Lightroom: Add text notes to photos, stacks, directories, collections

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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Let me add text notes to photo, stacks of photos, and directories of photos so that I can record shot and processing details. I'd like to be able to print the notes along with an image thumbnail.
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SamC

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Posted 8 years ago

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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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Metadata for a stack...
Hmm....
I see possibilities.
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Lee Jay

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You can already add notes to photos, in several different ways.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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But the ability to add notes to a stack would be a nice FR (assuming Stacks receive some attention in the next release)
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Scott Mahn

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Yeah, for instance a way to delineate if a stack is a Pano, focus stack, HDR, time sequence, etc. Perhaps a set of icons could be created and attached to stacks for clarity. And then of, course searches and sorts could be conducted on these icons. For instance, a user could search and sort around all their HDR stacks or Pano's.
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Sean Phillips

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I love this idea. Notes for folders, collections, presets, stacks, etc. would be very useful.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Also, notes for keywords and collections. It's useful to record details about the person, place, or event named by the keyword or collection. Photoshop Elements let you do this, and many people found it very useful.
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Rob Cole

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I recommend using custom metadata for photo notes in the mean time, either JB's 'Big Note' plugin, or my CustomMetadata plugin.

Also, FolderNotes supports folder notes and catalog notes, although it leaves something to be desired over a native implementation, you may find it useful in the mean time.

+1 vote: Notes for "everything" to satisfy us note-a-holics... - add to the list notes for:

- Snapshots
- History steps
- Custom Metadata items
- Publish Services
- DNG Camera Calibration Profiles

One could just keep notes for these things in other ways/places but the value of the convenience of having them right there when/where you need them should not be underestimated.
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My Buisness

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Jeeez, do ANY of this guy's comments come without pre-installed plugs to his own software?
All these plugs make me want to avoid his stuff, regardless of what it does.
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Rob Cole

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I pose solutions regardless of their origin. Please do ignore them if they don't interest you, but please do not pollute the forum with personal attacks.
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My Buisness

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That wasn't a personal attack, it was an opinion, to which I am entitled.
Please ignore any further opinions of mine if you don't like them.

Regarding my comment, oddly enough, the origins of most of the "solutions" I have seen so far posted by you, seem to be for your own software.
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Rob Cole

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Thpppppppp...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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And the Any Tag plugin supports notes for keywords. The range of plugins providing "notes" or "description" functionality does suggest that folding it into the core workflow of LR could benefit a larger number of users.
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TK

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One disadvantage of a plugin solution is that the notes are not stored in XMP or DNG files. They only live in LR catalogs.

Rob, if you like notes in the history panel, you may like my feature request that (among other things, such as non-linear "undo") suggests user defined names (e.g., "Teeth Whitening") for edit actions).
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Rob Cole

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I'm a sucker for just about any improvement to edit-history (you got my vote there).

And perhaps, I could get your support for saving custom metadata in xmp(?)
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TK

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Yep. :)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Some plugins do store their notes in the catalog. The Any Tag plugin stores its notes in a plain text file, so they're not locked into the catalog.
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Rob Cole

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Yeah, if its custom metadata (which is presently only supported on a per-photo basis), then its in the catalog. FolderNotes stores notes in plain text files too.
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Rob Cole

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I suppose it goes with saying that if notes are supported in Lr interface then they should be accessible via SDK too...
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Babar_e

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You have my vote there, definitively needs it. And over all need them to be copied in the xmp metadata at least the notes that refer to the photo..
regards
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Bryn Forbes

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notes for folders would be great
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Brett N, Official Rep

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Merged, thanks!
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Heiko Holzheuer

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Hi,
I'm love working with Lightroom because it's the only way to handle so many photos. But I was always wondering why it is not possible to put a description or a tag to a folder or a selection ? At least I have photos of an event in such a folder or selection, and for me it would be pretty helpful to store some general notes for this event without attaching it to all photos. How do you handle this ??
Best
Heiko

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: short description or tag for folders and selections.
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Arnfinn Johansen

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One of the advantages of virtual copies is of course that you can have several copies, each with different processing . Is there a consensus as to where you can keep NOTES unique to each virtual copy of the processing used? The ol' mind sometimes leaks too much to remember what I did to each virtual copy and the history list is sometimes too cryptic to help. Some copyes where made for printing/framing, some for video, some for wallpaper... Please make it possible to have NOTES on the images (not in the metadata, only in LR).

