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New in Version 4.3B3:

  • The special macro Image.DateTime now handles 24-hour times.
  • Beta versions now allow unlock codes to be entered.

New in Version 4.3B2:

  • In the list view (middle panel), times are now shown as 24-hour time, with seconds, so that sorting occurs correctly.
  • The geotagging preview panel is now working. (An earlier version broke it.) This is the View button in the Geotag group at the top-right of the metadata (rightmost) panel.

New in Version 4.3B1:

  • ExifTool updated to version 9.69.
  • DNG.UniqueCameraModel now editable. (Effective only on DNGs.)
  • Multiple keywords (separated by commas) are now supported.
  • Keywords are written into XMP.Subject field in addition to IPTC.Keywords field, as OS X displays the former if it's present.
  • If Quick Apply is clicked, the Apply button is no longer shown in the Review Changes panel.
  • A new Preferences option allows changes to be written directly into image files, so no "_original" files are created. Be sure you have a backup of your images if you exercise this option.

New in Version 4:

  • FileModificationTime is preserved, unless explicitly set. (Version 3 set it to the current time.)
  • The embedded ExifTool has been updated to 9.18
  • All datetime macros can have a format after the name, with a colon separator. For example, {@Exif.DateTimeOriginal:YYYYMMDD} would be replaced by the date in the format YYYYMMDD (e.g., 20130220). Details below.
  • There's a new Preview button on the Review Changes panel to see exactly what changes will be made prior to applying them.
  • New macros:

    FileNameNumber (last 4 characters of file name if its exactly 8 characters without extension; otherwise, whole name)

    Image.DateTime (a date guaranteed to be present; from EXIF info if available, file modification time if not)

    Adjust.FileModificationTime:00:00:00

  • New command to delete all metadata
  • ExifTool display of complete info (nothing checked) now sorted
  • Fields now changeable:
    Exif.UserComment
    FileName
    FileModificationTime
    GPS.ImgDirection
    GPS.ImgDirectionRef
    GPS.TimeStamp
    GPS.DateStamp
    TIFF.Orientation (will not update thumbnails)
  • Track map not shown, but markers of track start and end are. (As of version 4.1, the track is shown.)
  • ExifTool display of complete info (nothing checked) now sorted; shows tag names if option key is held down.
  • Lift/Stamp Metadata for easily transferring metadata between images. Details below.
  • New menu items to check all or none, for metadata checkboxes.
  • For ExifAux.LensInfo, spaces replace commas.
  • Confirmation added to Update preset to help prevent accidental updates.
  • Sizes of windows now remembered.
  • New preference to convert Exif.MaxApertureValue from APEX to F number, to get around MacOS bug.
  • TIFF.ImageDescription is shown, but is not changeable. You can use a preset to set IPTC.Caption/Abstract from TIFF.ImageDescription. As in Version 3, changes to IPTC.Caption/Abstract are written to both fields.
  • Better handling of international characters in edit fields and panels.

If your presets have disappeared in moving from Version 3 to Version 4, it's because Version 4 is now "sandboxed," as the App Store version was. You can get your presets back by opening a Terminal window, pasting in the following command line, and then typing Enter.

cd; cp Library/Application\ Support/ExifChanger/* Library/Containers/com.basepath.ExifChanger-pp/Data/Library/Application\ Support/ExifChanger

Viewing Metadata

When ExifChanger launches, you'll see a folder outline in the left pane. Click on a folder that contains images and you'll see thumbnails in the middle pane. Click on a thumbnail and you'll see its metadata in the right pane. Or, command-click to select multiple thumbnails to see their metadata collectively. Metadata that's not common to all selected images is shown as "<mixed>".

Instead of thumbnails, you can click on the middle-pane List tab to see the images as a list. Clicking on one of the column headers sorts the list by that column, and the order applies to the thumbnail view, too.

If you check the Subfolders checkbox in the middle pane, images from subfolders are included, as well as images directly in the selected folder.

