FastPhotoTagger User Guide, v1.8

FastPhotoTagger tries to be the fastest way to set the metadata in your photos. Add, change, delete, and search the metadata fields of your choice. FastPhotoTagger excels when you have lots of files and lots of metadata.

Read the Quick Start to become familiar with the user
interface. For help with installation, please see About FastPhotoTagger. For help with SD Card access, please see SD Cards..

With FastPhotoTagger, you can
o Set multiple images to have the same tag values.
o Set individual images to have unique tag values.
o View all metadata in an image file.
o Compare and edit metadata in several files.
o Search images for metadata values.
o Choose the metadata fields to work with.
o Define abbreviations for your most frequently used tag values.
o View images and slideshows that display tag values as captions.
o Perform file management operations such as copy, rename, delete.
o Access FastPhotoTagger features from other apps.

Quick Start

The FastPhotoTagger application presents three panels:
o The home panel contains command buttons.
o The file panel displays the files of the current folder.
o The metadata panel displays metadata values of currently selected files.

Using Program Settings, you may choose to view all panels side-by-side or one or two panels at a time on the full screen. Three panels is best for new users. Two is best when working with files and metadata. One is best when working just with files or with small-screen devices. Swipe left or right to change panels.

The home panel:
o Press a command button to initiate a command. You may also press a menu item or an action bar icon on systems where they are supported.

The file panel:
Use short and long presses on file and folder items to view, select, and navigate.
o When nothing is selected: short press opens or views the item. Use short press on a folder icon to navigate the file system.
o When something is selected: short press selects or unselects the item.
o Long press unselects everything and selects the item.
o Back key unselects everything.

The metadata panel:
o When metadata is displayed, click in a field to begin entering or changing a metadata value.  Press the CHANGE button when finished.

All panels:
o Short press on a panel title selects the panel and scrolls it into view if necessary.
o Long press on a panel title opens the Folder Favorites list. Click on a favorite or enter a new folder path to navigate to that folder. Click on the star to add or delete a favorite.

You may change the width of the panels. Click on a vertical panel dividing line to reveal a "grabber."

Press on a grabber and drag the dividing line to a new position.

Want to write metadata fast?
There are three methods:
1. Use the Metadata Panel.
2. Use the Fast Tagger.
3. Use Compare Metadata.

Write Metadata to Photos With the Metadata Panel


Use the Metadata panel to write the same metadata to several files or to append or remove metadata in several files.
o Select one or more files.
o Click in a metadata field to begin entering or changing a metadata value.  Press the CHANGE button when finished. The change is immediately written to the photos.

If several files are selected and their current metadata differs, you will see ***multiple_values***. You have the option of replacing, appending to, or removing some of the metadata in all the files.
This is especially useful for adding new keywords or deleting old keywords.
o Click in the field showing ***multiple_values***. The string "+++" and the APPEND button will appear.
o To set the metadata in all the files to the same value, delete the "+++", enter a new value, press the CHANGE button.
o To append to the metadata in all the files, preserving current values, type a new value after "+++", press the APPEND button.
o To remove some of the current metadata in all the files, delete the "+++", enter "---" followed by the metadata to remove, press the REMOVE button.
o Special note: If the metadata field is one of these fields associated with the MWG Composite tags then duplicate entries will be removed during the Append and Remove operations:
-- Artist, EXIF:Artist, EXIF:IFD0:Artist
-- By-line, IPTC:By-line
-- Creator, XMP:Creator, XMP:XMP-dc:Creator
-- Keywords, IPTC:Keywords
-- MWG:Creator
-- MWG:Keywords
-- Subject, XMP:Subject, XMP:XMP-dc:Subject

Using the Fast Tagger to Write Metadata

Use the Fast Tagger to write different metadata to several files.  Used in combination with abbreviations, you can write to many files very quickly.
o Select some image files. Press the Fast Tagger button.
o Enter metadata into each field of interest.
o Swipe the screen left or right to advance to the next or previous image. Metadata changes are written immediately.
o Press Back when complete.

