11 Replies Latest reply on Sep 4, 2015 7:19 AM by r47948703

    Use Custom metadata fields


      We recently got an asset manager that allows us to add custom fields to the advanced XMP information. Is there a way to get inDesign to see these custom fields? Specifically for metadata caption uses.

        • 1. Re: Use Custom metadata fields
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I'm pretty sure that the choices for caption metadata are hardwired.

          • 3. Re: Use Custom metadata fields
            Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            You're email posting did not show up.


            Return in your browser to the thread in the InDesign forum because we can't see what you tried to post.

            • 4. Re: Use Custom metadata fields

              On a similar topic, does anyone know if the InDesign description labels can be customized. I'm specifically referring to the heads in file info -> description, not to the content that can be filled in. Thank you.

              • 5. Re: Use Custom metadata fields
                Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Perhaps if you're a developer.


                The File Info panel is actually controlled by the XMP specifications. They are common across Adobe products. A search of "XMP" in the communities list turned up this link:


                XMP SDK(Community)

                • 6. Re: Use Custom metadata fields
                  r47948703 Level 1

                  Thanks, Steve!

                  • 7. Re: Use Custom metadata fields
                    David W. Goodrich Level 3

                    I've been away for a couple of weeks, and missed arnamy1's original post.  The quick answer is that InDesign XMP SDK kit, for which Steve references the forum, includes a "generic" panel intended to allow non-programmers to make a custom panel showing XMP data in categories not envisaged by InDesign's programmers -- only fitting, given that XMP's first name is "eXtensible."  I'm no programmer, but I've gotten one to work, and I include screen grabs from IDCS4 showing the panel I added to ID's document info for inserting bibliographic information in categories not available in Adobe's stock implementation.  Note that I made this in IDCS4, but it ported easily to IDCS6, which is as late as I go -- I assume the IDCC XMP SDK continues to include a generic panel despite significant changes in how panels operate.




                    The first screen grab show the standard view of document info in IDCS4, the second shows the custom tab for the same file.  But to show what is really going on here I include a third screen grab from Acrobat for the PDF generated by ID.  Note that Acrobat 9, at least, complicates viewing actual metadata: the Pro version is necessary because it adds the Additional Metadata button onto Document Properties' Description tab, allowing access to the Advanced section shown here.  And this is NOT the Advanced tab on the Properties page -- any confusion is just a hint of how labels change with context.   Thus the PDF grab shows that the category both Acrobat and InDesign call "Keywords" corresponds to the category "Subject" under "dc" ("Dublin Core"): "Keyword" does not appear in the actual XMP data.  The categories are defined in schemas, and while you are free to invent your own it is often wiser to use an existing standard: thus the 3rd grab shows I drew on <http://prismstandard.org/namespaces/basic/2.0/> to add fields for holding bibliographic data.  Custom XMP panels must be able to access the definitions, and I assume arnamy1's asset manager will say which schema they use -- and if not the XMP data will.  (The easiest way to work with it may be to have the appropriate Adobe product save or export a file's XMP info in standard XML in *.xmp, searchable with a basic text editor).


                    Accessing and modifying XMP information in ID is not the same as actually using it, and isarnamy1 apparently wants to move non-stock metadata into ID captions.  There are Javascript (*.jsx) programs available for making caption boxes in ID and populating them with XMP metadata, and I expect these can be modified to access the XMP categories added via the isarnamy1's asset manager.


                    r47948703's differs in wanting to customize the labels for categories.  As mentioned above, anyone can define a new XMP schema but a unique schema is less likely to be useful for files that move within and between systems -- the usual rationale for using XMP.  I'm not sure a custom panel will fill the bill, but it certainly is feasible to add one with a unique name, showing existing or custom categories with one's own headings and organization.


                    Finally, I wouldn't count on getting much help in the XMP SDK forum: not only is it less active, the participants tend to be serious programmers from whom I hesitate to seek help without first doing serious homework.


                    Good luck!


                    • 8. Re: Use Custom metadata fields
                      Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Thanks, David, I hope that the poster sees your message.

                      • 9. Re: Use Custom metadata fields
                        r47948703 Level 1

                        Thank you, David. I appreciate the thorough feedback including the helpful screen shots. I'm not a developer but an InDesigner user. What I'm understanding is that the labels can likely be customized (by someone who knows how to define a new XMP schema, as you have demonstrated), but another system, like a content management system, is set up to recognize the standard default XMP metadata categories, not customized ones. I'm hoping the CMS can be customized to map to any newly-created InDesign labels. I also wonder if these InDesign label changes can be made/captured across a corporation for all the designers' InDesign applications, though I can't imagine how that could be rolled out. I don't think InCopy offers an option to get into each designer's InDesign application. It sounds like the changes to the labels would have to be made manually per Mac.


                        You're correct, no response from the XMP SDK forum (yet).


                        Thanks, again, for your help. And yours, too, Steve.