By default, the value of Exif.MaxApertureValue is converted from APEX to F number, to get around a MacOS bug. If this bug is fixed in a future version of MacOS and you notice the values are being displayed incorrectly, you can turn off the conversion in the Preferences (ExifChanger menu). (Version 4)

Viewing Images

Checking the Image checkbox at the bottom of the right panel shows an image preview. You can use the arrows to go back-and-forth between images, or use the right and left arrow keys.

Double-clicking on an image in the right pane opens it up in the Preview app or whatever app is the default for that file type (e.g., Photoshop).

Changing Metadata

You can change any metadata that has a checkbox next to it. When you make a change, the checkbox is checked, or you can check it manually. If you uncheck it, the data is restored to what came from the image.

You can quickly check or uncheck all fields with the Check All or Check None commands on the Edit menu. (Version 4)

To get a bigger editing field, click the pencil icon to the right of every changeable field, or above the caption field at the top. This brings up the Edit Field panel.

After you've made the changes you want, click the Apply button at the bottom of the pane. That will bring up a dialog where you can review the changes before writing them to the image file. To see the proposed changes in even more detail, with macros expanded, click the Preview button in that dialog. (Version 4)

ReviewChanges

Click the Apply button at the bottom of this dialog if you want to make the changes permanent.

Deleting All Metadata

To quickly delete all metadata, choose Delete All Metadata on the Edit menu. (Version 4)

Quick Apply

You can effectively click both Apply buttons at once by clicking the Quick Apply button at the top of the main window, which is especially handy when all you're changing is captions. This button has a keyboard shortcut: Command-Enter.

Image Types

ExifChanger can handle these image types:

AI AIT ARW CIFF CR2 CRW CS1 DCP DNG EPS EPS2 EPS3 EPSF ERF EXIF GIF HDP ICC ICM IIQ IND INDD INDT JNG JP2 JPEG JPG JPM JPX MEF MIE MNG MOS MPO MRW NEF NRW ORF PBM PDF PEF PGM PNG PPM PS PS2 PS3 PSB PSD RAF RAW RW2 RWL SR2 SRW THM TIF TIFF VRD WDP X3F XMP

However, not every metadata field is present in every type. For example, PDF files don't have IPTC fields such as Caption/Abstract. Generally, though, photo files (JPG, NEF, CR2, DNG, etc.) can handle all of the changeable fields.

You can expand the types that ExifChanger can read by choosing Show unchangeable file types in the Preferences (ExifChanger menu), which will allow ExifChanger to handle all types that ExifTool (which it uses internally) can read, in addition to those it can write, which is the default. However, the right pane won't show most metadata fields from these additional file types because of MacOS limitations. You can still see (but not change) all the metadata with the method described below, in the section "Viewing Metadata with ExifTool".

Backup Files

When metadata is changed, the original file is saved with a "_original" suffix. Once you've determined the changes have been made correctly, you can delete the original files with the Delete Backups button. Or, you can restore the originals with the Restore from Backup item on the Edit menu.

Presets

You can save frequently-used metadata, such as your name, address, and copyright, as a preset.

First, enter the metadata you want to save in the usual way, for some image, and make sure the checkbox is checked for each metadata field you want to save. Then choose Save on the Presets drop-down at the bottom of the pane and enter a name.

When you subsequently choose a saved preset from the Presets menu, those fields are set to what you saved.

You can also update a saved preset with new metadata, or delete a preset.

Lifting and Stamping Metadata

Lifting and stamping works somewhat like a preset, but it's much faster to lift and stamp metadata from one image to another. First, you have to setup the lifting by checking the metadata fields you want the lifting to pick up. Then you choose Setup Lifting on the Edit menu.

When you have an image you want to lift metadata from, click on it to show its metadata and choose Lift Metadata on the Edit menu. Only those fields that were in the setup are lifted, regardless of whether they are checked. Then, select one or more images to receive the fields and choose Stamp Metadata.