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Ability to include notes on vitual copies.
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Rob Cole

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My export plugins use copy-name if no filenaming template has been specified.

Obviously, if you aren't using copy-name for anything else, then using it for notes instead of a short name will work fine for you, until it doesn't...

I bastardized IPTC fields for notes for years, until I needed those fields for something else, then I had a problem... - thus is the potential risk for all "borrowed" fields.

Custom Metadata *never* has that problem, and is as searchable as any other metadata - usable in library filters and smart collections.

PS - Both solutions have the problem that they are not stored in xmp, and so will be lost along with the virtual copy they represent, if catalog problem requires reversion and/or re-creation by re-importing, but I solve that by saving virtual copies and custom metadata in separately backed-up files.
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Jim Burgess

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Since I don't have any of your plug-ins, that isn't going to be a problem. However, "using" the copy name field within one of your plug-ins would effectively eliminate it for use elsewhere...not sure that's a good idea.

Please help me out with what you are calling "custom metadata". Some examples of custom-metadata fields that can be searched would be helpful.
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Rob Cole

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With my plugins (and others like them), user can opt for a filenaming preset, so there's always a way out.

The problem, if you don't use copy-name in filename, is that the virtual copy will result in a naming collision with the master or other virtual copies (unless one has taken care to specify other tokens that ensure uniqueness). If you don't mind always using the "use a new name" option and having virtual copies named -2, -3 - indistinguishable from non-virtual copies that have undergone a duplicate name resolution... then more power too ya.

PS - the problem *with* using virtual copies in filename *presets* is that it necessitates non-virtual copies (often the majority) to look a little wonky for the sake of virtuals (often the minority), which is why I have programmed a default in case user has not opted for a filenaming preset.

Using the virtual copy name for notes would most certainly not work for me.

In addition to the export filenaming problems mentioned above, using the virtual copy name for notes runs risks that are unnecessary to take. I recommend against it, despite your successful (so far) experience with it, but I assume the readers are big boys and girls who can make up their own minds... - maybe some people will adopt your idea and be forever happy about it, like you are now..., I just hope they have at least considered my objections before deciding.

Here are two ways to have custom metadata for keeping photo notes:
- http://www.robcole.com/Rob/ProductsAn...
- http://www.beardsworth.co.uk/lightroo...
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Jim Burgess

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I see now what you mean by "custom metadata". I was confusing the IPTC extension fields which are present, but effectively unusable since you can't search for anything in those fields. Of the two you referenced, the "Big Note" plug-in seems to be much easier to deal with.

However, in general I'm reluctant to commit to any plug-in or other external method to manage my data, because if support for the plug-in goes away for whatever reason (and there are many possible reasons) then I am out of luck. I'm all for plug-ins (I use several) that will increase my productivity, but not at the expense of becoming dependent on someone's code that is managing information critical to my workflow. To me, that risk is much greater than the risks and pitfalls you described.
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Rob Cole

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I'm hoping Lr4 will support a UI for custom metadata, so plugins aren't required.

I understand not wanting to use a plugin for this. Personally, I have no problem with it, because I understand that the data is as safe as any in the catalog, and is readable by any other plugin or simple sql statement, so even if the plugin programmer died and the plugin stopped working after a couple of Lightroom versions, its trivial for any other plugin programmer or SQL novice to get at the data and migrate it. Granted, some technical know-how is required...

Lightroom will never stop supporting the data, nor plugins in general, but plugins may eventually stop working if not maintained between Lightroom versions.

PS - The CustomMetadata plugin (and BigNote) is just a re-hash of the working plugin that has been provided in the SDK since day 1. And any newer version in the SDK could be easily adapted to support any custom metadata of other plugins in the future, simply by changing the plugin's-id, and the metadata id's to match.