                        • 10. Re: Use Custom metadata fields
                          David W. Goodrich Level 3

                          One way to avoid coming up with a new metadata schema is to "borrow" categories that are not being used for another purpose.  Thus the screen grabs show that I appropriate XMP's dc:description (called "Description" in ID's File Info but "Subject" in Acrobat/Adobe Reader) to hold a basic, copy-and-pastable bibliographic reference.  Much of my work is scholarly material distributed in PDF; the articles often have abstracts, but these are too long for reading in Acrobat/Reader's "Subject" window and rather than waste the space I insert something useful.


                          However, an asset management system might well use dc:description for its own purposes, so this might not be available for, say, holding an image's caption.  In that case, I might try the category "Headline".  XMP's formal name for this is "photoshop:Headline", showing that it comes from Photoshop's XMP schema (derived from IPTC, as we’ll soon see).  An ID Javascript could grab the contents of photoshop:Headline to automate captions.  The contents can be edited from within ID, Photoshop, and AI via the IPTC panel of File Info, though one must scroll down to the IPTC Content section (note that other fields in this section may or may not be mirrored from the Description tab).  "Headline" also appears in the Origin panel.  Adobe's file/media manager Bridge, often mentioned as a means for tweaking metadata, can also edit the contents of photoshop:Headline (under IPTC Core).


                          The File Info for ID, PS, and AI also includes a tab for the "Categories" panel displaying two fields: "Category" and "Supplemental Categories".  Examining the raw XMP for a file where these have been filled in shows the formal names are "photoshop:Category" and "photoshop:SupplementalCategories", so these are also from the Photoshop schema -- which means they are likely to be available in any metadata system dealing with images.  Note that while the second can hold general text, the first is limited to three 7-bit ASCII chars. (see XMP Specification Part 2: Standard Schemas).


                          Another promising category appears in XMP's Basic schema, xmp:Label.  The XMP specification (p. 30) describes it as:

                          A word or short phrase that identifies a document as a member of a user-defined collection. Used to organize documents in a file browser.

                          xmp:Label might be used more widely if Adobe software made it easier for users to get at but I can't find it in stock ID, PS, or AI.  A custom panel for File Info would give those programs access, and could be made by modifying the generic panel included with the free XMP SDK [Software Development Kit].  Bridge's Label tab is somewhat more useful, offering 5 choices for  xmp:Label’s text: "Select", "Second", "Approved", "Review", and "To Do".  If you change your mind after choosing one then "No Label" will remove it.  This user isn't about to define a collection of documents based on the canned labels, though I might consider something like Job_001, Job_002, etc.  Bridge's Preferences seem to allow this by letting you change the text for all five labels -- though not their associated colors and keyboard short-cuts.


                          If you use Bridge's File Info/Raw Data for a file you have labeled "To Do" you will find that phrase listed as the contents of xmp:Label.  This means labels are ripe for processing more directly with Phil Harvey's fabulous ExifTool: I fed the command-line version with: [exiftool -XMP-xmp:Label="MyLabel" filename.pdf] (ignore my square-bracket delimiters).  Bridge happily uses MyLabel to filter and organize files so labeled, and outside of Bridge I can confirm ExifTool's success by checking the test PDF's metadata with Acrobat Pro (under XMP Core Properties).  However, MyLabel misses out on the color Bridge uses to highlight its labels, presumably part of a secret sauce it adds elsewhere.  Worse, Bridge CS4 (though not CS6) got hung up when I tried to change or delete my test PDF’s MyLabel -- perhaps for want of secret sauce.  This did not happen in a quick check with BridgeCS6, but even so I’d want to test carefully before relying on re-named canned labels, and in the meantime I’d  use Bridge only to view labels (and I wouldn't count on using Bridge over a network).


                          A more down-and-dirty way to insert an xmp:Label into a file is to export its XMP data from ID, PS, etc., doctor the XMP with a text editor, and then import the tweaked version.  The XMP from a practice file tagged "To Do" in Bridge shows where the graft goes: in my case [<xmp:Label>MyLabel</xmp:Label>] is a new line directly after that reading [xmlns:xmp="http://ns.adobe.com/xap/1.0/">] (again, ignore square brackets).  That may be handy for a quick test, but tweaking metadata on an industrial scale is where ExifTool really shines: substitute “*.pdf” for "filename.pdf" in the command above and ExifTool will quickly label a folderful of PDFs -- and that doesn't scratch the surface of its capabilities.


                          As for "rolling out" a custom panel, once it is working on one machine installing it elsewhere is a matter of making sure a couple of files go in the proper locations, detailed in the SDK documentation.  That task is on the order of backing up one's ID preferences, but not all users can be relied on to do that for themselves.  Naturally, new versions of software have new places so the task may need re-doing after an upgrade.  Occasionally, upgrades may require changing the files themselves: the Creative Cloud version of the SDK includes a utility to convert old-style versions like mine, and one of these days I expect I’ll try it.


                          Good luck,


                          • 11. Re: Use Custom metadata fields
                            r47948703 Level 1

                            Sorry for my delayed reply. I appreciate your additional feedback, David, including the detailed examples. I'll be testing a few of these suggestions.


                            Thanks, again,