Applying tags/captions to grouped photos in Digikam?

I’m still getting into the habit of tagging and captioning my images in Digikam. I’ve been grouping by filename (so my JPG and RAW files are grouped together), and just noticed that the tags and captions are only attached to the JPG.

Two questions:

  • Is there an easy way to copy tags and captions from the JPG to the RAW? Not afraid of a bit of scripting if that’s required
  • Is there a way to have the tags and captions applied to all files in a closed group?

Kind regards,

digiKam used to didn’t write to RAW files very well; maybe that has changed lately.

As for writing the same tags to a bunch of files, that is easy; just select all the files and then choose the tags and click Apply (bottom-right)

I am fairly certain the same applies to Captions = the same caption is written to all selected files.

If you are on a Windows machine, I have very good results writing all types of metadata into RAW files by using ExifToolGUI.

Hello, on my system (Linux + Digikam 7.9 and 7.10) I create a tag on the right side of the app (tab Tags), then I select a serie of raws+jpgs and say “Apply”. The tag appears now on all the selected photos, including the raws.

Strange enough I can’t find an easy way to copy captions and titles from one photo to another. According to this thread on this isn’t implemented yet in Digikam, but in the same post others describe a workaround that does work indeed.

Alternatively, use exiftool to write titles, tags and captions to a series of photos. Type ‘man exifpage’ and scroll to the bottom to ‘Writing examples’. Other tools may work as well (exiv2, jhead, imagemagick…).

XnViewMP (and Plain Jane XnView) has an excellent IPTC Editor that supports templates.

I frequently select a whole batch of images and apply the information to all at once.

Using XnViewMP, if you have one image that has the information you want on many images; load that image in the IPTC Editor and choose Save Template - give it a good name and Close the IPTC Editor.

Now, select all the images you want it applied to and load them in the IPTC Editor - choose Load Template and choose your template that you just created - Apply to all Images.

If this doesn’t quite do what you want, they also have a Transfer Metadata feature (Scroll to Chapter 11) that may be your best choice for what you are describing.

Hello, thanks for your useful answer but the OP was looking for a solution for Digikam.
Besides that, Digikam is an open source application, while XnView is not. I am supposed to buy a (very modestly priced) license because I run a little company. I prefer open source tools though.

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A picture is worth more than a thousand words

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Writing to RAW files is sometimes possible, but can be dangerous. Even the software from camera makers dealing with “their own files” makes mistakes, that make the files unreadable in other software (unless you want to assume malicious intent on the brand’s part).
See e.g. this thread on

Hello Mike, why does it say “dangerous”?

I don’t use that option as I don’t want that any software touches my raw originals.

Apart from that, when I give a photo a star rating of 4 in Digikam, it writes a xmp sidecar next to the photo with the star info in it. So no need to touch the raw.

Two things I suppose:

  1. It is always dangerous to directly write to any existing file in case of file corruption (which could happen if another program hangs your computer and forces you to to a reboot leaving the file in an open state when the system goes down.
  2. There was a period where the EXIV2 software which is used to write the metadata to the raw file was badly in need of a maintainer and was not considered stable enough for this purpose (Future of Exiv2 · Issue #1466 · Exiv2/exiv2 · GitHub) which then prompted the Digikam team to block writing EXIF data to raw files until they could rebase code off exiftools instead - at least that’s how I remember it.