CustomMetadata and BigNote are equally easy to use - just install and enter notes...

CustomMetadata has extra fields and functions which may or may not be desirable...

So if John dies before me, big-note metadata could be migrated to custom-metadata plugin. And if I die before John, my custom-metadata could easily be migrated to big-note. If we both die at the same time, one could issue an sql statement on the database to put the data in a form which could be read by ExifTool or Lr/Transporter... If John, Tim, Phil Harvey, & I all die at the same time, any plugin programmer could modify the SDK sample to take over... If Adobe dies too, then... - well you get the idea...

Summary:
-------------
I acknowledge that plugin dependency for critical metadata gives one a feeling of insecurity, and if using plugins for custom metadata it is possible that one day one will be faced with the problem of inaccessible data, which may require some technical know-how to get at, or another plugin... assuming Adobe has not added the support directly to Lightroom, which hopefully they will by then.

Bottom Line:
----------------
If you want to keep photo notes in the catalog, you have two choices:
A. Bastardize an existing field and hope it lasts.
B. Use a plugin to add additional fields, and hope it lasts.

Final Thoughts:
--------------------
I followed plan A above until it stopped working (fields needed for their originally intended purpose), then switched to plan B. For plugin authors, and users who have faith in plugin authors and/or community help, plan B is a preferred solution, but I can see plan A being preferred by those who don't like working without a net from Adobe.
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Babar_e

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Would be great to have it in LR4 final
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Paolo Avezzano

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I manage my workflow on a folder basis, but it should equally apply to collection based ones.

What I'd really LOVE to see in a future release is the option to add a caption (description, comment, whatever) not only on a certain photo (within it's own caption field), but also on the folder/collection itself.

That could be useful to remember certain data which shouldn't be put under folder/collection name, or where it would be awkward to use cloned photo captions or multiple keywords.

Example: address for specific one-time-only client, equipment data for a specific shoot, any other note a photographer would want to associate to the whole photo shoot.

What do you think?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom, manage Captions for Folders/Collections.
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Kimberly Craven

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: Adding notes/comments to images or collections.

i'd love to be able to make notes or comments on specific images or collections - when sharing a catalog with another user, it would be useful for communicating processing requests, etc.
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Mathew Fisher

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Notes for a Collection in LR.

I would LOVE the ability to add some form of written notes to a collection - it could appear in the image list as a file symbol image and when you click on it, it opens notepad or an entirely new field in the dock section. This would allow you to remember things about the collection that cannot be stored elsewhere.
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Rob Cole

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Consider the script

'Photo For Notes'

It allows you to create a textual photo whose sole purpose is to house notes for a folder, or collection...

Free, by me, here:

http://www.robcole.com/Rob/ProductsAn...

(I realize you'd prefer native support, but for the mean time..).
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kim

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I've been desperate for notes on folders since forever. For keeping notes on processing, shoot notes, client details, todo lists, client and sitter contact details ... so many, many things. I have a plugin of my own for this, it works well enough but there's only so much you can do through the SDK. Native would be top.

Keywords too, there's a lot to be said for keywording at a coarser granularity.
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kim

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Actually, if anyone wants to try this plugin, holler. It's very simple, select a folder, select pnAnnotate from the plugin. If a note already exists it pops up a dialog with the text and an option to edit. If it doesn't exist then it fires up a text editor. Add text, kill the window, done - no need to save.

Doesn't work on collections yet, I may give that some thought.

Mac only, sorry but I'll leave the code readable if anyone wants to mess with it.

pm me using the contact form at www.kim-aldis.co.uk
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Hans Douma

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: Allow comments in folders.

Please add the possibility to add user comments to any lightroom folder. Of course I can use the Finder (Spotlight) comments, but this field is not accessible from within LR.

When I shoot photo's this usually is related to something I want to describe. I now use the Finder comments field for that but it really is something lacking in LR. 

Or am I missing something ?
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Guy Mangelschots

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: add a post-it to a photo.

Cann I add a postit at a photo ?