An Overview of Working with Metadata

Information about your images, including the types of adjustments applied, information recorded by the camera, and descriptive information about the image, is called metadata. In Aperture, you work with three types of metadata.

The first type of metadata is called Exchangeable Image File (EXIF) data. EXIF metadata is information recorded by the camera and stored in the image at the time it was shot, such as shutter speed, f-stop, the time the image was captured, the camera model, and GPS data (for cameras that support it).

The second type of metadata is data you apply to identify and track images within Aperture, such as a version name, color labels, flags, keywords, when the image was imported, the types of adjustments applied to it, and how and where it was published.

The third type of metadata is called International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) data. IPTC metadata is standardized data used by photographers and media organizations to embed keywords, captions, copyright notices, and other information in the image files themselves. You can view and modify IPTC metadata in Aperture.

Note: For more information about working with GPS data in Aperture, see Locating and Organizing Images with Places.

You can display different combinations of metadata with your images in the Viewer and the Browser, as well as in Full Screen view. Aperture provides metadata overlay views, which represent specific combinations of information that you can display as overlays on or just below each image. For example, you can choose a basic view that shows an image’s version name and caption. Or, you can choose an expanded view that displays an image’s rating, badges, aperture setting, shutter speed, exposure bias, focal length, caption, keywords, version name, ISO speed rating, file size, and master location. You can also create your own metadata overlay views.

Figure. Viewer showing an image with metadata in the expanded metadata overlay view.

You choose the metadata you want to display with your images in Aperture in the Browser & Viewer Metadata dialog. You can choose different metadata overlay views for the Viewer, the Browser in grid view and filmstrip view, and the Browser in list view. You can also display metadata with labels that help identify the types of metadata being displayed.

Figure. Browser & Viewer Metadata dialog.

When you position the pointer over an image, Aperture can display information about it in a text box called a metadata tooltip. You can turn the display of metadata tooltips on or off using the Metadata Overlays pop-up menu in the tool strip. You can choose a metadata view to specify the combination of metadata that appears in metadata tooltips using the Browser & Viewer Metadata dialog.

Figure. Metadata tooltip showing an image’s metadata.

About Displaying Metadata in Full Screen View

Choosing a metadata view for the Viewer also defines the metadata that appears with images in Full Screen view. Choosing a metadata view for the Browser in grid view defines the metadata that appears with thumbnail images in the Full Screen view filmstrip.

You can view the metadata for a selected image in the Metadata inspector and the Metadata pane of the Inspector HUD.

To show the Metadata inspector
Do one of the following:
  • Choose Window > Show Inspector (or press I), then click the Metadata tab.

  • Click the Inspector button in the toolbar, then click the Metadata tab.

    Figure. Metadata inspector.
To show the Metadata pane of the Inspector HUD
  • Choose Window > Show Inspector HUD (or press H), then click Metadata.

    Figure. Metadata pane of the Inspector HUD.

You can change the combination of metadata that appears in the Metadata inspector by choosing a metadata view from the Metadata View pop-up menu. The types of metadata views range from views that display the version name only to views that display the full EXIF data or the complete list of IPTC metadata fields. You can also create your own custom metadata views for the Metadata inspector using the Metadata Views dialog.

Figure. Metadata Views dialog.

You can also add the actual metadata you want applied to your images to the fields of a metadata view and save it as a metadata preset using the Metadata dialog accessed via the Metadata Action pop-up menu in the Metadata inspector.

Figure. Metadata dialog.

You can then use that metadata preset to apply combinations of metadata to images as you import them or as you change them using the Batch Change dialog. For example, if you have a specific combination of metadata that one of your services always requires, you can create a metadata preset just for that service. Then, whenever you import images destined for that service or prepare images to send to that service, you can quickly apply the metadata you need using the preset you created.

Figure. Batch Change dialog.