EXIF data
August 14, 2013 4:43 AM   Subscribe

Will editing a photo in a program like Photoshop destroy the original EXIF data from that photo? If I cut and pasted part of a photo and saved it as "NEW" what would the EXIF data of that "NEW" photo show?

Concerns about cell phone photos EXIF data showing location information on the photo are my worry.
posted by BillyAnne to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Depends on the program and the preferences for both questions. There are free programs which will remove just the exif.
posted by Sophont at 4:59 AM on August 14, 2013

If you paste a photo into a new file, most of the time the EXIF data will be that of the new file, i.e. blank.

(I do the opposite - I paste my stitched-together panoramics into a resized copy of the first picture in the set, to apply all its EXIF data.)
posted by notsnot at 5:06 AM on August 14, 2013

You can also save files without metadata in Photoshop and I'm sure in similar programs.
posted by asciident at 5:10 AM on August 14, 2013

I just checked using an old version of Photoshop (CS). Exif metadata from the camera was replaced with Exif data from Photoshop.

If you want to check this stuff yourself, I recommend using Imagej. It's a free (and quite powerful) image analysis software. It also comes with an Exif reader plugin, which will summarize the Exif metadata for you.
posted by kisch mokusch at 5:11 AM on August 14, 2013

If you are worried because of the Facebook warning that exploded on all our walls yesterday...
posted by COD at 5:40 AM on August 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Save your file as a .png, it will lose the EXIF data.
posted by sanka at 6:05 AM on August 14, 2013

If I cut and pasted part of a photo and saved it as "NEW"

The new file would not contain the original file's EXIF data in this case (but would contain some new EXIF data generated by Photoshop).

If you open a file, modify it, and resave it, it may contain some EXIF or none at all, depending on how it was saved: Photoshop's "Save For Web" strips out all EXIF data; a plain "save as" includes some EXIF from the original photo (including the camera model and I believe location information) as well as some photoshop-specific data.

You can also use programs such as ImageOptim to strip EXIF data from existing files.
posted by ook at 6:14 AM on August 14, 2013

Many of the answers in this post are at least partially wrong. Which programs preserve what EXIF data when is complicated.

If you absolutely want to be sure you're stripping EXIF data, use software specifically designed to do that.

If that seems like too much trouble, it's possible to get Photoshop to strip the EXIF data. The details of how it handles that data are complicated and vary by program version. This 2011 discussion has useful information on Photoshop.

After you find a tool you think is removing EXIF, you can test it with on online viewer like this or this.
posted by Nelson at 8:06 AM on August 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

One easy way to strip the EXIF data is to do a batch conversion in Irfanview (which everyone should have anyway). While I have no doubt that Photoshop can do the same, Irfanview is free and the conversion process is very straightforward (there are checkboxes for removing EXIF and other camera data from the image). You can also do things like re-size the pictures or change the filename (which can be useful as often the filename will include things such as the time or latitude/longitude when the picture was taken) at the same time if you like.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:52 AM on August 14, 2013

If you have a copy of Microsoft Photo Editor (the old one from like Windows 95 or so, not Microsoft Office Picture Manager), it seems to strip EXIF data with any modification and saving of the file.

I've always moved a copy onto my newer computers and it seems to work fine.
posted by Doohickie at 9:57 AM on August 14, 2013

The link Nelson posted for this online exif data viewer is a great way to see what data is in a photo. Thanks to all who helped.
posted by BillyAnne at 3:54 PM on August 14, 2013

« Older Hello Mr. Blue Collar, You've Hit a Milestone!   |   Big & Tall People of Metafilter -- what do you... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.