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My Top 6 Favorite Tools I Use to Scan My Photo Collection (Including My Scanner)

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22 Comments on "Q&A: How Can I View My Picasa’s Photos Captions Using Any Windows PC?"

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Art Taylor
Guest

Hi Curtis,

Thank you for your acknowledgment in your post.

One thing that should be confirmed before making a serious commitment to using any program as suggested is: Does it write the caption, description, and/or any other IPTC data to each image file automatically, if at all, or, as with Lightroom, only when you choose a specific menu option to write data to the image file? In Lightroom, all of the IPTC information you enter, caption, description, keywords/tags, etc. gets written only to the Lightroom catalog or database unless you go to the Photo menu and choose Save Metadata to File. Without this step, your data will be visible only within Lightroom because it’s stored only in the Lightroom database. Other programs may perform the same way. If any such program eventually becomes unavailable, as programs have been known to do as hardware and operating systems are upgraded, your data may still be in the database but if you don’t have a program that can read that database, it may as well never have been written. If you think this possibility is unlikely, think of the people who saved word processor documents (Word Star) or spreadsheets (Lotus 1-2-3) or presentations (Harvard Graphics) in programs that did not survive beyond the DOS or Windows 95 or corresponding Mac OS versions. They may have diligently archived their important documents, planning to be able to access them years later but such documents are now just as inaccessible as if they were saved on 5.5 inch floppy disks.

Although it will increase your file size, one sure way to be sure your IPTC-type information stays visibly with an image, regardless of what program the program is subsequently viewed or edited in (some editing programs will not only ignore embedded IPTC and EXIF (camera data), they will lose it when you edit and re-save your image), is to Resize Image Canvas to add blank space to one side (usually to the bottom for horizontal/landscape format images, or to the right for vertical/portrait images). Most good image editing programs will let you add text to the image. Enter your data as usual in whatever text boxes/text fields your program offers, then copy it to the clipboard and use your editor’s Text tool to paste it into the blank panel you added to enlarge the image canvas. Save your image, as either TIF or JPG, with the added text, probably best done after giving the file a new name so you don’t over write your original in case you want to use your original for some other purpose where the text is unimportant, such as making a large print or poster for framing. If you use the original image’s file name but add “caption” or some similar word to the end of the name, you can keep the two versions so that they sort next to each other and you’ll be able to easily find either version in the future.

Another possible advantage to doing things this way is that, if you post an image to a social media site where all EXIF and IPTC data is removed by the operator of the site, your data will stay with the image. On the other hand, if some of your data should remain confidential for some reason, you can post the version without the data but retain the version with your usually hard-earned information that you may have spent hours or days researching to get accurate data.

Art

Art Taylor
Guest

One other thought about your chart: add a column to indicate which OS each program is available for. Some may be available for Windows, Mac, or Linux or for any one or two of those three systems. It would also be helpful to include a column with the URL for each program so your readers could easily find more info about programs they may be interested in.

dedrawolff
Guest

I no longer have a Windows computer to test, but since the caption value is available in file properties, couldn’t you also customize your file explorer tabular view to show that value? That way you could see many captions at once…

Stacy
Guest

Thank you Curtis and Art. I just watched the video and I’ve been struggling. I just uploaded a bunch of photos and I’m a PC person so they’re going into a folder and then I am renaming them in putting them in folders in Windows Explorer. I downloaded Lightroom and started to use that but then I was finding that if I made a change in Windows Explorer when I opened Lightroom it was uploading but something wasn’t translating and then I was having 2 different pictures and I was getting confused. So I’ve just been working mostly in Explorer.

I wasn’t doing this step “In Lightroom, all of the IPTC information you enter, caption, description, keywords/tags, etc. gets written only to the Lightroom catalog or database unless you go to the Photo menu and choose Save Metadata to File. Without this step, your data will be visible only within Lightroom because it’s stored only in the Lightroom database”. I have to look into that. Maybe that’s where the disconnect is.

I’m trying to stay organized so I have a system in Explorer where I scan in all my photos to a folder called

New Scanned Photos

Then I have folder system underneath for each year/event

-1999
– 01-01-99 – New Years Day
– 02-07-99 – Ryan bday

etc…..

But when I found I made a change to a photo in Explorer – changed the date on a picture or added a more detailed description that when it uploaded to Lightroom things would get messy.

I want to write more details into the metadata and I struggle with the easy way to do this. Maybe I’ll try Lightroom again.

