Controlled Vocabulary


Filename 2 Title: How to Automate

Frequently picture editors, stock distributors or others may not find your filenames to be very descriptive and may feel free to change them to best suit their own in-house needs. This might include renaming preview images that they have right-clicked or dragged down from your website, or even renaming files that you submitted as part of an assignment or for licensing as stock.

Even if they see your watermark, or know enough to read the metadata (File Info) and find your contact info, how can they tell you which image that they have in hand? Especially if it is one image from among a number of similars? This potential nightmare can be averted if you backup your filenames within your metadata. By making it a standard part of your workflow to embed your filename in the Title or Document Title field of your metadata, communicating the filename becomes a fairly simple process (once they know how to read the metadata in your file).

The following sections include instructions or links to other instructions or resources that describe automated methods for writing your image filenames to the Title field of your IPTC metadata using the various applications mentioned. Note that some offer the option to only include the base filename, rather that the full filename with the extension. My recommendation would be to NOT include the file extension, as it's rarely necessary for identification.

Adobe Bridge (Mac/Win)

Peter Krogh has a very useful script on a previous version of his DamUseful website called "Filename to Title" that will create a Bridge menu item that will enable you to write the Filename into the IPTC Title field.

Apple Aperture (Win)

David Gordon has provided an Applescript that will enable you to write the Filename into the IPTC Title field in Aperture. At present these are only available to members of the Controlled Vocabulary forum, where they are stored in the Files area.

BreezeBrowser (Win)

BreezeBrowser Pro uses a token based system to represent other values within the application. Here's how to have the filename automatically entered in the Document Title field for a single, or batch of images.

1. With BreezeBrowser running, Select any number of files within a folder, or just do a Select All (Control + A) for all files.

2. Right click and choose, Edit IPTC /XMP data or select this same option under the Edit menu (the keyboard shortcut is Control + Shift + I)

3. Paste one of the following named tokens into the Document Title field (including the "at" symbols before and after as shown).

Token Name What Token Shows Example
@file@ filename of the Image IMG_001.JPG
@fileLower@ Filename of the image in lower case img_001.jpg
@fileNoExt@ Filename of the image with no extension IMG_001
@fileNoExtLower@ Filename of the image with no extension and lower case img_001

4. Click on the Apply button if only writing the filename to a single image, or Apply to Selected button, if part of a batch operation

5. If you are applying to a number of files, you will see the Batch IPTC Settings dialog appear, and you need to indicate how you want to apply the changes.

You are about to change the IPTC values for two or more files. Please specify how the new IPTC values should be applied:

The default is to have the radio button selected to "Merge new values with existing values", and the three boxes in the lower section checked (as shown below).

This seems to work fine for most uses, though you may wish to experiment with duplicate files until you are comfortable that all is working as you expect.


HindSight: StockView Catalogue & METAmachine (Mac)

Both StockView and METAmachine have a radio button: If Title is Empty... Use Image Name. This option adds only the base filename, not the image extension, such as .jpg, or .tif. .

The button is the third item on the opening screen of METAmachine.

This is much the same for the metadata panels of the StockView Catalogue which offers the additional choice of using the Serial Number.



IDimager (Win)

IDimager places the filename in the Title field by default, provided the field is empty.

To update the title manually you have to place a token into the Title field.

1. Select the thumbnail or thumbnails to which you wish to add the filename to the Title field (or select all with Ctrl+A)
2. Open the Image Details panel (the pen icon in the far left of the Explorer bar) or press Alt+Enter to open the Image Details dialog
3. In the Title field enter %FileName (for the base filename only), or %FileName.%FileExtension (for filename + extension).
4. Click Apply


ImageIngester (Mac/Win)

ImageIngester and ImageIngesterPro are pre-processing utilities that work with Adobe Bridge and Lightroom to copy images from your camera or card to your computer and to automate other important, steps in your workflow. In your ImageIngester template simply add {@filenameNew} to the IPTC Title field (also located in the Metadata>Content submenu). Check out the Macro Lab in the Tools menu of this utility for other useful macros.


iView MediaPro / Expression Media / Media Pro (Mac/Win)

John Beardsworth wrote a script that automates the writing of the full filename (including image type extension) to the Title field which works in the Mac (Applescript) as well as Windows (Visual Basic) versions of iView MediaPro / Expression Media. Members of the Controlled Vocabulary forum, can access these from the Files area of the forum. Others can obtain a version here (look for the NEW! Filename to Title script for Expression Media 2 item).


PhotoMechanic (Mac/Win)

PhotoMechanic uses a "token" system, so all that's required is to place this renaming variable or token within the IPTC Stationary pad in Photo Mechanic to add the filename of the image to any metadata field embedded in the image.

Here's how to do this in a few short steps to an individual or selection of images.

1. In the thumbnail view, select the images in the folder for which you wish to add the filename to the Object Name field (Object Name is the same as the Title field in Photoshop). This can work for other fields as well, if you prefer to put the filename elsewhere.

2. Open the IPTC Stationary Pad, top item under the Image menu (on Mac the shortcut is Command + I).

3. Then put {filename} (including the squiggly brackets) within the field in which you want the current filename (including extension) to appear, such as drp041279097a.jpg. If you want the filename without the extension, use {filenamebase} instead, and you'll just get drp041279097a.

4. Check the "apply" checkbox to the left of the field, clear checks from any other fields for which you don't want to apply metadata, and then click on the Apply Stationary to Selected button to apply the IPTC Stationery Pad to the selected photos.

5. You'll see a status bar as PM goes to work.


examples  |  books  |  products  |  image databases  |  links  |  what's new
imagedatabases  |  programs  |  IPTC standard  |  downsampling  | filenaming 
metalogging  |  captioning  |  keywording  |  guidelines  | metalog resources
home  |  contact  | sitemap