Adding comments to JPEGs?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Terry Pinnell, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. I want to add comments to photos (JPG format) for future reference, in
    a methodical fashion, but there seem to be several places for them.
    Could someone summarise the options and recommend the most useful
    please?

    These are those I've found so far:

    1. ThumbsPlus 7 has 'Annotation' in File Properties>Database. But I'm
    not yet sure if it is preserved in the file itself, or just in TP's
    database.

    2. IrfanView 3.9.5 Image Properties>Comment. Are these *the* 'JPEG
    Comments' that are preserved in the file itself?

    3. IrfanView IPTC Information has several fields, including Caption,
    Categories, and Keywords. If I anticipate wanting to *search* for a
    photo, would I be better off using Keywords?

    4. Windows XP, in a My Computer or Explorer folder, r-click, then
    Properties>Summary displays a 'Comments' box. But it clearly isn't the
    'JPEG Comment'. (It can be completed for *any* type of file.)

    5. ThumbsPlus 7 File Properties>Keywords. But this does not appear to
    be the same Keyword field as used by IrfanView.

    Maybe I'm missing something basic here, but IMO this scene seems a bit
    of a mess! I would have thought there was a popular requirement for
    some *standard* means of adding, editing and preserving 'user
    comments'.

    --
    Terry, West Sussex, UK
     
    Terry Pinnell, Mar 22, 2005
    #1
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  2. Terry Pinnell

    bob Guest

    Terry Pinnell wrote:
    > I want to add comments to photos (JPG format) for future reference, in
    > a methodical fashion, but there seem to be several places for them.
    > Could someone summarise the options and recommend the most useful
    > please?


    For what purpose? If it's just for your reference, and if you can keep
    track of what you've done, and realize that other software might wipe
    them out, then any of the methods you mention are fine.

    If it's for posterity, then I can suggest several alternatives:

    1) make a text file with the annotations (file1.jpg & file1.txt).

    2) use a different file format (like .psd or .tif) and put the comments
    on a layer.

    3) make a copy of the .jpg and write the comments on the photo, or
    alternately, in the margin (file1.jpg & file1.annotated.jpg)

    4) make a digital scrapbook and save it in .pdf format.

    Bob
     
    bob, Mar 22, 2005
    #2
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  3. Terry Pinnell

    paul Guest

    IPTC is the best, intended for press photographers to communicate in a
    standardized way. Jpeg comment is a bit of a kludge, I believe it goes
    in the EXIF along with camera information. I wish I remembered all this
    better but you are asking the right questions. If you decide to use TIF
    for some images, there will be no jpeg comment. Beware some programs
    will store this info in an imperfect non-standard manner that may not be
    readable in other programs in the future.

    I use a text file with matching file name as mentioned above. This also
    allows me to include an index.txt for the whole folder full of shots and
    it's guaranteed to be readable in the future & not become a corrupted
    database. I have my own custom setup for creating & presenting these
    text files, I don't know if there is a program that does this for you
    but it would be nice if you could find such a thing. HTML based web
    galleries provide something similar in a format that anyone can read so
    that's one way to get this effect. Then you would have a duplicate
    subfolder reduced for web with thumbnails an index and a way to present
    the annotations beside the picture which is handy.

    Terry Pinnell wrote:

    > I want to add comments to photos (JPG format) for future reference, in
    > a methodical fashion, but there seem to be several places for them.
    > Could someone summarise the options and recommend the most useful
    > please?
    >
    > These are those I've found so far:
    >
    > 1. ThumbsPlus 7 has 'Annotation' in File Properties>Database. But I'm
    > not yet sure if it is preserved in the file itself, or just in TP's
    > database.
    >
    > 2. IrfanView 3.9.5 Image Properties>Comment. Are these *the* 'JPEG
    > Comments' that are preserved in the file itself?
    >
    > 3. IrfanView IPTC Information has several fields, including Caption,
    > Categories, and Keywords. If I anticipate wanting to *search* for a
    > photo, would I be better off using Keywords?
    >
    > 4. Windows XP, in a My Computer or Explorer folder, r-click, then
    > Properties>Summary displays a 'Comments' box. But it clearly isn't the
    > 'JPEG Comment'. (It can be completed for *any* type of file.)
    >
    > 5. ThumbsPlus 7 File Properties>Keywords. But this does not appear to
    > be the same Keyword field as used by IrfanView.
    >
    > Maybe I'm missing something basic here, but IMO this scene seems a bit
    > of a mess! I would have thought there was a popular requirement for
    > some *standard* means of adding, editing and preserving 'user
    > comments'.
    >
     