Typically, you only have to setup the lifting occasionally, so it holds the fields you care about. From that point on, you use the Lift Metadata and Stamp Metadata commands to quickly lift metadata from one image and stamp it to one or more other images.

You could also use a preset for the same purpose, but Lift/Stamp is much quicker, because it's not necessary to check fields prior to lifting.

If you want to save several lifting setups, use presets for them. Apply a preset and then choose Setup Lifting.

(Lifting and stamping is new with Version 4.)

Drag and Drop

You can drag a folder or image file from many applications, such as the Finder, to the ExifChanger window or dock icon, and it will open as though you had selected it from the folder list in the left pane.

Use of ExifTool

ExifChanger uses Phil Harvey's ExifTool to make the actual metadata changes to image files. ExifTool is built-into ExifChanger, so you don't have to worry about installing it. More information about ExifTool itself is at http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool.

Viewing Metadata with ExifTool

ExifChanger's display of metadata comes from the MacOS image-processing facility. To see ExifTool's version of it, which is somewhat more detailed and accurate, Click the Apply button with no checkboxes checked. Then click Apply on the Review Changes dialog.

If you hold down the option key, you'll see ExifTool's internal field names listed instead of the descriptive names. (Version 4)

Changing the Order of Fields

To change the order of fields in the metadata (rightmost) pane, choose Reorder Fields on the Tools menu and arrange the fields by drag-and-drop. You can select more than one field to drag if you like. Make your changes permanent by clicking Set Order. Revert to the default order by clicking Revert to Default.

Only the fields present in the selected images can be reordered; other fields that might appear in other images will be placed at the end.

Macros

In the Field Edit panel, which you open by clicking on a pencil icon next to a field, there's a menu at the bottom for inserting a macro into the text for a field. Most macros directly correspond to fields, so you can, for example, insert the lens model into the caption by clicking on the pencil icon above the caption, choosing ExifAux.LensModel from the Exif menu, and then clicking Set to close the panel. You'll see the text of the macro in the caption: {@ExifAux.LensModel}. Just before ExifTool is run, that macro is replaced by the value of that field in the image file (e.g., "6.0-22.5 mm").

If you double-click on a macro token in the Field Edit panel, it changes to text. It's often easier to edit around a macro, such as when inserting spaces, when it appears as text instead of a token. However, if you do work with macros as text, make sure they are spelled exactly right, including upper and lower case, and that the surrounding {@ and } characters are kept intact.

Several macros on the Special macro menu insert data items that don't come directly from fields:

EC-special-menu

Here's what they do:

As an example, this caption:

Barn taken on {@System.Date} at f/{@Exif.FNumber} and {@Exif.ExposureTime} sec.

might be replaced by this when the field is processed by ExifTool:

Barn taken on 2011:10:03 at f/8 and 1/160 sec.

Note that you can't easily reprocess the macros, since they have been replaced by data. Usually, you'll want to save fields with macros as presets (see above).

When macros are used in metadata-export templates (see "Exporting Metadata", below), you can arrange for single and double quotes to be escaped with a backslash by appending the macro with ":EscapeQuotes", like this:

{@IPTC.Caption/Abstract:EscapeQuotes}

Similarly, you can get quotes doubled like this:

{@IPTC.Caption/Abstract:DoubleQuotes}

Escaping and doubling quotes is generally only needed when generating SQL statements for processing by a database.

The {@FileNumber} macro is replaced by the last four characters of an eight-character file name. For example, if the file name is MJR_1234, it would be replaced by 1234. If the file name isn't exactly eight characters, it's replaced by the whole file name. (Digital cameras usually store images with eight-character file names.) (Version 4)

Datetime Formats

The datetime macros, Exif.DateTimeOriginal, Exif.DateTimeDigitized, TIFF.DateTime, FileModificationTime, and System.DateTime can take an optional format after them, preceded by a colon. For example, {@Exif.DateTimeOriginal:YYYYMMDD} would be replaced by the date in the format YYYYMMDD, something like 20130220. The format codes are:

YYYY – four-digit year
YY – two-digit year
MM – two-digit month
DD – two-digit day
hh – two-digit hour, 12-hour clock
HH – two-digit hour, 24-hour clock
mm – two-digit minute
ss – two-digit second
ap – AM/PM indicator
WWW – abbreviated weekday (e.g., Tue)
WWWW – spelled-out weekday (e.g., Tuesday)
MMM – abbreviated month (e.g., Apr)
MMMM – spelled-out month (e.g., April)

(Datetime formats are new with Version 4.)