Choose Metadata

Choose the metadata fields you wish to work with.
o Press Program Settings. Then press Metadata Tags or Labels. (Metadata tags will appear in the Metadata Panel and Fast Tagger. Labels will appear under thumbnails.)
o Find a metadata tag of interest. Click its check box.
o If you wish you may enter a custom prompt in the first text column.
o To use metadata tags not in the list, scroll to the bottom of the list and enter them there.
o If you wish, you may enter more than one tag in the "Metadata Tags" column. Only the first tag will be displayed by FastPhotoTagger, but changes to it will also be written to the other tags.
o Reorder the tags by pressing a grabber icon on the right edge. Drag the row up or down.

FastPhotoTagger uses ExifTool to read and write metadata, so any tag recognized by ExifTool may be used. See ExifTool-TagNames for a complete list. Also, see the upcoming section "View All Metadata For Selected Photos".

If you wish, you may prefix a tag with

o an Exiftool level 0 group name such as XMP:, IPTC:, or EXIF:, example: XMP:Caption or
o an Exiftool level 1 group name such as XMP-acdsee, example: XMP-acdsee:Caption or
o Exiftool level 0 and level 1 group names, example: XMP:XMP-acdsee:Caption.

See  ExifTool-Groups. If you do not specify a prefix or the prefix is ambiguous then ExifTool decides which group will receive the tag.

Do not enter the same tag name more than once in the metadata list unless all uses are qualified with unique group names.  For example, specifying XResolution and IFD1:XResolution may lead to confusing results. Instead specify IFD0:XResolution and IFD1:XResolution.

Define Abbreviations for Frequently Used Metadata Values

If you frequently enter the same metadata values, such as names or places or long keyword lists, you will benefit from FastPhotoTagger's abbreviation feature.
o Press Program Settings. Then press Abbreviations.
o Check the check box on an empty line.
o Enter an abbreviation.
o Enter its expansion.

The "Use Abbreviations" checkbox on the metadata panel is used to enable/disable the expansion of abbreviations. When enabled, enter an abbreviation into any metadata entry field. When written to the image file, the abbreviation will be changed into its expansion.

When entered as lower case in Program Settings, an abbreviation will match a mixed-case or upper case word when entered as metadata.

When entered as metadata, abbreviations must be surrounded by whitespace to be recognized.  For example, if "a", "b", and "c" are three abbreviations then "a b c" may expand to "apple banana cherry", but "abc" will not be expanded.

View Images in a Folder

o When no items are selected, short press on an image item.
o Swipe left and right for previous and next images in the folder.
o Short press on an image to display your chosen metadata as a overlay. See below. (Be sure to wait for Working... to complete.)

To view multiple images in a single Tiff file, see next section.

View a Slideshow with Metadata Captions

FastPhotoTagger allows any of your metadata fields to be used as a caption on a slideshow.  The caption may appear above, below, left, or right of the image. You may choose the size of the caption text and how much of the screen is devoted to the caption.
o Press Program Settings. Then press Slideshow.
o Make a choice for each slideshow setting

Back on the main application screen:
o Select some photos.
o Press "View Slideshow For Selected Photos."

A long press on a slide toggles between Play and Pause.

Also see "Creating a Custom Slideshow" in FastPhotoTagger Screenshots.

To view multiple images within one Tiff file: select just one Tiff file; press "View Slideshow for Selected Photos."

View All Metadata For Selected Photos

FastPhotoTagger allows you to view all the available metadata that is stored in your photos.
o Select one or more photos, press the "View All Metadata For Selected Photos" button.
o Sort by clicking on or above a column name.
o Scroll up and down to see all values.
o Click on a long metadata value to display it.
o Advance through the photos by swiping the screen left and right.

Using the "Compare Metadata" command in the program menu, you may compare (and change) metadata values in 2 to 8 files.

The Compare Metadata table is editable. You may change values cell-by-cell like a spreadsheet. You may copy selected values from one file to other files. Changed cells are shown as bold/italic. When you finish editing, use Menu/Save to write your changes to the image files.

Compare the metadata values in several files. Differences are presented in red.
o Select 2 to 8 files. (The more files you select, the longer it takes to analyze them.)
o Select "Compare Metadata" from the program menu.
o Up to four files are presented on the screen. Swipe left to see more.
o Sort by clicking on or above a column name.
o Click on a long metadata value to display it.
o Scroll up and down to see all values.