    paul, Mar 22, 2005
    #3
  4. Terry Pinnell <> writes:

    > I want to add comments to photos (JPG format) for future reference, in
    > a methodical fashion, but there seem to be several places for them.
    > Could someone summarise the options and recommend the most useful
    > please?
    >
    > These are those I've found so far:
    >
    > 1. ThumbsPlus 7 has 'Annotation' in File Properties>Database. But I'm
    > not yet sure if it is preserved in the file itself, or just in TP's
    > database.


    ThumbsPlus also supports IPTC fields, and that's where you should be
    putting such information.

    > 2. IrfanView 3.9.5 Image Properties>Comment. Are these *the* 'JPEG
    > Comments' that are preserved in the file itself?
    >
    > 3. IrfanView IPTC Information has several fields, including Caption,
    > Categories, and Keywords. If I anticipate wanting to *search* for a
    > photo, would I be better off using Keywords?


    I'm guessing you're a ThumbsPlus user. So yes, keywords are the
    easiest thing to search for. Luckily thumbs plus will transfer IPTC
    keywords into its database, so that all works out.

    > 4. Windows XP, in a My Computer or Explorer folder, r-click, then
    > Properties>Summary displays a 'Comments' box. But it clearly isn't the
    > 'JPEG Comment'. (It can be completed for *any* type of file.)
    >
    > 5. ThumbsPlus 7 File Properties>Keywords. But this does not appear to
    > be the same Keyword field as used by IrfanView.


    That's a keyword in the ThumbsPlus database.

    However, with proper settings ThumbsPlus will pick up the IPTC
    keywords and place them into the database, thus giving you the best of
    both worlds.

    > Maybe I'm missing something basic here, but IMO this scene seems a bit
    > of a mess! I would have thought there was a popular requirement for
    > some *standard* means of adding, editing and preserving 'user
    > comments'.


    I have no idea what Win XP does, but I'd ignore it a short-term
    proprietary wierdness. I'm not running XP on my desktop.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Mar 22, 2005
    #4
  5. Terry Pinnell

    Greg Guest

    PixVue (www.pixvue.com) allows you to view and edit both IPTC and XMP
    metadata in JPEG, TIFF, and RAW files.

    "Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I want to add comments to photos (JPG format) for future reference, in
    > a methodical fashion, but there seem to be several places for them.
    > Could someone summarise the options and recommend the most useful
    > please?
    >
    > These are those I've found so far:
    >
    > 1. ThumbsPlus 7 has 'Annotation' in File Properties>Database. But I'm
    > not yet sure if it is preserved in the file itself, or just in TP's
    > database.
    >
    > 2. IrfanView 3.9.5 Image Properties>Comment. Are these *the* 'JPEG
    > Comments' that are preserved in the file itself?
    >
    > 3. IrfanView IPTC Information has several fields, including Caption,
    > Categories, and Keywords. If I anticipate wanting to *search* for a
    > photo, would I be better off using Keywords?
    >
    > 4. Windows XP, in a My Computer or Explorer folder, r-click, then
    > Properties>Summary displays a 'Comments' box. But it clearly isn't the
    > 'JPEG Comment'. (It can be completed for *any* type of file.)
    >
    > 5. ThumbsPlus 7 File Properties>Keywords. But this does not appear to
    > be the same Keyword field as used by IrfanView.
    >
    > Maybe I'm missing something basic here, but IMO this scene seems a bit
    > of a mess! I would have thought there was a popular requirement for
    > some *standard* means of adding, editing and preserving 'user
    > comments'.
    >
    > --
    > Terry, West Sussex, UK
    >
     
    Greg, Mar 22, 2005
    #5
  6. "Greg" <> wrote:

    >PixVue (www.pixvue.com) allows you to view and edit both IPTC and XMP
    >metadata in JPEG, TIFF, and RAW files.