Adjusting Times

Four macros are replaced by the corresponding datetime fields adjusted by a time interval: {@Adjust.FileModificationTime:hh:mm:ss} (Version 4), {@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeDigitized:hh:mm:ss}, {@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeOriginal:hh:mm:ss}, {@Adjust.TIFF.DateTime:hh:mm:ss}

For example, to increment the Exif.DateTimeOriginal field by one hour, use the Edit Field panel to make the Exif.DateTimeOriginal field's text this:

{@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeOriginal:01:00:00}

Make sure you always include hours, minutes, and seconds, even if one or more are zero, and always include two digits for each. Make sure the macro {@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeOriginal:01:00:00} is the entire contents of the Exif.DateTimeOriginal field, with nothing at all before or after it. You'll have to delete the text of what's currently there to make this true.

When this field is processed by ExifTool, the Exif.DateTimeOriginal datetime for the image is determined, one hour is added to it, and the resulting datetime is inserted into the Exif.DateTimeOriginal field. Since each image uses its own data, you can use this macro to update several images at once, each with its own datetime suitability adjusted.

You can also use a negative increment, like this, which subtracts 2 hours and 35 minutes:

{@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeOriginal:-02:35:00}

To help explain how critical coding these macros is, here is a list of macros all of which are formatted wrong:

{@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeOriginal:-02:35}
{@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeOriginal:02.35.00}
{@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeOriginal:+02:35:00}
{@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeOriginal}
{@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeOriginal : 02:35:00}
{@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeOriginal:2:0:0}

The rules are: no extra spaces, only colons, always three colons, always two digits for each time unit, all time units present.

If you want unadjusted datetimes, you can use the macros on the menus: {@FileModificationTime} (Version 4), {@Exif.DateTimeOriginal}, {@Exif.DateTimeDigitized}, and {@TIFF.DateTime}. Note that with an adjustment of zero, the pairs of macros are the same; that is, {@Adjust.Exif.DateTimeOriginal:00:00:00} is identical to {@Exif.DateTimeOriginal}.

Batch vs. Separate ExifTool Launches

Normally, when you have no macros, no file name changes, and no automatic geotagging (see below), all of the selected images are processed with a single launch of ExifTool, which is the fastest way to do it, since there's a lot of overhead every time ExifTool is launched.

But, when there are any macros, file name changes, or geotagging, each image is processed with a separate launch, since the metadata is potentially different for each image. (Macro processing is entirely in ExifChanger; it's not an ExifTool feature.)

You can change the default behavior for the non-macro/non-file-name-changing/non-geotagging case with a Preference option. If you uncheck Batch run when possible, separate ExifTool launches are used all the time. This takes a little longer, but does show a progress bar which is missing when images are batched.

Geotagging

Geotagging allows you to insert GPS coordinates into images. ExifChanger supports three methods of geotagging:

The last two methods are associated with the Manual and Auto buttons at the upper-right of the main window:

GeotaggingButtons

ExifChanger always writes geotagging data to the images themselves, never to XMP sidecars.

When metadata for a geotagged image appears on the main window, a triangular button appears that when clicked opens up a Google map in your browser positioned to the location of that image:

MainWindowMapButton

(Here fields have been reordered to put the GPS fields at the top; see Changing the Order of Fields, above.)

