The easiest way to assign metadata is to use a template. Here are some videos showing how to make and use them in several applications.
What's a metadata template?
A metadata template is a saved set of tags that can be applied to one or more images. Most professional-level imaging applications offer the ability to create, save and use metadata templates. By saving a group of tags, you can streamline the process of adding the proper information to your photos. You can, for instance, type your credit and contact information into a template once, and not have to do it again for years. It's a simple concept that makes your images easier to find, and can save you lots of time. Let's take a look.
Most often, metadata templates will be making greatest use of the IPTC metadata.
A template should be saved anytime you need to apply a group of tags repeatedly. For most people, this will certainly be the case for photographer credit and contact information. We suggest you make a template for each photographer that uses a computer.
Most photographers have some degree of repeating content information. You may have regular clients, or perhaps a recurring subject matter, or a long-term project. If you shoot pictures around your house, you may want to create a template that includes the location information, as well as a few keywords that would be generally applicable, such as Family or Home.
The best way to create metadata templates is to start with the lowest common denominator information, and build up. This generally starts with credit and contact information, and then travels upwards as you have other commonalities in your subject matter. You can see in Figure 1 that the "Basic" templates are ones with photographer information only.
|Figure 1shows a list of templates in Adobe Bridge. First you select images, then you apply the template to the selected images. You can see how the naming system keeps templates together for easier access.|
Templates can get unwieldy to manage, particularly if you don't name them in an orderly manner. We suggest that you name your templates as shown in Figure 1 above. Start with the broadest classification and then move to the specific. In Figure 1, you can see that the templates fall into three main groups: photographer information only, assignment templates, and personal work. You can see further that the assignment templates are then tagged with a client name. If there's a need to subdivide further, the new terms are always added at the end of the template name, so that variations always line up in groups, such as the personal travel images.
Creating templates is usually pretty simple. In Adobe Bridge, you should use the Create Metadata Template item in the Tools menu. The following movie shows how to create and name metadata templates in Adobe Bridge CS4.
Don't use templates created in earlier versions of Photoshop or Bridge after you install a new version or upgrade. The behavior of what gets applied changes from version to version, and you might find yourself applying unwanted information. Templates that were created in CS3 and worked fine for raw files may contain Camera Raw settings and in CS4 these settings may also be applied to the files.
|Figure 2How to create and apply a template in Adobe Bridge CS4. Note that the Mark as Copyrighted field is not available in CS3 and CS4 templates, though it has returned for Bridge CS5 and later.|
In order to help you tag your images with copyright notice, we've made a script that can tag multiple images at one time. This script can be downloaded and installed in Bridge CS3 and CS4. The video in Figure 3 shows how to do it.
You can download and install the script here.
|Figure 3Downloading and installing the Mark as Copyrighted Script in CS4.|