    Thanks very much for all four replies. I'm pursuing all of them,
    except for the 'separate text file' approach, as that wouldn't square
    with the disorganised present state of my photos. (I'm still not
    settled on a 100% consistent file naming system, so filenames get
    changed a lot, and editing is by no means complete. No way could I
    manage comments separate from the image itself!)

    I'd assumed that 'JPEG Comments' would be the simple tool I needed,
    but from your feedback and my research it seems IPTC has more going
    for it. Yet I see that several popular image editors don't support
    IPTC, such as PaintShop Pro 8 which I use to complement ThumbsPlus 7.
    Does that mean that if I've assigned an IPTC caption or keyword etc to
    a JPG, and I later happen to edit it in PSP8, that program will
    destroy my entries?

    Need to try out some of David's suggestions with ThumbsPlus; sounds
    promising.

    I've had only minutes with PixVue so far, but it looks very powerful.
    So good for versatilty - but probably much of it will be redundant for
    me. So hope I'm not paying a price in terms of its resource usage.

    Going through PixVue's (online) Help now. But may I raise a couple of
    queries with Greg or any other PixVue user please, about one specific
    feature. With a JPG selected in Explorer, R-click>Annotate>Add Keyword
    pops up a list of the *previous* keywords I happen to have used.
    Surely it's unlikely I would want to add those to a quite different
    image in a different folder? And after a few hours won't it be an
    unmanageable list? Can I remove those 'presets' please?

    --
    Terry, West Sussex, UK
     
    Terry Pinnell, Mar 23, 2005
    #6
  7. Hi!

    I also use Pixvue to add comments / keywords to my JPEGS.
    I think the big advantage of using this approach is, that the data
    describing your picture is contained in the picture itself instead of in
    some sort of databasefile.
    I use Picasa 2 for managing / searching for my picture. Here I can search
    for the metadata I have added to my pictures using Pixvue.
    When some day I want to change to something else than Picasa 2 I dont need
    to convert database - the "database" is already contained in my pictures.

    Regards



    "Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Greg" <> wrote:
    >
    > >PixVue (www.pixvue.com) allows you to view and edit both IPTC and XMP
    > >metadata in JPEG, TIFF, and RAW files.

    >
    > Thanks very much for all four replies. I'm pursuing all of them,
    > except for the 'separate text file' approach, as that wouldn't square
    > with the disorganised present state of my photos. (I'm still not
    > settled on a 100% consistent file naming system, so filenames get
    > changed a lot, and editing is by no means complete. No way could I
    > manage comments separate from the image itself!)
    >
    > I'd assumed that 'JPEG Comments' would be the simple tool I needed,
    > but from your feedback and my research it seems IPTC has more going
    > for it. Yet I see that several popular image editors don't support
    > IPTC, such as PaintShop Pro 8 which I use to complement ThumbsPlus 7.
    > Does that mean that if I've assigned an IPTC caption or keyword etc to
    > a JPG, and I later happen to edit it in PSP8, that program will
    > destroy my entries?
    >
    > Need to try out some of David's suggestions with ThumbsPlus; sounds
    > promising.
    >
    > I've had only minutes with PixVue so far, but it looks very powerful.
    > So good for versatilty - but probably much of it will be redundant for
    > me. So hope I'm not paying a price in terms of its resource usage.
    >
    > Going through PixVue's (online) Help now. But may I raise a couple of
    > queries with Greg or any other PixVue user please, about one specific
    > feature. With a JPG selected in Explorer, R-click>Annotate>Add Keyword
    > pops up a list of the *previous* keywords I happen to have used.
    > Surely it's unlikely I would want to add those to a quite different
    > image in a different folder? And after a few hours won't it be an
    > unmanageable list? Can I remove those 'presets' please?
    >
    > --
    > Terry, West Sussex, UK
    >
     
