User Guide, v3.1

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.

With FastPhotoTagger, you can

+ Set metadata:
o Set multiple images to have the same tag values

o Set individual images to have unique tag values
o Compare and edit metadata in several files

+ View metadata:
o View and print all metadata in an image file
o Compare metadata in several files

o View images and slideshows that display tag values as captions

+ Search metadata:
Create and search a metadata database

+ Work quickly:
o Define abbreviations for your most frequently used tag values
o Use keyword list files to limit keyword choice
o Use hierarchical keywords

+ Work efficiently:

o Choose the metadata fields to work with
o Transfer program settings to other computers
o Modify or undo tag changes before committing to image files
o Customize the appearance of FastPhotoTagger
o Use FastPhotoTagger on your Android device


Quick Start #1

Assign the same metadata to multiple photos:

1. Open an image folder.
2. Select one or more photos with the mouse or click the "Select All" button.
3. Enter a value into a metadata field.
4. Click the "Change" button.
5. Write the metadata to the photo files.

Also see Append or Remove Metadata in Multiple Photos.

Quick Start #2

Assign unique metadata to each photo:

(Optional) Open the "Program Settings/Abbreviations" panel.
(Optional) Use Right-Click/Insert Rows to add rows. Create abbreviations for frequently used tag values. Keywords need a trailing semi-colon on their expansions. Click column header to sort.
1. Open an image folder.
2. Select one or more photos with the mouse or click the "Select All" button.
3. Open the Fast Tagger window.


4. Select the appropriate tag name.
5. Enter tag value with or without abbreviations. Type Enter to advance to next photo.
(Optional) Abbreviations make this operation very fast.
6. After all photos are tagged, click the "Change" button to write changed metadata to the photos.

  Append or Remove Metadata in Multiple Photos

If several files are selected and their current metadata differs, you will see ***multiple_values*** in the "Metadata for Selected" panel. 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.

1. Click in the field showing ***multiple_values***. The string "+++" and the "Append" button will appear.

2. To set the metadata in all the files to the same value, delete the "+++", enter a new value, press the "Change" button.

3. To append to the metadata in all the files, preserving current values, type a new value after "+++", press the "Append" button.

4. To remove certain metadata from all the files, delete the "+++", enter "---" followed by the metadata to remove, press the "Remove" button.

5. 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

Modify or Undo Changes

FastPhotoTagger allows you to review, modify, or undo your changes before writing them to the image files. Open the "Program Settings/Pending Changes" panel. Click on a column heading to sort the table.  Right-click to delete rows in the table. Edit within a table cell to make a correction.

Choose Metadata

FastPhotoTagger allows you to choose the metadata fields you wish to work with. Open the "Program Settings/Metadata panel". Right-click to insert or delete rows in the table. For each new entry, enter a screen label (or prompt), a valid metadata tag name, and a text entry field size (small or large or none). 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.

FastPhotoTagger uses ExifTool to write metadata, so any tag recognized by ExifTool may be used. See for a complete list. 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;".

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 If you do not specify a prefix or the prefix is ambiguous then Exiftool decides which groups 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.

Various photo viewers and web sites choose to use different tags. Confusingly, they sometimes do not use the precise metadata tag name. Choose metadata tags based on your needs or the preferences of your other software applications.

When setting keywords, you may define lists of your keywords and limit keyword choice to those in the lists. See Keyword List Files. You may also choose to define keywords in a hierarchical fashion. See Using Hierarchical Keywords.

Examples with explanation:

Screen Label
Metadata Tags
Use "Caption" metadata. Use a small text entry field.
Same as previous but explicitly specify XMP metadata.
Same as previous but explicitly specify groups 0, 1.
XMP:Caption, XMP:Title
Write same values to Caption and Title metadata fields.
Keywords (use ; )
Specify a reminder prompt. Use large text entry field.
Use in metadata database but do not show on screen.

View All Metadata

FastPhotoTagger allows you to view all the available metadata that is stored in your photos. Open an image folder, select one or more photos, press the "View All Metadata For Selected Photos" button. Then you can step through the photos. (See below.) You can sort by clicking on a column name. Note that the displayed metadata does not include pending changes.