Manual Map-Aided Geotagging

First select the images to be geotagged, and then press the Manual button on the main window. You'll see this panel:

ManualGeotag

Position the map until the location you want is under the crosshairs. Then press the Tag button and the coordinates will be pasted into the GPS.Latitude, GPS.LatitudeRef, GPS.Longitude, and GPS.LongitudeRef fields.

It's often easier to work from a place name, rather than finding a place with the map. The easiest way to do that is with Google Earth, a free app that you can download and install. Here's how to use Google Earth in conjunction with ExifChanger:

  1. Set Google Earth's Preferences to Decimal Degrees:

    GoogleEarthPrefs

  2. Enter the place name in Google Earth's search box, or position the map any other way you like.
  3. Choose Copy View Location on Google Earth's Edit menu.
  4. Back in ExifChanger, click the Paste Location button on the Manual Geotagging panel. That will position the map to match Google Earth's location.
  5. Click the Tag button.

Automatic Geotagging

Automatic geotagging takes the image time, finds adjacent points in a track that you've previously loaded into ExifChanger, and then interpolates to calculate a location, usually including altitude.

The usual workflow is:

  1. Set the camera's time as accurately as you can, and remember what time zone you set it to and whether daylight savings time (summer time) was in effect.
  2. Record a track on a GPS device while you're photographing.
  3. Load the track into ExifChanger (see below).
  4. Click the Auto button on the main window.
  5. Set the time zone.
  6. If needed, adjust the time if the camera's clock was set wrong.
  7. Click the Geotag button on the Automatic Geotagging panel.
  8. Verify the results on the Geotagging Preview panel.
  9. When you next apply changes with the Apply or Quick Apply buttons on the main window, geotagging will be applied. You won't see the coordinates in the GPS metadata on the main window prior to applying the changes.

If you don't apply the changes before choosing another folder to view or refreshing the thumbnail display, you'll have to geotag again.

Loading Tracks

To load a recorded track into ExifChanger, click the Load Track button on the Automatic Geotagging panel, or click the + button on the Track Manager panel, which you can get to by choosing GPS Track Manager on the Tools menu.

You can load a track from a GPX file that you've previously stored on your hard drive, or directly from a Garmin or Magellan device. If loading directly from a device doesn't work, follow the instructions that came with the device to store a GPX track on your hard drive, and then load that into Ingestamatic. To help, you might find it useful to use the free utility GPSBabel, available from gpsbabel.org.

ExifChanger remembers loaded tracks and will automatically find the right track when it's needed for geotagging. It's not necessary to reload tracks when you relaunch ExifChanger. You can remove a track by clicking the button; the track file itself is not deleted.

When you click on a track in the Track Manager panel, ExifChanger attempts to show its starting (S in a circle) and ending (X) points on a map (Version 4):

TrackManager

Some GPX files are incompatible with the mapping software used and won't show their endpoints, but they will still work for geotagging. (Starting with version 4.1, the track is also shown as a blue line.)

Setting the Time Zone

As cameras don't record a time zone with their EXIF datetimes, you have to tell ExifChanger the time zone that the camera's clock was set to. This may or may not be the same as the time zone where the photo was taken; what counts is how the camera's clock was set. Click the Time Zone button on the Automatic Geotagging panel to set the time zone for geotagging.

The Time Zone setting panel looks like this:

TimeZone

Time zones are not saved to images, as there is no IPTC or EXIF field in which to store them.

If you're taking a trip across several time zones, it's easiest to leave your cameras' clocks set to your home time zone or to GMT and leave them that way. Otherwise, keeping track of which images were shot in which time zones is too error prone.

Adjusting the Time

ExifChanger compares the EXIF time of an image (adjusted to time zone) to the times recorded in a track to find track points just before and after the image time, and then interpolates to find the location. If the camera's clock is set wrong, the wrong points, or no points, may be found. To make the correction, click the Time Adjust button on the Automatic Geotagging panel. The time adjustment you set is applied to all images geotagged.

The time adjustment isn't remembered from launch to launch; it starts at zero each time you relaunch ExifChanger.