    Morten L.Pedersen, Mar 23, 2005
    #7
  8. "Morten L.Pedersen" <> wrote:

    >Hi!
    >
    >I also use Pixvue to add comments / keywords to my JPEGS.
    >I think the big advantage of using this approach is, that the data
    >describing your picture is contained in the picture itself instead of in
    >some sort of databasefile.
    >I use Picasa 2 for managing / searching for my picture. Here I can search
    >for the metadata I have added to my pictures using Pixvue.
    >When some day I want to change to something else than Picasa 2 I dont need
    >to convert database - the "database" is already contained in my pictures.
    >
    >Regards


    Thanks. I've recently installed Picasa too. I see I can add captions
    there. Do you use that? Ditto Keywords and Labels? I'm guessing all
    these are 'proprietary', but would appreciate confirmation. Even if
    so, Picasa looks a nice application. Pity the only folder organisation
    is 'flat' though, losing my carefully-structured hierarchy ;-(

    My only issue with PixVue is that it looks pretty daunting! I get two
    context menus on r-clicking any file, and each of them has many
    entries - including some (like Cut, Copy, Delete) that sound as if
    they duplicate standard Explorer ones, and so far don't seem to do
    anything. Guess I'm jumping the gun though; have yet to read all the
    Help <g>.

    --
    Terry, West Sussex, UK
     
    Terry Pinnell, Mar 23, 2005
    #8
  9. "Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Morten L.Pedersen" <> wrote:
    >
    > >Hi!
    > >
    > >I also use Pixvue to add comments / keywords to my JPEGS.
    > >I think the big advantage of using this approach is, that the data
    > >describing your picture is contained in the picture itself instead of in
    > >some sort of databasefile.
    > >I use Picasa 2 for managing / searching for my picture. Here I can search
    > >for the metadata I have added to my pictures using Pixvue.
    > >When some day I want to change to something else than Picasa 2 I dont

    need
    > >to convert database - the "database" is already contained in my pictures.
    > >
    > >Regards

    >
    > Thanks. I've recently installed Picasa too. I see I can add captions
    > there. Do you use that? Ditto Keywords and Labels? I'm guessing all
    > these are 'proprietary', but would appreciate confirmation. Even if
    > so, Picasa looks a nice application. Pity the only folder organisation
    > is 'flat' though, losing my carefully-structured hierarchy ;-(


    I've tried adding captions in Picasa, and it is written in to the JPEG file.
    But it seems like Picasa can't deal with special letters (I use a danish
    keyboard layout) for some reason, so I only use Pixvue to add captions,
    keywords and other metadata. That is except for captions for videofiles.
    Here you cannot use Pixvue but has to rely on Picasa.

    I also think Picasa is a nice app.
    The only thing I'm a little uncertain about is the backup function.
    Do you know if its relyable ?

    >
    > My only issue with PixVue is that it looks pretty daunting! I get two
    > context menus on r-clicking any file, and each of them has many
    > entries - including some (like Cut, Copy, Delete) that sound as if
    > they duplicate standard Explorer ones, and so far don't seem to do
    > anything. Guess I'm jumping the gun though; have yet to read all the
    > Help <g>.
    >


    I get one menu on r-click. Then there's submenus for Pixvue functions.
    Cut/copy/paste on these submenues only concerns picture-metadata (Eg. copy
    on the Pixvue-menu copies metadata which you can paste in to another
    JPEG-file).
    I use the copy/paste and template functions a lot. They make it pretty fast
    to add metadata to a lot of pictures.

    > --
    > Terry, West Sussex, UK
    >
     
    Morten L.Pedersen, Mar 23, 2005
    #9
  10. Terry Pinnell

    Greg Guest

    The keyword context menu popup is a list of the 20 most recently used
    keywords. Since often you annotate related images, it's handy to have the
    most recently used keywords quickly available. Of course, you can always
    add any keyword you want through the edit dialog. You can also clear the
    list of keywords (and the other auto complete entries) as well as configure
    a number of other things using the PixVue control panel applet.

