11 Replies Latest reply: Jun 21, 2015 7:27 AM by MichelBParis RSS

    Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?

    mcstampfunk Community Member

      I am finding that going to File>Save Metadata to File is not really needed.  I changed some metadata like the caption and notes and I don't choose that option in the menu. I then examine the file in Photoshop, and the metadata has already been updated. The metadata gets updated by itself for JPG files, and the XMP file in RAW files gets updated too without me doing anything extra.

       

      What is Save Metadata to File good for then? Am I missing something?

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?
          MichelBParis MVP

          Some kinds of metadata like captions, notes are written automatically in the file headers, others, like keywords, are not.

          • 2. Re: Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?
            mcstampfunk Community Member

            I tested keywords (tags) and you are right. They didn't get saved automatically. Thanks.

            • 3. Re: Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?
              SK Prairie Chicken Community Member

              I'm missing something.  I'm new to PSE 11 but not to PSE.  I am new to Mac though.  I don't recall ever seeing the "Save Metadata to File" before now, and I've certainly added enough keyword tags over the years and never used this command.  Is this a Mac thing?  When is it necessary?

               

              I know captions, but what notes are you referring to?

               

              With the data migration & version change, I've lost all my version stacks.  I've been stacking manually for the most important/recent images but I come back another day & could swear I'd already stacked those images previously.  Could this Save Metadata to File be a factor here?

              • 4. Re: Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?
                MichelBParis MVP

                SK Prairie Chicken wrote:

                 

                I'm missing something.  I'm new to PSE 11 but not to PSE.  I am new to Mac though.  I don't recall ever seeing the "Save Metadata to File" before now, and I've certainly added enough keyword tags over the years and never used this command.  Is this a Mac thing?  When is it necessary?

                 

                It's not a Mac thing and it's an old PSE feature with only interface changes over the years. It's not a PSE only feature : Lightroom is quite similar in that respect.

                To start understanding the 'writing' of metadata to files, it's important to have a clear vision of what a catalog is : an external list of the properties of a media file (a database).

                - the location of the file in the drive

                - the shooting info written into the file by your camera

                - the captions, notes and keyword you may add

                - version sets, stacks and albums, which keep the information about how different pictures may be grouped together

                - small thumbnails for quick visual search

                - etc.

                 

                The camera information is already stored in the metadata section. For other types of info, there are different rules :

                - albums, stacks and version sets are not a property of a given file and can't be stored in the files, they are only available in the catalog. Even if you 'write metadata to files', you can't retrieve the information if the catalog is missing.

                - captions and notes as well as date/time info may be written automatically in the file

                - keywords are not written automatically

                 

                So, writing the metadata to files has two advantages : it's a way to save important information as another backup if the catalog is missing, and it makes keywords, captions, ratings, notes... available to other external tools, even to the explorer.

                 

                 

                .

                I know captions, but what notes are you referring to?

                 

                .The notes and captions are available in the properties panel, general tab.

                 

                 

                With the data migration & version change, I've lost all my version stacks.  I've been stacking manually for the most important/recent images but I come back another day & could swear I'd already stacked those images previously.  Could this Save Metadata to File be a factor here?

                The only way to keep your stacks and albums (which can only be stored in the catalog, not in the files) is to use the backup/restore method, or if you are still on the same computer, to use the catalog conversion feature.

                • 5. Re: Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?
                  larrymcg62

                  MichelBParis wrote:

                   

                  ----- captions and notes as well as date/time info may be written automatically in the file

                   

                  Since you say the info "may" be written automatically, does that mean that it isn't always written automatically?

                   

                  My experience is, with PSE12 on Win7 64-bit, that captions sometimes get written to the file.  Drives me nuts!  It's especially an issue when I use the photos in jAlbum.  Sometimes I get captions in jAlbum and sometimes not.  jAlbum is taking the info from the IPTC Description field.

                   

                  Further, if I select a bunch of jpg files in the PSE12 organizer and use ctrl-W to write the metadata to the files, I often get an error that says some files are not of the correct type and the write to the metadata can't be done for those files.  But it always seems to get done.  Random......

                   

                  -- Larry

                  • 6. Re: Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?
                    MichelBParis MVP

                    In my own experience, captions are always written in the IPTC description field.

                    You can test it by having a look :

                    - in the organizer : at the IPTC section of the  metadata info in the right panel

                    - in the editor : at the menu File\Information, IPTC section (scroll down in the dialog).

                     

                    Notes are kept in the 'advanced' metadata section which is specific to Adobe Elements.

                     

                    The message you get is usually for other formats than jpegs (PNG, videos...)