The metadata is printable and some customization of the printed version is possible. Press the "Print Preview" button and see Printing Metadata Reports.

Compare (and Change) Metadata in Several Image Files

FastPhotoTagger allows you to display and compare the metadata in up to 8 images files field-by-field. When a metadata field's values are not the same in every file the values are displayed in red. Open an image folder, select two to eight photos, press the "Compare All Metadata For Selected Photos" button. You can sort by clicking on a column name. Note that the displayed metadata does not include pending changes.

The Compare Metadata table is editable. You may change values cell-by-cell like a spreadsheet. You may copy and paste contiguous groups of cells. You may right-click to copy selected cells from one column to other columns. Changed cells are shown with a gray background.

When you finish editing, press the "Change" button to copy your changes to the "Program Settings/Pending Changes" panel. Some of your changes may not be shown on the "Metadata for Selected" panel until you write them to the photo files.


View a Slideshow or a Single Image

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. Only selected images are shown in the slideshow.

View a Slideshow

1. Open the "Program Settings/Slideshow" panel.
2. Enter choices for the slideshow.
3. Click the "View Slideshow for Selected Photos" button.

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

You may also view a single image by double clicking on it. Your slideshow settings will determine how the image, captions, and controls are displayed. After the image is displayed you may use slide show controls or keyboard equivalents to display other images..

This slide was presented using the above settings. Slide controls optionally appear at the bottom of the screen. Left to right, the controls (and their keyboard equivalents) are
o "Exit slideshow" (escape),
o "Previous slide" (left arrow),
o "Pause automated show"(down arrow),
o "Start automated show" (up arrow),
o "Next slide" (right arrow).

You may zoom the image up to its actual size. Use "+" and "-" keys, mouse wheel, and double click to zoom. Click and drag to pan the image. (Zooming very large images may be slow.)

Using "Export Slideshow" on the "Program Settings/Other" panel, you may write selected slideshow images, with their embedded captions, to a folder of your choice. The images are written using screen resolution, like a screen-shot, rather than the resolution of the original files, and the files are named numerically starting with "0000.jpg" for the first image in the set. After doing this, you may view the captioned slideshow with a file explorer, an image viewer, a web browser, or various other software applications.

Copying Image Files

Image files can be copied from the main application window to a file explorer window. Select one or more images and either issue the keyboard copy command (^C) or drag the images to a file explorer window. (Some file explorers may offer you the option of moving the files, however FastPhotoTagger is not designed to support moves. Do not move files from the main application window).

Search for Metadata

FastPhotoTagger can create a database of the metadata in all your photos. Then you can easily search for photos whose metadata satisfies your criteria. All the details are here.

Import and Export Settings

If you run FastPhotoTagger on multiple computers you can transfer the settings from one computer to the others. If you use FastPhotoTagger for different purposes, requiring different settings, you can easily switch between different settings.

Open the "Program Settings/Other" panel. Press "Export Settings". Choose a file with the extension ".xml" to receive the settings. The settings will be written to the file.

Press "Import Settings". Choose a file with the extension ".xml" to which settings have previously been exported. Uncheck the boxes of the settings you do not wish to import. The selected settings from the imported file will replace your current settings.

Program Updates

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

The "Use Abbreviations" checkbox is used to enable/disable the expansion of abbreviations. 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.

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;".

FastPhotoTagger can write metadata to any file type supported by ExifTool. See for a complete list. However, some file types cannot be displayed and are shown as blank images. See About FastPhotoTagger for information about display of DNG, RAW and TIFF format image files.

ExifTool permits moving and renaming image files by use of the DIRECTORY and FILENAME metadata tags. However, FastPhotoTagger is not designed to support this. Do not change
DIRECTORY and FILENAME metadata tag values.

In case of internal error,
FastPhotoTagger creates a file named "fastphototagger_log.txt" in your user folder. This may be useful when reporting errors to the author.

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