Ron Thoman
Guest

So, Curtis, if you are using Picasa (on your list above) as your organizing program, you wouldn’t need any additional programs to read and edit metadata. Is that correct?

jelly59
Guest

Hi,
Your video is brill. I especially like the diagrams.smile

If I down load photome will I be able to print the captions that I’ve made in Picasa?

I need the captions to be underneath the pictures, like in Picasa.

I’d really appreciate any tips on this please.

Thank you.smile

Stacy
Guest

Didn’t know what section to put this under so I thought maybe here would be ok. SO MUCH WORK!!! I was enjoying the scanning process but it is so much work to write everyone’s name in each picture. Does everyone do that? I just did pictures from my wedding and it took such a long time. I’m using Lightroom and I’m adding all this information under the caption for future searching, etc. Along with trying to write something about the picture so that it has a bit more meaning. I feel like if I keep doing this or just the pictures I’ve already done I will be typing forever and never get done scanning the pictures in.

And of course since most of these pictures I’m scanning have me in them I feel like I’m typing my name, my husbands name and my kids names over and over. And I know about the keywording thing that I can just click on the button and thats ok for Lightroom but I want something that will stay with the picture/metadata for any future programs so I believe the people need to go in the Caption area and not just the keywords?

I’m renaming the pictures, then putting in a title for the pictures then putting in a caption for the pictures where I am adding all the above information. I’m guessing there is no easier way to do this?!?

Just figured I’d throw it out to the experts in case I’m missing a shortcut or two. Ugh, my arms hurt and that was just one folder! I’m almost up to 17K pictures scanned into Lightroom.

Brian Jones
Guest

I’ve gathered and scanned 2000 old family photos as jpegs. I want to make these available to scattered family members on a web site. I can write captions and keywords in IPTC fields using Graphic Converter and create an online Album using Picasa. Free! I can search the Album online by keyword and up come the corresponding images on screen. Marvellous! Just what this family historian has been looking for.

But how do I get each image to show with my original Caption underneath? I would like a Description there as well. I would like a simple screen uncluttered by other Picasa text, features and options.

Liz Holt
Guest

Curtis,
I have just started scanning my collection and your website is a treasure trove for me. I am such a newbie that it never even occurred to me that I could scan negatives instead of photos, so you have aided me immensely already. I have scanned in just a few negatives and am experimenting with labeling, etc. I am using a PC with Windows 7 Home Premium. It turns out that .tif files do NOT carry their captions with them, whether going from Picasa to File Manager or putting a title in File Manager and then viewing as a caption in Picasa. .jpg files work fine (as shown on your video above). Any tips for how to get captioning to work for .tif files?

Bob
Guest

Hi Curtis and thank you for all of the above information. With Google having announced that it will no longer support Picasa, am looking at migrating to Windows Photo Gallery or someother photo organizing software for a Windows PC. When I follow your instructions in the video for a picture that I have used Picasa to add a caption, and look at the Detail in the Properties screen, both the Subject and Title fields are blank. However, when I look at the same picture in Picasa, and bring up its Properties, the caption shows at the bottom of the list of fields in a field labeled “Caption”. My goal is to migrate my pictures to another photo organizing program that allows me to share selected pictures and/or albums via the “cloud” without losing all of the captions I have entered using Picasa. Any suggestions? Thank you for your assistance, Bob

Paula
Guest

I have noticed the same thing as Bob. If I go back to photos that I added captions to previously in Picasa, the captions show up in properties. However, my more recent captions for photos no longer show up. Did Picasa change something? I know it is no longer supported, but I agree with Bob, I don’t want to lose the captions I have added.

Jerry
Guest

I also notice the same thing as Bob. I have tested with JPG files and as of today’s latest version I don’t see what the video shows earlier on this thread. Now at one time it did, but around 2012 my Picasa captions stop showing up in Windows Photo Gallery. Prior to that they were fine and you would see captions in explore details as well as Photo Gallery.

Peter
Guest

I hope Curtis eventually answers this question posed by Bob and noted by others. I thought I was experiencing the same thing as Bob, with captions now appearing only in a “Caption” field in Picasa properties, but not appearing (as in the video) in the “Title” field on the photo properties. However, I’ve noticed that this depends entirely on the camera I use to take the photos. When I label jpegs taken with my Panasonic camera today, the captions show up just fine in the title field. But when I do exactly the same thing with my Canon jpeg’s, they appear only in the Picasa Properties. To make things even more confusing, I started looking at pictures I’d labelled in Picasa in 2008, and captions for those pictures taken with a Nikon D70 appear in BOTH places, whereas captions for pictures taken with a different Nikon camera only appear in Picasa Properties. Any help?

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