Working with Metadata in Lightroom.

Changing the Universe one photograph at a time.

Library Module: The Metadata Panel

Menu bar item:
Lightroom: Metadata > Edit Metadata Presets…
Or access from the Metadata panel a shown on the right
Choose: Edit Presets

Your basic metadata preset that you apply to all images on import is listed below.

A Procedural Note:


  • Uncheck data you want to be blank.
  • Check Blank field for data you want to erase from a file as shown in the "Instructions" field.
  • Check box for data you want to add to your files...

figure 1: metadatapresets

Figure 1: A Basic Metadata Preset --when you have the above info filled in click Save and us this metadata preset when you IMPORT imgaes into Lightroom
If you want to learn more about IPTC (International Press Tele-communications Council) Metadata check out their website.

Adding Metadata to an image file

Add-metadata 1: Click in the box and type in the information.

2: icons at the top of the image's cell will appear... (tells you your metadata needs to be updated. Click the icon to update and write the new data to the file...

Adding the same metadata to other image files

select-thumbnails 1: Hold down the shift key and click on the thumbnails you want updated including the one that contains the metadata
Note that the fields in the Metadata boxes will now say "mixed".

2: and 3: (after you select the images) Click on the Sync Metadata Button.

Synchronizing the Metadata

1: Check the check box (in this case "Headline") to add the new metadata...
2: Click the Synchronize button and you are done...Synchronize-Metadata

Other metadata to add to to your "keepers"...

Necessary AND a must for the Book, Slideshow, Print and Web Modules, to auto add information to your slideshow or book or webpage.

In Lightroom

  1. In the metadata panel "Quick Describe" you will find the Title and Caption (Description) entry fields.
  2. In the metadata panel "IPTC" you will find the "Headline" entry

Definition of IPTC Core Content


A headline is a brief publishable synopsis or summary of the contents of the photograph. Like a news story, the Headline should grab attention, and telegraph the content of the image to the audience. Headlines need to be succinct. Leave the supporting narrative for the Description field. Do not, however, confuse the Headline term with the Title term.

IPTC Core Status section


This field can be used as a shorthand reference for the image or “photograph” — primarily for identification. The title of an image should be a short, human-readable name — text and/or numeric reference —and may take several forms; for photographers this might be the filename of their original scan or digital camera file, for news organizations it might be the name of the story for which it’s to be used. (Note that there are new terms in the IPTC Extension which can also be used as image ID’s, if you are concerned about this field being overwritten later in the workflow). The Title term should not be confused with the Headline term, which is a short synopsis of the content of the photograph. There is a button in the panel which can be used to add the current file name to the Title field; however this will not work with a selection of images.

Description or Caption

The Description field, often referred to as a “caption” is used to describe the who, what (and possibly where and when) and why of what is happening in the photograph. If there is a person or people in the image, this caption might include their names, and/or their role in the action that is taking place. If the image is of a location, then it should give information regarding the location. Don’t forget to also include this same “geographical” information in the Image panel (location, city, state/province, country) of the IPTC Core. The amount of detail you include will depend on the image and whether the image is documentary or conceptual. Typically, editorial images come with complete caption text, while advertising images may not.