doesn't even recognize it, even though they are there when I open the image(s) in IrfanView. If I add the same information in via Bridge and then open it in IrfanView, it shows up exactly as it did if I had just created it in IrfanView. My confusion stems from the fact that some of the images were tagged in Adobe and some in IrfanView, so there appeared to be no rhyme or reason as to what was going on and why some times it overwrote the settings and other times it did not. To make matters worse, no all of IrfanView's tags get overwritten. Creator, for instance, remains, unless I tell Bridge to Replace instead of Append. If I say replace, it replaces that field with whatever I have in the template. If I say append, it adds what's in the template alongside what was added in IrfanView.
The thing is, these are all being tagged to be added to a Gallery Server Pro system, which can extract the metadata and use it to make the galleries searchable, and Gallery Server Pro doesn't care which program added the data, it sees them both just fine. So now I'm thinking about just using IrfanView and eschewing adobe altogether. Unfortunately, Adobe is easier to use, but if I go that route all 1600 images will have to have their captions re-added in Adobe.
I need a drink.
Being a bit late on this discussion I'm not sure I understand the problem quit clear.
As far as I understand reading the posts you need to fill in some fields that are left open. And knowing a template would do the trick for you to fill these empty fields what is wrong with selecting all the files you need the changes for in Bridge and fill those empty fields yourself in the metadata panel.
The fields with filled metadata that differ will show ' multiple values', the fields that show info are for all files the same and the empty fields have no data at all.
You can use bridge preferences metadata to show or not show certain fields or all fields and also deselect the option to hide empty fields to have all available IPTC fields at hand.
Just write what you want and hit OK. Then be sure to let Bridge save the data completely to all the selected files (watch the activity monitor bottom left) and you are done.
Or did I indeed completely misunderstood your problem?