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

by | Last updated Apr 21, 2017 | Organizing Digitals | 24 comments

Picasa Caption

Caption typed in a photo using Picasa.

Entering photo captions inside a photo managing application can be a very liberating experience. These programs make it so easy to keep track of your photos' captions — basically the information you or one of your family members may have taken the time to write on the back of your prints that explains if nothing else, what and who is in the photo you're holding.

But, once your photos are being viewed outside of your favorite photo manager, how do you then see and possibly even edit this same caption information? 

This is a question I get asked a lot, and in the video below, I answer Sylvia who specifically wants to know how she can view the caption information she entered in using Google's Picasa photo manager while using a Windows PC.

So check it out.

(Problems playing video? Click here)

Hi Curtis,

Do you have any suggestions for captioning digital photos (uploaded from my camera) so that the information stays with the photo file, even if it is copied and opened on another computer?

I've found that the captions I've created in Picasa can only be viewed in Picasa on the PC on which they were created.

If I copy my ‘My Pictures' folders to a new computer, I fear that all the captioning work I've done will be lost unless the information can be embedded in the individual photo files.

Perhaps I should make my next computer a Mac?

Sylvia Wales
Christchurch, NZ

 Video Notes

PhotoMe Editing View

PhotoMe — Metadata Viewer/Editor (Free)

The program I used in this video was called PhotoMe. They also have a nice “How To” page on their website if you would like some more help how to do basic operations once inside.

I didn't choose to use this application in the video because it's totally free, or because it was best one out there at the time. It just happened to be the first one I thought of that I already had installed on my computer and could be used in the demonstration.

There are a lot of other great programs out there with different price points, features, user interface qualities and levels of difficulty to use. Some are lightweight and are easy to use just to view metadata quickly. Others can be massive and will require a little bit of time to get acquainted with.

Below is a chart with additional applications that I invite you to look over. Possibly try out one or more of them until you've found one that you like. They are grouped by type and then ordered alphabetically.

And thank you Art Taylor for helping me get a start on this list. beer

I will continue to update this chart as I learn about more applications worth your time, or find out one is no longer available for download.

 

Other Applications For Viewing and Editing Metadata in Windows

Here are some additional applications written for Window PC's to view and edit IPTC Metadata fields.

Some of them are lightweight programs just meant for viewing and editing photo metadata only, others are fully functioning image managers meant to organize as well as edit your photo collection.

Viewer + Editor Image Manager
(Organizer + Viewer + Editor)
Price (USD) 
IrfanviewFreeware
iTagFree / Premium ($19)
PhotoMeFree
Photo Mechanic$150 (Free Trial)
XnViewFreeware
Adobe BridgeFree
BreezeBrowser Pro$69.95 (Free Trial)
Photoshop Elements$79.99 (Amazon)
PicaJetFree / FX ($59.95)
PicasaFree

 

If you already use an application that you think I should add to my chart above, please let me know in the comments below. I would really appreciate that. coffee

Furthermore, if you have any questions I didn't answer in the video or in these notes below, please feel free to ask them below as well, and I will do my best to answer them for you.

Cheers!

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Basically, I feel what’s in this video is the most important thing to understand in order to get the most out of Picasa.

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Apple did however say they would update iPhoto and Aperture to run indefinitely with Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite. So, as long as you are willing to run 10.10, you could in theory use iPhoto or Aperture for as long as your heart’s content.

For the rest of us, we were left sitting there last year, befuddled, with the assumption that Apple must intend for us to eventually move our previous photo libraries over to their new Photos application when it’s released sometime “next spring.”

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Ross McCorquodale
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Ross McCorquodale

It seems that different parts of the .JPG file are used by different cameras. All photos originating from my Samsung phone have Picasa captions that are visible in the Windows Explorer Properties box, which can also be displayed in Windows Explorer by creating a column under the heading “Title”. But photos originating from my Canon camera don’t have their Picasa captions visible at all.

Ross McCorquodale
Guest
Ross McCorquodale

Further to this – Using PhotoMe, I see that an image taken on the Canon has a field “Image title” whose content is empty. (Tag-ID 010E, Tag name “Image Description”.) The Picasa caption in the “Caption/Description” field is there, but when Explorer sees the field “Image Title” it will only display this – which is nothing.

The Samsung images don’t have that “Image Title” field at all, and Explorer instead displays the contents of the “Caption/Description” field which has been inserted by Picasa. The “Title” field as displayed in Properties contains this Picasa caption.

PhotoMe doesn’t seem to be able to edit that empty “Image Title” field in the Canon images.
And Properties in Explorer won’t display the Picasa caption if the “Image Title” field exists – even if it is empty.

Jerry
Guest
Jerry

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
Peter

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?

Paula
Guest
Paula

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.

Bob
Guest
Bob

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

Liz Holt
Member
Coins:15
Liz Holt

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?

Brian Jones
Guest
Brian Jones

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.

Stacy
Guest
Stacy

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.

jelly59
Guest
jelly59

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

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.:)

Ron Thoman
Member
Coins:24
Ron Thoman

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?