You certainly don’t want to spend too much of your time repetitively entering the same metadata. This is where Lightroom’s metadata presets (which I also like to refer to as templates) are useful, because you can add all at once the metadata information that is (or needs to be) applied on a regular basis. To create a new metadata template, click Preset in the upper-left corner of the Metadata panel and choose Save as New Preset to open the New Metadata Preset dialog box (see Figure 5). If the Metadata Preset is set to None, the dialog box opens with blank fields ready to edit. Figure 6 shows a sample preset that I created; the text fields contain instructions for the user.
Figure 5 Click the Preset menu in the Metadata panel to open or create a metadata preset.
Figure 6 The New Metadata Preset dialog box, showing a sample preset.
To edit an existing preset, select that preset and click Preset > Save as New Preset. You can save the revised preset using the previous name (to overwrite the old preset), or save it using a new name. After you’ve saved a preset, you can select an image or a group of images, click Preset, select the saved preset, and apply that preset to the selected images.
To remove a metadata preset, go to the appropriate folder and delete the preset. Go here for the Mac:
Username/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Metadata Presets
Go to this folder on a PC:
local disk (C:)\Username\Application Data\Adobe\Lightroom\Metadata Presets
Lightroom metadata templates are listed with the .lrtemplate suffix.
The metadata presets are also available and editable via the Import Photos dialog box, so you can apply the items in a metadata preset as needed, via the Metadata panel, or at the import stage. The editable items in the Metadata Preset dialog box are not as comprehensive as those found in Photoshop, Bridge, or iView MediaPro, but they conform to the latest International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) standard file information specifications, used worldwide by the stock library and publishing industries. Therefore, the metadata information you input via Lightroom will be recognizable when you export a file and use any of these other programs to inspect it. However, Lightroom is able to display only metadata information it knows about; it can’t display all the data that might have been embedded via Bridge or iView. Should this be a cause for concern? For those who regard this as a shortcoming, it may well prove to be a deal-breaker. For others, the available Lightroom metadata options should be ample.
The sample preset in Figure 6 provides some suggestions on how to complete the Basic and IPTC fields. It’s not mandatory that you complete all the listed fields; just fill in as many as you find useful. Most of the fields in this panel are fairly self-explanatory. How you complete the main IPTC sections will vary from shoot to shoot, although many of the fields will remain the same, such as the Provider, Country, and Rights Usage Terms fields. The IPTC Creator section allows you to enter information specific to the image, such as who provided the photograph. But note the distinction between this and the Description Writer field, which refers to the person who entered the information—perhaps a picture library editor, your assistant, or a work colleague. The remaining fields can be used to describe when and where the photograph was shot, job reference (such as a client art order), and so on.
The IPTC Creator section normally contains your contact details, and these will most likely remain the same until you move or change your email address. It’s a good idea to begin by creating a metadata preset that lists your copyright information under Basic Info and appropriate IPTC sections. Save this as a basic metadata preset (see Figure 7), and apply this template to each set of new images that you import into the library. With this approach, you can ensure that after every new import, all the images carry complete copyright and contact information.
Figure 7 A saved basic preset.
The arrow buttons in the Metadata panel views provide useful quick links:
- Clicking the File Path arrow button takes you directly to the system folder containing the current selected image.
- The Date Time arrow button opens the Edit Capture Time dialog box.
- If you click the Creator arrow button, all the library images in the content area will be filtered to reveal all images that share the same creator name.
- Click the Location arrow button to filter out images sharing the same location.
In other Metadata panel views, such as the All view, many more arrow buttons are displayed; like those I’ve discussed here, these buttons act as filters to display images that match the same criteria.