    "Terry Pinnell" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Greg" <> wrote:
    >
    > >PixVue (www.pixvue.com) allows you to view and edit both IPTC and XMP
    > >metadata in JPEG, TIFF, and RAW files.

    > ...
    > I've had only minutes with PixVue so far, but it looks very powerful.
    > So good for versatilty - but probably much of it will be redundant for
    > me. So hope I'm not paying a price in terms of its resource usage.
    >
    > Going through PixVue's (online) Help now. But may I raise a couple of
    > queries with Greg or any other PixVue user please, about one specific
    > feature. With a JPG selected in Explorer, R-click>Annotate>Add Keyword
    > pops up a list of the *previous* keywords I happen to have used.
    > Surely it's unlikely I would want to add those to a quite different
    > image in a different folder? And after a few hours won't it be an
    > unmanageable list? Can I remove those 'presets' please?
    >
    > --
    > Terry, West Sussex, UK
     
    Greg, Mar 23, 2005
    #10
  11. "Greg" <> wrote:

    >The keyword context menu popup is a list of the 20 most recently used
    >keywords. Since often you annotate related images, it's handy to have the
    >most recently used keywords quickly available. Of course, you can always
    >add any keyword you want through the edit dialog. You can also clear the
    >list of keywords (and the other auto complete entries) as well as configure
    >a number of other things using the PixVue control panel applet.


    Thanks, understood. I suspected it might work like that, but it's
    reassuring to know I can clear them. Sort of distracting to have all
    those keywords relating to a 1980 holiday in Austria while working on
    photos taken yesterday in the garden <g>.

    --
    Terry, West Sussex, UK
     
    Terry Pinnell, Mar 24, 2005
    #11
  12. "Morten L.Pedersen" <> wrote:

    >I've tried adding captions in Picasa, and it is written in to the JPEG file.


    Excellent, I'll have to experiment. For my simple needs, that sounds a
    sensible alternative to IPTC then. My 'comments' are mainly intended
    to identify where and when a photo was taken, and names of subjects
    where that's of interest, etc. That includes many old photos from
    scans, as well as many taken in my first year or so with my Sony DSC-1
    Cybershot, for which the EXIF data was destroyed by PSP7 (and other
    editors) before I realised its value.

    >But it seems like Picasa can't deal with special letters (I use a danish
    >keyboard layout) for some reason, so I only use Pixvue to add captions,
    >keywords and other metadata. That is except for captions for videofiles.
    >Here you cannot use Pixvue but has to rely on Picasa.
    >
    >I also think Picasa is a nice app.
    >The only thing I'm a little uncertain about is the backup function.
    >Do you know if its relyable ?


    No, sorry, I've barely used the app much yet. Just restarted
    yesterday, prompted by this thread. And found that I've already
    forgotten some of the basics!

    >> My only issue with PixVue is that it looks pretty daunting! I get two
    >> context menus on r-clicking any file, and each of them has many
    >> entries - including some (like Cut, Copy, Delete) that sound as if
    >> they duplicate standard Explorer ones, and so far don't seem to do
    >> anything. Guess I'm jumping the gun though; have yet to read all the
    >> Help <g>.
    >>

    >
    >I get one menu on r-click.


    For the time being, as I'm juggling too many balls at once, I've
    uninstalled PixVue, but from memory one menu was 'Pixvue', and the
    other 'Annotate'. I'll re-install when I finish my experiments with
    half a dozen 'renamer' programs, and MoviesOnTV, and MediaShow and...

    >Then there's submenus for Pixvue functions.
    >Cut/copy/paste on these submenues only concerns picture-metadata (Eg. copy
    >on the Pixvue-menu copies metadata which you can paste in to another
    >JPEG-file).
    >I use the copy/paste and template functions a lot. They make it pretty fast
    >to add metadata to a lot of pictures.


    Thanks, that sounds good.

    --
    Terry, West Sussex, UK
     
    Terry Pinnell, Mar 24, 2005
    #12
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