Metadata, the non-picture information carried inside photo files, can be managed with a number of tools. Windows Live Photo Gallery allows manipulation of just a few data categories, but one, tags, is really powerful and very useful. The import process, using Photo Gallery, is the first place where data can be added.
The Photo Gallery Import Photos dialog has an “Add tags” option as shown above. Clicking on that link opens a text entry box where tags can be added. All the tags that apply to the selected photos in the group can be typed in, separated by semicolons.
That makes tagging these photos really easy. No problems forgetting to add the tags later. There is a down-side to this. What if you mistyped or misspelled the tag? I will get to this shortly. So, during the import process you can add tags. You can also enter names to be assigned to the folders and photos. If you are interested in more information on that, you can look up a post of mine from last year.
Photo Gallery handles tags and tagging in a superb way. Two other categories are also handled: caption (called title elsewhere) and author. I will skip file names, which can, of course, be readily changed in Photo Gallery.
To add a caption to a photo, select it and click “Add caption”. You can actually select several photos if they should get the same caption or title. A bit farther down in the Info pane, “Add an author” also produces a text entry box when clicked.
I like to select all the newly imported photos in the folder with Ctrl-A and then add my name in the Author box. Notice in the illustration above in the Size field the Info pane shows “17 items” the number of photos I imported (see topmost illustration). If only one photo is selected, this field displays the file size.
Farther up in the Info pane, the tags are shown. With all my photos in the folder selected, it shows the two tags that I assigned during import. It says “(All)” to indicate that all the photos bear that tag. But over in the tag list, in the navigation pane, you can see a “pain”. I have “McDaniel Farm Park”, “McDaniel Park”, and McDanielPark” as tags. I was careless and assigned three different tags for the same intended use. Here is where Photo Gallery makes the correction easy. With all the photos selected, I move the pointer to one of the thumbnails, hold the left mouse button down and drag the photo to the correct tag, the full name “McDaniel Farm Park”.
Dragging a selected photo, or group, to a tag in the navigation pane applies that tag. You can see this in the screenshot above.
Getting rid of the redundant tag is just as easy.
Right-click the tag name in the navigation pane and select “Delete”. The warning dialog tells you that this tag will be removed from all photos so tagged.
What if you want to add a new tag to one or more photos? Select them and click “Add descriptive tags”. You can apply one or more tags.
As soon as you start typing in the “add tags” box a drop-down menu shows all tags that start with the typed letter or letters to make it easy to select an existing tag. For a new tag, just finish typing the word or phrase. How many tags can you add to a photo? All you need, is the answer. I have one photo with 89 tags (I got tired after that). The Info pane will show a scroll bar so you see all the tags, or you can hover the pointer over the thumbnail:
The information box will increase in size to accommodate your tags – well, most of them!
Photo Gallery is great for managing the tag information in the metadata of photos. But what about other data items? In my next post I will take up another way to manage metadata.
©2010 Ludwig Keck. All rights reserved.
call this meta tags-tmi
up to how many photos does windows live photo gallery hold?
Photos are not stored "inside" Photo Gallery. Photo Gallery displays and organizes the display order of photos stored on the computer and attached drives. So there is no real limit – just the storage limit of your computer and attached drives.
thank you for taking the time to share…much appreciated. Amy
Good tutorial. I followed it, then tagged about 5000 photos and added captions and dates. I love how fast WLPG finds them by tag, date or caption text. Is there any way to put these on the image?
Hello Gary, Glad it is working for your. The tag, caption, and date information is stored inside the JPG files of your photos. The information is retained in the files even when stored on SkyDrive, although you can’t see it there.
I am not sure that I understood your question correctly. Please comment again if you need additional information.
Great post. Do you know a way to add file names to the photo so it shows up in a slide show?
Most slide shows will show the title (in Properties: Title, Subject; in Live Photo Galley: Caption). You might try adding the file name to the title.
I’ve added a caption for a picture and it shows up in Windows Live Photo Gallery. But what do I need to do to have this caption show up on the picture when it is emailed?
The caption is part of the “metadata”, it is embedded in the picture file, but it is not visible in the photo. The various viewers can show the caption. That is why the caption will look different in SkyDrive, for example, form the way it looks on your desktop. When you send a “photo email” with a link to your SkyDrive album, your friends will see the photos and captions just the way you see them in your SkyDrive. If you wish to attach the photos to an email and want the captions to show on the photos you need to overlay text on the photos. You can to that most easily in Paint – just add text with the Text tool, then save the image with a new name (so you don’t mess with the original). Mail the marked copies. Hope this helps.
When I upload WLFG photos to Dropbox, the Caption and Descriptive Tag is missing. If it is there but hidden, how can the Caption and Descriptive Tag be viewed by others? I tried various methods of viewing but was not able to.
Enable the Details pane in Windows Explorer. The tags are shown and “Caption” will be shown under Title. Be sure that the Photo Gallery Option > Publish is NOT set to “Remove all file details”.