If you know the adjustment, you can just enter it in seconds in the Time Adjustment panel. But it's easier to take a photo of an accurate clock and view that photo in the Time Adjustment panel, and then correct the time to match the time on the clock, in which case the adjustment is calculated automatically:

TimeAdjustment

Unless you're moving very fast when you photograph, you usually don't have to adjust the time unless the clock is off by more than a minute or so. It's best to set the camera's clock as accurately as you can before you start the shoot.

Viewing Geotagging

After you geotag, but before the changes are applied, the proposed changes are shown in a preview panel:

GeotaggingPreview

Click the triangular button at the right of a geotagged image to view its location on a Google map.

You can also use the Geotagging Preview panel to see the location of images that weren't just geotagged. Select the images of interest and click the View button on the main window.

Geotagging Images in Lightroom, Aperture, and iPhoto

If you're careful, you can add geotagging to images that are already in an Aperture or Lightroom library/catalog.

First, and most importantly, write any metadata you've entered in Lightroom or Aperture to the image, with Save Metadata to File on the Metadata menu in Lightroom, or Write IPTC Metadata to Master on the Metadata menu in Aperture. If you don't do this, any changes you've made will be overwritten when you import metadata back in later.

Second, geotag the image file with ExifChanger. Do not export it—geotag the original or master itself. Both apps provide a Show in Finder menu item so you can see where it is.

Third, use Read Metadata from File on the Metadata menu in Lightroom or Update from Master on the Metadata menu in Aperture to read the metadata back in, this time including the geotagging data, which you should now see in the Lightroom or Aperture metadata display.

Geotagging photos in iPhoto is actually easier and safer. Select the photo and choose Reveal in Finder/Original on the File menu. Then drag the photo to ExifChanger and tag it. (Make sure you apply the changes.) Then in iPhoto choose Rescan for Location on the Photos menu. (This is for iPhoto Version 9; earlier versions may not work the same way.)

Exporting Metadata

Choose Export on the Tools menu to export metadata for all selected images as a text file, based on a template that you create. You put macros (e.g., {@Exif.FNumber}) in that template, along with normal text. Then, for each selected image, ExifChanger replaces the macros with metadata specific to that image.

When you choose Export, the template editor appears:

template1

The template is stores as an ordinary text file, wherever you'd like it to be on your system. The usual commands New, Open, Save, and Save As appear as buttons. You use the Fields menu to insert macros, just as you do when editing any of the metadata fields that appear on the main window.

It's very important that any macros in the template file be spelled correctly, including correct case. For example, {@Exif.FNumber} must not appear as {@Exif.fnumber}. The Fields menu helps you get this right.

If you don't get anything to appear where you've used a macro, check first that the macro is spelled right, and check second that the image actually has metadata for that macro.

The screenshot above shows a simple example template file. The text between @each-start and @each-end is written to the output file once for each selected image. The text before @each-start is written just once, and so is the text after @each-end. There are only a few macros (e.g., {@System.Date}) that can be used before @each-start or after @each-end, since those parts have no image for metadata macros to refer to.

For four selected images, this is the output that ExifChanger created:

template1-out

The output isn't yet saved to a file; if you want it saved, click Save As, or click Open in App to save it and then open it in an appropriate app (e.g., a web browser if you save it with an ".html" extension, a text editor if you save it with a ".txt" extension).

The template doesn't have to be ordinary text. It can be HTML, comma-separated-values (CSV), SQL for processing by a database, or any kind of text at all.

The simple template shown in the previous example and sample templates for HTML, CSV, and SQL are available using the Fields menu:

template-menu

Here's what the sample HTML template looks like:

template2

And here's the output, shown in a web browser:

template2-out

Here's what the sample CSV and SQL templates look like:

template-CSV

template-SQL

When generating SQL, you may need the ":EscapeQuotes" or ":DoubleQuotes" modifiers on macros. They are discussed at the end of the section "Macros", above.  

 

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