Copying Multiple Tags from One Image to a Group of Others ???

I have tried to get this figured from several different angles with no success.
I often have a particular group of tags that I want to duplicate onto another group of images, maybe years later.

I did manage to copy the tags all at once via the Properties dialogue, but the heirachy didn’t make the ride.

All of my tags are heirarchical (spelling) and I want to retain this.

Is it even possible to copy the tags I need from an already tagged image and apply them to a whole group of images in one fell swoop ?

I hope I explained my question so that it is understandable.
Thanks for reading and all help is appreciated.

Does anyone have any ideas ? Thanks.

If this cannot be accomplished with digiKam, is there another program that can? — I jump back and forth between a dozen programs anyway.

This function is currently not available in digiKam. A bug report / wish for this already exists in the bug tracker. But I plan to add them in the near future.


Thank You ! ; and thanks for digiKam !

I’d like the same feature, but in the meantime there is a work around.
Let’s say that “a.jpg” is the source file with the captions and tags you want. You want to copy this metadata to destination files “b.jpg” through “f.jpg”. Select the files “b” through “f” using Ctrl-click or Shift-click, then AFTER that select “a”. The Title, Captions and Tags will appear grayed out. Now click on the grayed out tags and these tags will be applied to all the files. For the Title and Caption, make a minor edit, such as adding a space at the end. Now they will no longer be grayed out and can be applied to all the files. This work around is a bit clumsy, but it can be done quickly.

You can also try using XnView and creating a template from the source file, then applying it to the destination files. digiKam’s templates are only for the Information tab, for contact and copyright info etc. XnView’s templates cover all the metadata. But check with a few test files to ensure the heirarchical tag structure is maintained when you read them in digiKam.

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Thank You; I was not aware of this.
I will for sure investigate this ability in XnView

In my meticulous quest to install as detailed data as possible, I use several programs due to the strengths and weaknesses of each; once I get all my data embedded, then I have to watch that some photo enhancing program or other doesn’t corrupt it or wipe it away altogether.

I have a huge number of images to catalog, some for professional use and some personal, as well as the images my father took working as a photojournalist from the mid 1930s through the 1970s. I also recently finished a photography project for a client, who now wants me to help him get set up with cataloguing these photos as well as his other photos from over the years.

For these projects I did a lot of testing with digiKam and XnView. While XnView is a really useful program, especially for its batch functions, I found a number of advantages with digiKam for cataloguing purposes. The biggest advantage, at least for me, is how well it works with external drives. I have collections on external drives, and even if they are not connected to my computer I can still see the thumbnails and the metadata, and the images show up in searches. To access the high res image and edit the metadata I just need to plug in the external drive.

With regards to copying metadata from a source to destination files as mentioned above, I’ve found it easier to just stay within digiKam rather than creating templates in XnView. It’s really pretty fast and it eliminates any chance of issues with the tag heirarchy.

If I were on Mac or Windows, I’d also look at Photo Mechanic Plus, which is the industry standard for press organizations, but I am finding that digiKam works well and does everything I need. It’s a great program.

I am using 64-bit Windows 7

I thought I followed your directions closely, but I cannot seem to get this to work; nothing greyed out.

I first selected my target files; and then, leaving them selected, I selected my source file; check-marks appeared in the tag boxes, but nothing was greyed out.

This is in the tag tree in the right-hand pane.

What am I missing ? What did I do wrong ? Thanks.

Interesting, and I wonder if there’s a difference between the Windows and Linux appimage.

If the tags are selected as you want, without being grayed out, doesn’t that work? In my copy I need to click on the grayed out boxes, but maybe you don’t need to.

What about the Title and Caption? Are they grayed out?

Yes, I’m referring to the right-hand panel.

The “Apply” button is not active; besides, if it worked that way, then when I wanted to add a specific tag to a group of images that already had differing tags, it would also apply all the checked tags, whether I wanted them or no.

I asked a similar question on another board and below is a link to that thread:

Read the two replies I received from “drsilver” , as they may be of help to you in your endeavors.

I have not yet taken time to investigate the process, but I intend to; I especially like the idea of creating text files for specific groups of tags and employing them at will.

I did some tests using the EXIFTOOL command drsilver suggested and it seemed to copy the tags and captions okay, but also rotated my vertical shots to horizontal. Certainly more complicated than doing the digiKam procedure I mentioned earlier, but if it doesn’t work in your Windows version, you have to find an alternative. Have you tried XnView’s templates yet?

Which are you referring to, XnView or XnViewMP; I have both and there are some things one can do that the other can’t.

