Search and Edit EXIF and IPTC Image Meta Data

PowerGREP is designed to search through text documents. It can search through image files or photos by creating a plain text conversion of the EXIF and/or IPTC meta data inside these files. This includes all the information usually displayed by photo viewers. PowerGREP can extract this meta data from JPEG, TIFF, and PSD (PhotoShop) files.

To be able to search through the meta data in audio files, you need to set the “file formats to convert to plain text” on the File Selector panel to a configuration that converts audio files to plain text. In the configuration, the option “Use PowerGREP’s built-in decoder to convert files to plain text” should be turned on for the file format “image file meta tags (EXIF)”. All default configurations do this, except for “(unused)”, “none”, and “compound documents”.

This file selection is available in the PowerGREP5.pgl library as “Media: Search and edit image file meta data”.

With a proper configurations selected on the File Selector panel, you can use the Editor|Open menu item to open an image file and view it in PowerGREP’s built-in editor. The text you see in the editor is the text that PowerGREP would search through when the file is included in an action. You will see one line of text for each meta tag. It consists of PowerGREP’s label for the tag indented with spaces, a colon and a space, followed by the contents of the tag.

                           Title: Lightroom title
                         Subject: Lightroom caption
                          Rating: ****
                            Tags: Place|Home|Garden;View|Buildings|Home
                        Comments: Lightroom user comment
                         Authors: Jan Goyvaerts
                       Copyright: © 2002 Jan Goyvaerts
                      Date Taken: 2002-01-03 12:18:15
                      Date Saved: 2014-09-23 7:52:24
                ISO Speed Rating: 69
                        F/Number: 2.7
                   Exposure Time: 1/160 sec
                   Exposure Bias: 0 EV
                   Metering Mode: Pattern
                    Focal Length: 5.41
                           Flash: Did not fire
                     File Source: Digital camera
                     Camera Make: Canon
                    Camera Model: Canon DIGITAL IXUS 300
                      Lens Model: 5.4-16.2 mm
                        Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.4 (Windows)

PowerGREP uses the following labels for tags that it recognizes: Description, Title, Subject, Rating, Tags, Comments, Authors, Copyright, Date Taken, Date Saved, Date Digitized, Orientation, Image Size, GPS Latitude, GPS Longitude, GPS Altitude, GPS Speed, GPS Tracking, GPS Time, ISO Speed Rating, F/Number, Exposure Time, Exposure Bias, Exposure Program, Exposure Mode, Metering Mode, Exposure Index, Brightness Value, Focal Length, Focal Length (35 mm), Digital Zoom Ratio, Flash, White Balance, White Balance Mode, Gain Control, Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, File Source, Image Unique ID, Related Sound File, Camera Make, Camera Model, Camera Serial, Camera Owner, Lens Make, Lens Model, Lens Serial and Software. The labels always appear in the same order. Labels may be omitted for files that don’t have a complete set of EXIF data.

You can freely edit the values of the Description, Title, Subject, Rating, Tags, Comments, Authors, Copyright, Date Taken, Date Saved, Date Digitized, Orientation, GPS Latitude, GPS Longitude, GPS Altitude, GPS Speed, GPS Tracking, GPS Time, and Camera Owner tags in PowerGREP’s editor. You can add missing tags. PowerGREP will update the EXIF and IPTC meta data in the image file when you save it. You can also modify the tag values in a search-and-replace action.

Some tags require specific values. The value for the Rating tag should be between zero and five asterisks. Orientation should be set to Upright, Flip horizontally, Rotate 180°, Flip vertically, Transpose, Rotate 90° clockwise, Transverse, or Rotate 90° counter-clockwise. GPS latitude and longitude need to be in degrees, minutes, and seconds. GPS altitude needs to be a decimal number followed by “m above sea level”. Inaccurate GPS readings may show up as “m below sea level”.

The Rating, Tags, Comments, Authors, and Copyright tags are always included in PowerGREP’s plain text conversion, even if there are no values for them in the file’s meta data. This makes it easy to add those values. At least one of the Description, Title, and Subject tags is also always included. Some may be omitted because many applications treat them as redundant, but in different ways. Windows Explorer, for example, writes its Title metadata to both the Description tag and the Title tag. Lightroom writes its Caption metadata to both the Description tag and the Subject tag. PowerGREP does not display redundant tags. It does maintain the redundancy if you edit the tag’s value.