28 thoughts on “How to Protect Your Images with Metadata

  1. Update: I changed my Photoshop Script Event Manager events to Open and New Document (rather than Save & Export) since I may want to manually enter metadata in the future without it being cleared/overwritten on save.

    Use what works for you.

  2. @Clint
    I’ve only ever opened it by accident, and never found a use for it. I could see it being useful for managing a bunch of assets at once, but (strangely) I’ve never needed to.

  3. says

    I’d have a real hard time working without Bridge. Being in the microstock business I have to manage quiet a lot of files. All of these sites require the metadata your talking about, including keywords, titles, descriptions, etc. Even when I am working with images that are not intended to be uploaded to a stock site (mostly files for my day job) the key words (and other metadata) play a major role in communication with all of the writers and illustrators in my department. We over 12K images any one of us ( globally)can easily search for images based on key word, category, creator, etc.

  4. says

    I was resistant to using it for a long time but it’s gotten much better I think. I use it constantly for organizing and view images, especially photography.

  5. Steve Leduc says

    I’m with James on this one. I’ve only ever opened Bridge by accident. As far as my needs as a graphic designer, even when managing trade show sign programmes of 150+ individual signs, I find simple folder organization is easiest.

    That said, now that I’ve seen this metadata tutorial, I can see how it would make it much easier to manage files in that manner.

    As an aside, I wanted to applaud your comment above about the watermarks and html witchery when it comes to image theft. If they want your image, they’re going to get it; why make your real clients and customers suffer? It’s all too similar to the rampant DRM debate plagueing the video game and music industries.

  6. It’s good to see this post. I am on the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Committee and it is good to see images being labeled!
    I would like to point you also to the javascript we have developed which enables metadata to be entered into IPTC Core and Extension fields via Bridge, using PS versions 3 and up. (IPTC Extension is only visible out of the box in CS5 and is an important addition to IPTC Core, adding new fields and disambiguating others.)
    See http://www.IPTC.org go to Metadata and download the metadata Toolkit. The script has a number of useful workflow aids.

  7. Thank you for sharing, I find it very helpful. I have one unclear question. Is there any way to protect this metadata from overwriting by someone else? Can someone else download this image and open it in Bridge and change metadata?

  8. @Tatiana I don’t think there’s a way to lock or protect metadata. This is just to keep honest people honest (or ignorant people ignorant).

    If someone is going to replace metadata, they could more easily take a screenshot.

  9. James… you are The Man.

    Cannot thank you enough for your substantial efforts here… screenshots, explanations… bravo across the board.

    Keep up the great work… please know that it is very much appreciated!

    – pbeach

  10. this is sensational James – thank you so much. The step through screenshots really helped – any chance you have a step through for setting up design themes in powerpoint and word?

  11. Deanna says

    This is a great post – very helpful!! I would like to save my PNG files with the same copyright info – but have been unable to find a way so far – do you know of any way to embed the meta-data into a png image?

    Thanks again!

  12. Al says

    A nice way of using metadata, but isn’t it all worthless unless said art director or agency know what metadata is and how to look for it?

  13. @Al — You’re right, but consider the cost vs. benefit.

    The cost is 15 minutes creating an automated metadata tagging system that you never have to touch again. Even if the benefit is one additional project over the course of your entire career, it’s 15 minutes well spent.

    Plus you’ve learned a thing or two about Actions, Event Manager, Templates, etc.

  14. says

    Hi, great tutorial!!!

    Got a question for you, is it possible to protect the image metadata? I sell ECG’s and medical illustrations on my website, and was wondering how to protect the metadata created by me on my files so no else will be able to change it.

    Kind regards.

  15. kp says

    I know “screen grabbing/screenshots” of photos don’t grab metadata with it. How do you work around this? SOL right?

    • I would recommend a very small, unobtrusive watermark. Someone who’s determined to steal your image will get away with it. This is about maximizing your chances of keeping your name/brand attached to it.

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