Elements 14: Tagging photos is not sticking in metadata

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I'm having issues with just tagging photos in general. I'll have two photos side by side with the same person. Once the name is drug over to tag, it shows up in the icon but will not be in the metadata so when I upload to my on-line account, approx. 50% are not there. Never had this problem with 13...really sucks right now. The only way around it I've found it you have to open the metadata IPTC table up and manually type in those that don't take. IT NEEDS FIXING ASAP

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Bret Astrike

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Posted 4 years ago

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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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By default, your tagging is stored in the catalog, not in the media files themselves. That is a major requirement for fast management. For instance, I happen to assign a given temporary keyword to 50 000 files at the same time. Very quick to do in the catalog. Writing to the files would be very long.
That's why is up to you according to the circumstances to use the 'write metadata to files' option in the file menu. Some do that for compatibility with other softwares, others to add some reduncancy for safety. Since it's long to write, you can do that when you are away from your computer. No time lost.
Nothing needs fixing.
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Bret Astrike

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Fully aware of the "write metadata to files". What I'm seeing is in the past you didn't even have to do that for the tagging to upload with the photo to SmugMug or the like. However, I have no problem in "writing metadata" to the files after I'm done with set to upload but that is where the issue is, it is not writing to all the photos, only some. As a test, I used exactly the same tag on two different photos side by side, ran the "write metadata" and went back to see it doesn't write to all and the even though the tagging icon and name appears with the photo, it is not writing to the file. I've processed thousands of photos over several PSE versions...14 is the first time I started having this problem. It wouldn't be in the settings given two behave differently in the same gallery and same identical process.
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Bret Astrike

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BTW...sorry for being so frustrated in first post. After hours of dealing with it and having so many images to work with, I was more than a little frayed.
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gordon young

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I am wondering if this problem was ever solved as I have exactly the same problem in Elements 14. I have tags and I save metadata to files but a considerable number of them don't get written. I have duplicated one particular picture and the meta data got written OK. I backed-up the catalog and restored , saved metadata to file and still the data was written. I ran Elements in Admin mode - still no difference. I went into Windows Gallery and was able to write the tag to the metadat ok. THis is a real problem for me as I spent hours tagging all the photos (they are family photos that I am sorting out after my Dad died). I want to put them up 'in the cloud' for the rest of the family to share. I was using Flickr , can't use the flickr upload from with Elements as it doesn't write the tags. I am therefore uploading within the Flickr system. Many tags get written to Flickr OK but a few hundred aren't and I cannot understand why nor find a successful work around. Has anyone found a solution or work around for this? Many Thanks
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Has anyone found a solution or work around for this?
The question is rather: 'has anyone been able to reproduce your issue'?
Before trying to find a solution, it's necessary to identify the issue and the circumstances in which it does appear.
There is a real problem to check if all metadata are really written to files. We don't have a program to compare the originals and the "metadata tagged" items.
It's easy to test for a single file: you write metadata (Ctrl W hortcut) and look at the metadata from the organizer, the editor, the organizer or any metadata manager.
The worst case seems to be when only a small part of the files are not written.

A trick I suggest to find files which don't get tagged in the metadata header.
Let's say you have a folder with tags for all items.
Create a new test catalog and import that folder. All tags should be found in the new catalog ('imported keywords') as well as captions.
The organizer lets you search untagged items.
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gordon young

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Hi
Thanks for replying. I can tell  easily what tags have been written into the Metadata of the file (both singularly and in quantity) using Windows Photo Gallery. I have done more work on this problem and still haven't seen a pattern as to why Elemtnts 14 doesn't write the tag to ALL files when using the 'write metadata to files Command'. I have used the IPTC edit facility within Elements to view the keywords after using the 'write the metadata to file command' and the tag doesn't get written on some files. I then manually add the tag to the keyword using the IPTC edit facility and am able to write the tag (showing there is nothing wrong with the file) I can then see and manipulate this tag with Windows Photo Gallery. I have then selected  all the files under a particular tag in Elements and then, having all the files selected, used the IPTC edit facility to append the tag to the metadata of the files and then examined them in Photo Gallery and all is the fine - the metadata has been updated and tags now match in both programs! (Even though it says Append the tag to the metadata, if the tag is already present in the metadata it doesn't append it again - although I suspect that this isn't always the case).

The trouble is I now don't trust the tagging in Elements at all. I have been using the program since Elements version 1 and am loath to give it up. However it is much slower on retreiving files based on tags with a large collection than Photo Gallery is. I also what to manipulate the tags in elements and this to be refelcted in an online selection that I am sharing with my family without having to reload the whole set again (my internet isn't that fast).

