How do I caption my photos in Windows 10
May 26, 2019 1:38 PM   Subscribe

I want to be able to use an program to view and edit the captions of my photos, so I know what they are of (e.g. photo of monument X in country Y, after a week back from holiday I won't remember what it was!). Is there a simple Windows 10 app that will help me do this?

I have a huge number of digital photos. In the old days of Picasa in Windows 7 I captioned these and labelled them using the app.

Obviously, that's all ancient history now. I never really migrated to another solution and now have tons of unlabelled / uncaptioned digital photos. It is a mess.

I don't want to put my photos in the cloud on google photos or onedrive. I want to keep them on my PC (please don't tell me I'm paranoid and this is stupid, I just prefer this).

I have Windows 10. I can't for the life of me find a simple way to change the metadata to caption the photos so I can identify what my pictures are actually of. There doesn't seem to be any option in MS Photos app, as there was in Picasa. I could change the file names all individually, but again that is laborious and not possible to do in the app.

I can't find a clear answer on the internet other than other people sharing my frustration at this apparently not being possible.

posted by inbetweener to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Adobe Bridge is a free program that can write metadata to your photos. Here are some instructions for doing this. Just be aware of two things:

1) It cannot write metadata to raw image files. This is the case even with fancier image editing software and DAM (digital asset management) tools. As long as you're working with jpegs, tiffs and a couple of other file types you'll be ok. If you do have raw image files, what will happen is that something called a sidecar file will be created that will contain all the metadata you want to add or edit for that raw photo. This isn't ideal since it's possible over time, as you move files around to different computers and different drives, that these sidecar files might get accidentally deleted or separated from their accompanying image files. But that's just how raw files work.

2) The metadata field that you and I and many programs call 'caption' is what Adobe Bridge calls 'description'.

If you don't want to use Adobe Bridge, there are some other options on this page. Look in the left column under 'metadata editors'. MeMail me if you have any questions about this stuff, as I've recently been doing a ton of work on family photos for my parents using Adobe Lightroom (one of the aforementioned fancier programs).
posted by theory at 4:19 PM on May 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I should also have pointed out that some photo editing apps will allow you to add metadata like captions, keywords, etc. but they keep all that information in a proprietary database and don't actually give you the option to write the metadata to your files. It's that last step of writing the metadata to your original files (or 'embedding' the metadata as some may call it) that you want to do, if I'm interpreting your question correctly. So make sure whatever tool you choose gives you that ability.
posted by theory at 4:29 PM on May 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

I use XNView MP for both photo editing and adding metadata to images. It's free for personal use.
posted by gudrun at 7:28 AM on May 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Picasa will still work on Windows 10. Here is the install file:
posted by soelo at 8:20 AM on May 28, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice, I've installed and am experimenting with both Adobe bridge and XnView now. Very helpful.
posted by inbetweener at 7:20 AM on June 3, 2019

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