                    There is nothing random for me when I write metadata to files for jpegs (or in the sidecar xmp files for raws).

                    • 7. Re: Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?
                      larrymcg62 Community Member

                      Thanks for the reply MichelBParis. 

                       

                      Looking in the IPTC section is how I discovered that the Description field was empty (in which case it does not appear).  In a recent case I had set up a PSE album with about 40 photos in it.  I went through all the photos and added captions.  Then I created a jAlbum and only 2 or 3 photos had captions displayed by jAlbum.  I went back and examined the IPTC info with PSE12 and sure enough only 2 or 3 had IPTC Descriptions but they all had captions.  So I selected all the photos in the PSE album and used ctrl-W to write the info which led to the error about some of the files not being of the correct type.  But they are ALL jpegs.  And all the IPTC description fields were filled out.

                       

                      So my experience is somewhat different than yours.

                       

                      -- Larry

                      • 8. Re: Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?
                        MichelBParis MVP

                        I just did the following test with PSE12.

                        I chose a folder with 25 files without captions for the test.

                        I used the feature which allows assigning a given caption to all selected items (contextual menu via right click).

                        Then, without 'writing metadata to files', I created a new catalog in which I imported the images in the folder.

                        Result:

                        No captions were written to the files, so no captions in the new catalog from the import.

                        Second try after assigning the same caption to all files in the folder in the new catalog and writing metadata to files.

                        Back in the main catalog, ALL captions are present.

                        Note that I got the same error message while 'writing metadata to files'. Checking in the Explorer (Windows 7), there were only jpeg.

                         

                        So, I am getting nearer to your own experience. I'll have to check if the automatic 'writing captions to files' is only done if you assign captions individually, not in batch to several selected items.

                         

                        The other way to write IPTC  data since PSE11 is to use the Information panel on the right of the screen. You can select (highlight) several pictures and click on the '...' icon on the right of the IPTC section title.

                        There, you can assign a common caption. That writes the data to the files directly without the menu 'write metadata to files'.

                        • 9. Re: Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?
                          robertl69351722 Community Member

                          My experience involves the use of keywords. I use them a lot since using the title or caption to describe everything in the picture would result in awkwardly long titles. Keywords are automatically saved to PSE's catalogs, but this information is not attached to pictures' jpg files themselves. That's what the File>Save Metadata to File does.

                           

                          There are two major reasons why writing metadata to the files could be useful:

                           

                          1. To allow other programs, like Window Explorer or Flickr, to find pictures based on the keywords you've assigned to them. This also works on files you've copied to a location different than where you're keeping them in PSE.

                           

                          2. If some mishap results in a corrupted or missing catalog that PSE can't read, you will have the option of telling PSE to import the keywords from the files. That you'll be able to find your pictures where Spot makes an appearance without having to go through everything you've got on your backup.

                           

                          What isn't saved by the Write Metadata command is any categories or subcategories you're defined. If you've set up a Pets category and given each of your pets a tag, PSE looking through the catalog will be able to find all you pictures tagged with a pet in them. Other programs will not be able to figure out that Spot and Queenie are pets unless you've also attached the Pets category to each picture.

                          • 10. Re: Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?
                            larrymcg62 Community Member

                            I just copied and pasted several .jpg photos into a monitored folder and PSE12 saw them and let me add them to the catalog.  I then individually added captions to a few.  Then I selected several and added captions to them by right-clicking and adding a caption.  When I got done no captions had been written to the IPTC data.  I guess you have to manually force them to be written every time.

                             

                            Where this was driving me nuts was when I was creating a jAlbum slideshow (uses IPTC description) and I'd have to go back to the original file to edit the caption and, of course, I'd forget to force the new caption to be written to the file and I'd redo the slideshow and see that it still had the old caption.  Maybe I can train myself to always force the write to the IPTC data but, being really old, it's hard to teach me new tricks.  

                            • 11. Re: Save metadata to file?? What's it good for?
                              MichelBParis MVP

                              larrymcg62 a écrit:

                               

                              ...  I guess you have to manually force them to be written every time.

                              Yes, but you don't need to 'write' every time you add captions or keywords. It's enough to select a batch of files and write metadata to files.

                              You can select a big batch without bothering if some have already been 'written'. I routinely select  all recent pictures or pictures from a given import batch.

                              The data which was already written is not changed, what is new is added.

                               

                              The only problem is that if you have changed keywords, the older ones are not deleted by that process in the files.

                              If you want to 'refresh' the keywords, the trick is to use the organizer IPTC menu to delete all keywords from a selection of files and to write them again.