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Modifying Metadata and Keywords in Adobe Photoshop CS4

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  1. #20. Modifying Metadata and Keywords

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Metadata is valuable because you can use it to streamline your workflow and organize your files. Bridge provides two ways of working with metadata: through the Metadata panel and through the File Info dialog box. Chris Orwig shows you how to work with metadata and keywords in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

#20 Modifying Metadata and Keywords

Many of the powerful Bridge features that allow you to organize, search, and keep track of your files and versions depend on the metadata in your files. Essentially, metadata is a set of standardized information about a file, such as the author name, copyright, keywords, the camera settings in force when the image was created, and so on. In other words, metadata is data about data. You can consider an image to be nothing more than data, and the metadata is the information that describes the image, such as the file type, the size, or the date it was captured.

In sum, metadata is valuable because you can use it to streamline your workflow and organize your files. Bridge provides two ways of working with metadata: through the Metadata panel and through the File Info dialog box.

Let’s begin with the File Info dialog box. Select an image, and then choose File > File Info (Figure 20a).

This dialog box displays quite a bit of information. At first glance, it may look a little like overkill, but many of the settings in it are important. In particular, you may want to add keywords and copyright information.

Editing metadata within Bridge is easier than ever. For example, choose Window > Workspace > Keywords to edit metadata keywords. Notice the Keywords and Filter panels on the left. Adding keywords to your images is a critical step in digital asset management, so let’s begin there:

  1. Working in the Keywords panel, click the New Keyword button or New Sub Keyword button (or choose either New Keyword or New Sub Keyword from the panel menu). A new default name appears in the panel.
  2. To create the new keyword or new sub keyword, type over the default name and press Enter (Windows) Return (Mac) (Figure 20b).

Select the Metadata workspace to view and edit more general metadata. The top of the panel is occupied by the metadata placard, which displays the settings from the camera when the picture was taken. You’ll find information such as the aperture setting, shutter speed, metering mode, ISO, file size, pixel dimensions, and color space. The placard is formatted to resemble the LCD screen on a camera, so you most likely will find it a very useful feature of Bridge (Figure 20c).

Perhaps the most important part of the Metadata panel is the IPTC Core. This is where you can add or modify keywords, copyright, contact information, and more. Click the triangle to the left of the IPTC Core heading to expand the IPTC Core section, select an item, and start typing.