IPTC and EXIF and What's It All About?
After reading a forum post by Photogwest asking for ways to streamline the process of re-keywording the same images over and over again, I decided to do a little research and expand upon previous forum posts with further information about EXIF and IPTC.
My limited blog gives definitions, simple descriptions, how to access EXIF and IPTC features in a few editing programs and a link to the
process of adding, clearing and fixing IPTC info in Adobe products (a bit technical but understandable).
IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council), "... based in London, United Kingdom, is a consortium of the world's major news
agencies and news industry vendors. It develops and maintains technical standards for improved news exchange that are used by virtually every major news organization in the world. ... The IPTC defined a set of metadata properties that can be applied to images ... Because of its nearly universal acceptance among photographers — even amateurs — this is by far IPTC's most widely used standard." Source -
In short, IPTC provides a standard way of storing editable information such as title, description, keywords, location, etc. that become part of the image file.
EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) is a standard way of storing technical data about your image and camera settings. I'm not aware
of any way to edit this information.
Because IPTC/EXIF information is stored in the image in a standard way, it can be accessed by other IPTC/EXIF aware applications.
Dreamstime's upload system supports automated IPTC/EXIF data retrieval as do many other microagencies. So you just have to enter your info once and it travels along with your image when you upload.
There are a few ways I know to access and view IPTC/EXIF information. The easiest way is to right-click on your photo then select Properties > Details. A good feature here is that you can add or edit your information. Just click in the box you want to work with to see Title, Subject (which is your Description) and Tags (which is your Keywords) fields. When done adding/editing your info be sure to click Apply.
In CS4, go to File > File Info > IPTC. Be mindful that if you edit your image at a later time then Save, you will lose your entries so do a Save As rather than a Save, then copy and paste info from one image to the other.
In Elements 8, click File > File Info > IPTC. Then follow advice as for CS4.
In InfranView, go to File > Info > IPTC where you can add or edit information.
There are many editing programs and stand alone apps that support IPTC and EXIF entries, but these are the only ones I know how to use.
A useful link, IMO, for just about everything you would want to know about metadata, IPTC and EXIF as a photographer can be found at
By no means is my blog comprehensive of information available about this subject, but I hope it presents useful information for any of my esteemed colleagues needing it.
Note: These images have no relationship to my blog. I couldn't find any relevant screenshots so I decorated my blog with images from Photogwest because s/he inspired my blog, Bcritchley because I owe him a favor and Igordabari because I'm sucking up for an invitation to visit Moscow. Thank you all!
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