When referring to them, I often just call either of them “XnView”

I regularly use the IPTC templates to instate IPTC and XMP information, but I am not seeing templates for keywords.

Where do I find/access that ability ?

I really like XnView/XnViewMP and use it a lot; however, my main gripe with it is how vague and confusing the instructions are.

I just tested it on a small folder of files and it saved the keyword tree structure as well as caption data. This is with XnViewMp.

Thanks for that; I will check it out.

On a similar note, there are some handy buttons/options present in XnView that I don’t see in XnViewMP.

In XnView, “Metadata” is under the “Edit” menu; in XnViewMP it is under the “Tools” menu and lacks many of the XnView options.

These options look like they could be very useful; HOWEVER, I don’t see how to employ them as default behavior = the option has to be chosen for each individual selection.

These options are:

Copy Comment to IPTC Caption

Copy IPTC Caption to Comment

Copy EXIF User Comment to Comment

XnViewMP will somewhat do some of this on it’s own; however, the behavior is quite erratic and not completely trustworthy.

It’s been a long time since I used digiKam on Windows, but it worked for me there the same as it does currently on Linux. Select the images you want to tag first, and lastly add the image you’re copying tags/caption/description from last. (If you’re only copying tags, the order doesn’t really matter.)
In the tags sidebar, click the button to show “Tags already assigned”. You should see the tags you’ve selected, with the checkbox next to them showing that they are only applied to some of the images in the selection. Check the box next to the tag to select the tag for all images in the selection. Since you’ve now made changes to the images, the Apply button should be enabled and you can apply your changes.
If you also wish to add the Caption/Description, switch to that tab in the sidebar. If you selected the tagged image last, the text from that image will appear in a different color (light gray as opposed to normal white text, but I imagine this depends on the color scheme you’re using). Like the checkbox, this is an indication that the text is only applicable to some of the images in the selection. You can edit this text (I usually delete/retype the last character) and that text will turn white, as you’ve edited it for all the images in the selection. (You could also do copy/paste, etc.) Once you’ve done that the Apply button will be enabled and you can click it to make the changes.
Personally, that’s all I’ve ever needed.

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I’ve spent a few hours today diving deeper into both XnViewMP and digiKam. Some thoughts:

  1. I like XnView’s templates which can easily be applied to multiple images. However, this is a minor point as it just takes a few seconds to do the same thing in digiKam.

  2. When you’re writing in GPS coordinates in a file, XnView has the advantage as it actually writes the coordinates into the EXIF data. From what I can tell, digiKam doesn’t seem to do that, but instead just writes it into the database.

  3. Interface: digiKam has a much cleaner interface that’s much easier to navigate and find things. XnView is confusing, forcing you to search through all the menus to find what you want, and then sometimes having to Google it. This is a huge advantage for digiKam, especially for me right now as I’ll be training a client on how to use metadata for their image collections.

  4. External drives: When it comes to storing images on an external drive or network, digiKam wins hands down. Even if a drive is not connected, you can still see the thumbnails, and do searches. It will even tell you what drive to connect if you want access to the image file. XnView is blind to external drives unless they are currently connected. For large image databases over several external drives, XnView is not suitable, but digiKam handles it easily.

Conclusion: For my own digital asset management, and for training clients, I will use digiKam. For adding in GPS coordinates into EXIF data, I’ll use XnView. For batch functions, such as resizing, adding borders and text etc, XnView is awesome and I’ll continue using it.

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Thanks to ashurbanipal on another thread, for correcting me on the GPS. digiKam does indeed write GPS coordinates to the EXIF data just by checking the right box in the settings. The Edit Geolocation Tool (Ctrl+Shift+G) works very well.

In digiKam settings/metadata is a switch that, when checked, will cause digiKam GPS info to be written into the file and therefore display in all other programs.

For a long time, I used only digiKam for all of my GPS writing; and then, just a couple versions ago, XnViewMP doctored up their GPS Editor and I now find it quicker and more convenient than the digiKam GPS Editor ---- until, I have something that I do not know the elevation of.

Yes, I can pinpoint the item in Google Earth Pro and make note of the elevation; however, it is a lot quicker/easier to load the file in digiKam and click “Find Missing Altitude”

My only gripe with that is digiKam rounds off to full meters, instead of decimal meters.

Actually, for elevation, I very much prefer good old American feet, as that makes a lot more sense to me, but hardly any program will allow it.

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Thanks for that info on the GPS, which ashurbanipal also corrected me on.

Thanks: I was missing this step.

Once I clicked the “Tags Already Assigned” button, everything worked just as described.