To edit:
o Press on a value to select and edit it. Abbreviations will be recognized if "Use Abbreviations" is checked.
o Use the arrow buttons to navigate to adjacent cells The destination cell will be selected.

Use short and long presses on values to select and unselect cells. Non-contiguous cells may be selected.
o Short press selects or unselects the cell
o Long press unselects everything and selects the cell. Subsequent short presses and arrow button presses select additional cells.
o Back key unselects everything.

When all selected cells are in one column, use Menu/Copy--> to copy the values to other columns. Abbreviations are not expanded by this command.

Search Metadata
FastPhotoTagger allows you to search for photos that contain specific metadata.  All the details are here.

Performance Tips

On all but the fastest Android devices, accessing image file metadata is a time-consuming operation. This is most noticeable when working with large images or folders containing a large number of images. To boost performance FastPhotoTagger keeps copies of metadata in its own fast-access storage area and reads metadata from files only when necessary.

To take advantage of this approach, here is what you can do to maximize the speed of FastPhotoTagger:
o In Program Settings, select the metadata and label fields you require and then avoid changing them. The first visit to a folder after a settings change will take longer than subsequent visits. The panel title will show "Working..." while FastPhotoTagger collects metadata for the folder. (Note that some metadata-related operations can't be performed until metadata collection is finished.)
o Avoid viewing DNG or RAW files full screen. These files are large and may take a long time to view.

File Management Operations

You may perform a number of file management operations using FastPhotoTagger.
o Optionally, select one or more file items.
o Press menu.

Import and Export Settings

If you run FastPhotoTagger on multiple devices you can transfer the settings from one device to another. If you use FastPhotoTagger for different purposes, you can easily switch between different settings. You may transfer settings files between PCs and Android devices.
o Press Program Settings. Press the menu button. Select Export Settings.  Choose a file with the extension ".xml" to receive the settings. The settings will be written to the file.
o Press Program Settings. Press the menu button. Press Import Settings. Choose a file with the extension ".xml" to which settings have previously been exported. Press the Settings button. Uncheck the boxes of the settings you do not wish to import. The selected settings from the imported file will replace your current settings.

Backup and Restore Settings
o Backup writes a copy of all settings, including settings not part of Export such as current folder, colors, and favorites. Backup writes settings to .FastPhotoTagger/ in your  primary storage folder.
o Restore recovers the settings previously written by Backup.

Customization Options

Many customization options are available to you through Program Settings.

Accessing FastPhotoTagger from other Applications

From other applications, FastPhotoTagger can be used to open image files using the "Open with..." or similar menu.
If the image cannot be opened in its current location, e.g., in a text message, it will be copied to the "Download" folder.
The choices are:
o Fast Tagger: Open the image file using the Fast Tagger. Swipe left and right for previous and next images in the folder.
o FastPhotoTagger: Open the folder containing the image file using the FastPhotoTagger application.
o Metadata Viewer: Open the image file using the metadata viewer.  Swipe left and right for previous and next images in the folder.
o Photo Viewer: Open the image file using the photo viewer.  Swipe left and right for previous and next images in the folder.
o Slideshow: Open the image file as a slideshow. Swipe left and right for previous and next images in the folder.

Program Updates
o Check the "FastPhotoTagger Revision History" for new features not yet described in this user guide. Read "About FastPhotoTagger" for known problems and workarounds.

Some Notes
o Some metadata tags, such as Keywords and Subject, are defined by their standard as lists.  For compatibility with other software applications, you should separate individual list items with semi-colons.  For example, "Keyword1; Keyword2; Keyword3;".
o FastPhotoTagger can write metadata to any file type supported by ExifTool.  See ExifTool-Types for a complete list.  However, some file types cannot be displayed and are shown as generic images. Tiff files having uncommon configurations or that are too large for available memory cannot be displayed.
o In case of error, FastPhotoTagger creates a file named "fastphototagger_log.txt" in your primary storage folder.  This may be useful when reporting errors to the author.

Comments, suggestions, and defect reports are always welcome. Send email to