I am going to see if I can reproduce this problem with a much smaller set of photograps to try and figure out under what circumstances the tag isn't written to the metadata.
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Let's say you have identified one or a few files for which the 'write' has failed; If you select them again and use the write metadata command, does this work the second time?
(I am still trying to create the same problem on my end).
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gordon young

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No - once it won't write it will never write it again although sometimes it will write a new tab. Even if you clear the data in the metadata field it won't write it in. I have tried selectively writing to just one file and then again in large groups but still won't write. It is though it has already written and doesn't need to do so again. I have found that when I use the IPTC edit it does actually append a second time.
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gordon young

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I should also add I did a repair on the Catalog and made no difference and also a back-up and then restore and still the same.
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gordon young

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I selected a set of 10 photos based on the Elements Tag Lucy. I created a new tag Lucy1 and added to the set. I could now see that each photgraph had both a Lucy and Lucy1 tag. I wrote the metadata to the file and then examined each of IPTC Keyword meta data fields and 8 of the files received the Lucy1 tag and 2 of the files didn't. I screen captured the metadata fields and could send to you.
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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I screen captured the metadata fields and could send to you.
Sorry... I am just another user like you...

I'll continue to try to reproduce your problem.
Two random questions:
-  are those 2 files in version sets or stacks?
- are there special characters in the file name?
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gordon young

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Hi

Sorry I thought you must be an employee as your were helping so much. So let me thank you so much for spending your time on this.

I have no deduced that it is only a problem with People tags and not with Keyword tags and I don't know enough about the concept behind these different categories to understand what is stopping writing the people tag.

How is what I have found out. I got a file P1030246.jpg that had two tags - 1993 and Lucy. Lucy was a people tag and 1993 a keyword tag. I created a new people tag Lucy1 and then tried to write this to the file's metadata. Nothing was written. I duplicated the file and I was able to write new tag (Lucy1) to the metadata.

I then edited the original file with the IPTC edit facility in Elements and removed all the keywords and verified that they were removed by looking at the properties of the file in Windows. I then used the write metadata to file and only the keyword tag 1993 was written and not the two people tags (Lucy and Lucy1). I then created a new keyword tag (Lucy2) (not a people tag) and used the write metadata to file and Lucy2 was written to the file hence my deduction that Elements has a problem writing the people tags to this file. I will now create a new catalog with just this file in and see if then I can write people tags to the file. Obviously Elements must handle People tags slighly differently than keyword tags but as to why I don't know yet.
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gordon young

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So I created a new catalog and imported the two files and obviously the tags came in as imported tags. Using the save metadata to files wrote all the tags into metadata. I then created a new people tag and was able to save that metadata to both files. So with the new catalog everything is working correctly. Obviously there is nothing wrong with the actual files as I can write to them using the new catalog. I then went back to the original catalog and created a new people tag and this wasn't written to the file.

So I dedided to delete all the tags in the original album for this photo and use the IPTC edit facility to remove the tags from the metadata. However when viewing the properties for the file in Windows I could still see two tags - went into Windows Photo Gallery and removed the two tags - Windows properties showed the two tags gone. Went back into Elements and created two tags - 1993 under other and Lucy under people and used the save metadata to file and only the other tag was written - not the people tag of Lucy. So there is something somewhere either in the catalog or the metadata of the file stopping this data from being written.

Looks like I should stop using people tags and use keyword tags instead and then see if I still get any problems.
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gordon young

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Is there anyway I can report this to Adobe to find out how People tags are handled differently than keyword tags?
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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This is the right forum. Your posts will be read; I can't speak for them...
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gordon young

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I won't like to see a comment from Adobe about handling tags in Elements 14. If you want to upload files to another application such as Flickr, you can't use the Flickr uploader in Elements 14 as it doesn't write the tags to Flickr. You therefore have to use the Windows uploader and this requires that your Flickr tags are written properly into the file properties. Now if you maintain your collection in Elements and find that you have miss-labeled a person in your photos and delete the tag, add a new tag (keyword or People) and then save the metadata to file the old tag is still there (ie Elements doesn't overwrite the Windows property field - rather appends to it. So if maintaining your photos in Elements how does Adobe recommend using tags when using an online repositary such as Adobe. You don't get these problems with Windows Photo Gallery as it only uses the property field to maintain the tag so when you delete the tag it also deletes from the Windows property field.

Also how are the people tags maintained - see all my posting above.

If these problems are corrected in Elements 15 I would upgrade but I would lke to know in advance that they are as I have updated before to get over problems that I was having since version 6 only to find more problems of slow response, closing down and hanging up requiring me to do a Ctrl Alt Delete to kill the associated tasks.
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Christi Misener

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It is not fixed in Elements 15 and was a problem in 14.  I'm very disappointed that they didn't fix the people tag problem.  If you have a people tag on a file, edit it for a new version, the people tag does not stay with the newly edited photo.  You have to retag it.  You didn't have to do this in 13.  Totally unacceptable that they didn't fix this.  And I posted in the forums about this before.


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Simon Jones

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Quite agree - just 'discovered' the problem with Elements 14 and would appreciate a fix!
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Stefan Oltmann

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It's still not fixed in Elements 19.