IPTC Keywords help – 3 days of reading is getting me no closer

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miskairal
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:20 am

IPTC Keywords help – 3 days of reading is getting me no closer

Postby miskairal » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:42 am

XnviewMP portable 0.86 on win 10 machine

Last year I spent a couple of months adding keywords to many years of photos using Xnview (an older version). I did this by hitting Ctrl + I and typing them in then hitting “Write”. I did this individually and in bulk. I did it because I could then search the photos easily from the start button in windows or through windows explorer and everything I read indicated this would future proof searching. So far so good.

I have now purchased a better camera and am taking hundreds of photos but have been really slack in adding the keywords because of the number of photos. I need to make a start but have spent the last 3 days trying to find the quickest way to go about it. I stumbled upon hierarchical keywords but can’t get my head around how to achieve it. I’d really like to be able to add a keyword, say, kangaroos, and have wildlife and animals added automatically.

To date I have not found a tutorial but instead lots of snippets alluding to keywords but I can’t understand it all. Throughout the process I have a very messy set of category words which I’d really like to tidy (because I THINK that if I use these I can get them written as IPTC keywords). I think many of these have been imported from my previous keywording and I’ve discovered mistakes such as farm and Farm, Pat and Patricia which I’d like to tidy. I also seem to have Dogs (and more) under the top Category as well as in Other.
Often during my reading I can’t even understand the panels being mentioned because they bear no resemblance to what I have. I’m using the Free layout with Thumbnails only view

The following is what I can’t understand or can’t achieve.
1) How to write Categories as IPTC keywords embedded in the jpg, if it can be done
2) How to create a file that could be imported for use in writing IPTC data (I'm guessing "Load Template" is related to this)
3) How to restart my categories from scratch so my anal brain can clean them up WITHOUT deleting any keywords already embedded in my jpg files.
4) How to move an existing Category so it becomes a child of another category
5) What are leafs?
6) What a Sidecar file is and whether I should use them?
7) Are IPTC keywords future proofing my files? What are XMP files?

If you are able to take the time to assist please don’t word answers assuming I know anything :)
If you know where there are tutorials I am happy to use my time instead of wasting someone else’s to try and understand all this
Thankyou for reading this long winded call for help.

CameronD
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: Australia

Re: IPTC Keywords help – 3 days of reading is getting me no closer

Postby CameronD » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:28 am

I hope this is not too late to be useful.

Yes, there are convenient ways to do what you want, and also traps that can lead to a waste of time.

First step:
Configure your browser window to show the pane labelled "Categories". Assigning through this window is far easier and a bit safer than the older ctrl-I method. Use menu View->layout and pick one, such as layout 7 that has a tall panes for categories and for folder view. You can rearrange these later and save your preferred layout. Notice the categories filter tab on the folder pane - this will be useful later.

Then: in Settings->Browser->metadata tick nearly everything.
  • import and export DB category and XMP subject/IPTC keyword. This will occasionally drag in rubbish you don't want when reading other people's images.
  • create XMP and IPTC data (theoretically only XMP is required, but XnviewMP (and probably other software) has some issues if you don't enable the old IPTC as well)
  • XMP can be written either into the image file itself or into a separate sidecar file. Some users prefer the sidecar to keep the image file cleaner but I prefer no sidecar so that all my metadata stays in the one file.
  • Hierarchical keywords allow you to set up "animal|kangaroo" (where "animal" is the parent that you can automatically apply - by ticking "kangaroo" in the categories window.
  • export rating and colour label - your choice - if you think you will use this then export to XMP, because some other software can also understand these values.
  • Comment to exif:usercomment: I do not use this and all modern software copes without it. However I do make extensive use of caption/description.

Creating categories has a few tricks.
  • select an image - any one will do, but pick a kangaroo
  • right click on any another category in the pane (doesn't work on the blank space!)
  • select new category and name it "animal"
  • again right click -> new subcategory and name it kangaroo.
  • select all your kangaroo images in the folder and click on the kangaroo category.

CameronD
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: Australia

Re: IPTC Keywords fixing Pat and Patricia

Postby CameronD » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:59 am

Update: after I posted the details below, I noticed a "merge with..." option. Seems to be a lot simpler than my procedure.
The only drawback I can see is that the "move to" and "merge with" options do not automatically assign parent category. But that is easy enough to tidy up.

To tidy up duplicated keywords:
  • Go to the Categories filter tab of the folder pane. (Assuming you have not moved it elsewhere - I have misplaced mine by accident at times)
  • Click on the "Pat" entry- these will be listed in the details/thumbnail pane.
  • Select all files
  • you should notice that the "Pat" category is ticked.
  • tick the "Patricia"category to assign this to all selected images.
  • untick the "Pat" category
  • right click "Pat" and "delete category"
I learned the hard way that you need to make sure you apply the new category before unassigning the old.

miskairal
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:20 am

Re: IPTC Keywords help – 3 days of reading is getting me no closer

Postby miskairal » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:23 am

Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for taking the time to reply :D
I shall have a go at your suggestions although I think I have lost one of the panes already. Since typing the original post I have labelled over 3000 photos through Ctrl+I. Luckily many were of the same subject so I could do like 10 in bulk.
Cheers

miskairal
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:20 am

Re: IPTC Keywords help – 3 days of reading is getting me no closer

Postby miskairal » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:28 am

Oh, and a fellow Aussie too :wink:

miskairal
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:20 am

Re: IPTC Keywords help – 3 days of reading is getting me no closer

Postby miskairal » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:58 am

You are my champion!!
This is what I wanted, it's great. It's like my brain has finally understood it all. I became so nervous about clicking on things because they often disappeared but I simply wasn't seeing vertical tabs either. The subcategories, I missed them because I was looking for keywords, not categories and when I first fiddled the categories weren't being written as keywords.

I sure hope you get some good Karma back for this!
Thankyou so much.

CameronD
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: Australia

Re: IPTC Keywords help – 3 days of reading is getting me no closer

Postby CameronD » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:14 am

miskairal wrote:... The subcategories, I missed them because I was looking for keywords, not categories and when I first fiddled the categories weren't being written as keywords....

That's the beauty and the curse of something as flexible as XnViewMP - you need to know how to set up what you want before you start using it.

Check some of your earlier files - if the keywords are there but categories are not then you might need to "view->update catalog from files".

Another trick - if you have keywords displayed in the details view and assign a category to a bunch of images, then you might find they are not always updated immediately in the list. Just browse to another folder and back if you need to check the changes are there. These sorts of bugs are gradually being fixed but I still see them occasionally.

miskairal
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:20 am

Re: IPTC Keywords help – 3 days of reading is getting me no closer

Postby miskairal » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:42 am

CameronD wrote:That's the beauty and the curse of something as flexible as XnViewMP - you need to know how to set up what you want before you start using it.

Check some of your earlier files - if the keywords are there but categories are not then you might need to "view->update catalog from files".

Another trick - if you have keywords displayed in the details view and assign a category to a bunch of images, then you might find they are not always updated immediately in the list. Just browse to another folder and back if you need to check the changes are there. These sorts of bugs are gradually being fixed but I still see them occasionally.

Yep, discovered that sometimes it doesn't update immediately and actually figured out for myself to click another folder and then go back. Aren't you proud of me ;)
Will check the earlier files.


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