Set IPTC Photo Metadata for Search Engines

Parts of this page show information for a specific operating system, you can select the variant focusing on yours in the Navigation.

How To Use this Site and its Tools

This site will enable you to define a set of metadata, download this as a packet, and then embed this information directly into one or many of your photos in a single operation.
We invite you to read the sections Overview and Make use of this site first as they show the options in use you have. Then you can pick what you prefer.
Generic notes for reading this page:
- The guidelines below use the term directory, this is the same as the also well known term folder.
- All the file names below include file name extensions like .exe, .app, .cmd, .sh, .jpg and more. Depending on the setting of your Linux Desktop GUI they may be displayed or not. Therefore a file named may be visible as set-iptc-pmd-searchengines-tool_linux with a type like "zip file" or "compressed file" in the Linux Desktop GUI.
Note for using downloaded files:


Here is an overview of the workflow to embed IPTC photo metadata into your images:
  1. Download the Tool Package from this site and install it, and install the program ExifTool. A one-time only step.
  2. Enter your photo metadata using this site and create a file to download and embed it
  3. Embed the metadata into image files:
    Option 1: Copy the image files you want to contain the embedded metadata to a specific directory. Run a program from the installed Tool Package to embed the metadata into the file(s).
    This option may be better for embedding metadata into files gathered from many different directories.
    Option 2: Drop image files and/or directory/ies with image files on a special program which copies the file(s) to a temporary directory and embeds the metadata into all dropped files.
    This option may be better for embedding metadata into some files or subdirectories of a specific directory using a file browser (Explorer, Finder, ...).
  4. Recommended: check if metadata are embedded properly. Check some sample images at least each time you download and embed a new file with your metadata.
  5. Move the modified image files to another directory of your choice

Make use of this site - step by step

The steps below refer to steps of the workflow overview above.
Installing the Tool Package and ExifTool
  • Step 1.1:
    a) Create a directory in your file system for the purpose of embedding photo metadata displayed by search engines. It will be referenced as Tool Package directory in these guidelines.
    b) Download the Tool Package for Linux named to this new directory.
    c) Uncompress this zip file there. If a warning is shown please read the Note for using downloaded files above.
    d) Check if this directory has a sub-directory named images. If not: create a directory with this name.
    Find below details about the content of this Tool Package and how to test its basic functions (recommended!).
  • Step 1.2:
    On Linux it is required to install ExifTool. If you have installed ExifTool already on your computer you can skip this Step 1.2.
    The ExifTool home page provides a package for Unix/Linux plus installation instructions Unix platforms, including Linux.
Create and download your photo metadata
  • Step 2.1: Go to the Metadata Form of this site and type your values in the available fields. Finally click the  Generate Photo Metadata  button.
  • Step 2.2: This action will take you to a page showing the results. If everything worked correctly, you should see the words "It worked" below the headline "Result after ...", this is your confirmation that the generated data is ok to download.
    To download, click on the link in the green box that says  Download this IPTC Photo Metadata object ...  - and the the file myiptcpmd.json will be downloaded to a directory defined by your browser.
    If you want to see the to-be-downloaded data for ExifTool you can click on the "Show metadata object" link - the page will expand and a box will appear with the JSON code.
    The results page also shows the Structured HTML Metadata as used by Google, it corresponds to the used fields.
  • Step 2.3: Copy or move the file myiptcpmd.json from your download directory to the directory where you had installed the Tool Package. There should be already a file with this name, overwrite it (your operating system may show a popup window asking you to confirm this overwrite).
Option 1: Embed photo metadata by running a program
(Note: in a previous version a shell script was used for all operating systems. This script is replaced by an executable for Windows and macOS.)
  • Step 3.1: Select a set of photos into which you want to embed your photo metadata and copy them to this images directory - don't use original files! Be aware: If you have subdirectories of the images directory, any images within will also be embedded with metadata!
  • Step 3.2:  Run the program for embedding the metadata in the directory of your installed Tool Package. Just double-click the file name First the program will search for installed ExifTool and if not found it will exit. If found, the program will launch ExifTool as a command line program and will embed the metadata of the myiptcpmd.json into all files in the images directory and its subdirectories. (You should see the names of the processed image files on your screen.) Be aware, only files with these file name extension are processed: .jpg .jpeg .tif .tiff .png .dng .psd.
    Note: you may have to enable the program to be executed by a chmod +x command.
Option 2: Embed photo metadata by dropping files or directories on a program

Sorry, no such program is available for Linux as not all Desktop GUIs support dropping files, please use the program option above.

Checking and archiving image files with just embedded metadata
  • Step 4: You should check the metadata embedded into image files at least each time you have downloaded and embedded metadata from a new myiptcpmd.json file. See below the How to Check Embedded Metadata section.
  • Step 5.1: Copy or move all the image files from the images or dropped_images directory to a directory where they are archived.
  • Step 5.2: After clearing the images or dropped_images directory - don't forget images in subdirectories - you can select another set of your image files.
  • Step 5.3: Continue with embedding the same metadata.
    For using Option 1 (embed with program) copy other files to the images directory and embed the same photo metadata as described above.
  • As long as your metadata displayed by search engines does not change you can reuse the metadata in the myiptcpmd.json file for as many times as you wish!
    If other metadata should be embedded go back to Step 2.

How to Check Embedded Metadata

You can check metadata embedded into an image file by using the Get IPTC Photo Metadata site.
  • Select the image files you will check - this should be at least a subset of images.
  • Go to - IPTC's site for displaying metadata embedded into image files
  • There use Option B (Metadata embedded into an image uploaded from your computer):
  • Pick one of the photos in the images or the dropped_images directory with the "Select image file ..." file selector.
    Select for "What is shown" the option "Metadata relevant for photos shown as result by search engines" .
  • Click on  Get Photo Metadata of Local Image .
  • Then you should see metadata embedded into this image file displayed by search engines. Check if the values are correct. If not: go back to the Metadata Form of this site, generate and download the metadata again, embed it and test again.

The Tool Package Content

Package for Linux
The compressed file includes:
  • Directory images. It is empty.
  • Directory no-metadata-test-images. It includes three JPEG image files with no embedded metadata. You may use them for testing by copying one or more files into the images directory.
  • File the program (strictly said: the shell script) for embedding metadata on a Linux computer.
  • File myiptcpmd.json: a sample of ExifTool data for embedding IPTC photo metadata into the image files in the images directory. It is not required to keep the file, if you want to keep it you should rename it.

Test the Basic Functions of the Tool Package (after installing it)

Test the program for embedding metadata by running it
  • Copy JPEG files from the no-metadata-test-images directory to the images directory.
  • Execute the program for your operating system, see the details in the step-by-step guideline above. Executing this program will embed the sample photo metadata of this default myiptcpmd.json, using a photographer named Jane Doe and the Photo Agency XYZ as copyright holder and licensor.
  • If executing the program looked successfully check an image file in the images directory. See above the How to Check Embedded Metadata section.


For questions regarding IPTC Photo Metadata join IPTC's public photo metadata forum.
For issues regarding this site post yours at the corresponding Github repository.
It is strongly recommended to follow the workflow described on the How To Use page.
Disclaimer: IPTC, the party running this site, is not liable for any demages to image files and embedded metadata arising from the use of this site and the associated Tool Package.