GIF and IPTC metadata

Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 08, 2021 Nov 08, 2021

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Basic question I have been meaning to ask for ages:

According to Adobe, GIF supports IPTC metadata.

Yet when I export a GIF, it has none. I put all the metadata in the File Info of the PSD file. It doesnt end up in the GIF. I used to think GIF did not support IPTC metadata.

What am I missing?

Mike Witherell
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macOS, Windows

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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Use Save As instead of Export, most export options strip some/all metadata.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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I wish that feature were more evenly done. Who uses Save As to make a GIF, especially an animated GIF?

Mike Witherell

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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Looks like it depends on how you save it. I tried it all three ways:

 

Save for Web (Legacy): Metadata present if you select “All” in the Metadata menu. You might also get metadata if you select any option except “None,” but I didn’t test them all.

 

Save a Copy: No metadata present, and no metadata option. 

 

Export As: No metadata present, even if you select Copyright and Contact Info in the Metadata section. That seems like a bug.

 

If it was not exported with metadata, you might be able to add it using Bridge.

 

@Mike Witherell wrote:

I wish that feature were more evenly done. Who uses Save As to make a GIF, especially an animated GIF?


 

I think the GIF option in Save a Copy was the first implementation, from the 1990s, before Save for Web or Export As were added, and they never removed it after adding the later options. Back then, it was when GIF was still in Save As (before Adobe moved non-native formats to Save a Copy), and was named CompuServe GIF.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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This is my test:

I opened a PNG file in PS. I opened File Info and added information.

Saved it.

Export to Web (Legacy)

I exported a GIF choosing Metadata: All

After exporting, I opened the GIF in PS and went to File Info. 

Nothing in there. Is not File Info the same as metadata?

Where else would I look to check for the presence of IPTC metadata?

Mike Witherell

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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UPDATE:

PS would not show the GIF metadata, but Adobe Bridge DID show the metadata in the GIF.

Now I'm kinda confused.

Why would it show up in the metadata of Bridge, but not in Photoshop File Info?

Mike Witherell

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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Yeah, I see that too, it’s not showing up in Photoshop on my Mac, even though Bridge shows it. Weird.

 

@Mike Witherell wrote:

Where else would I look to check for the presence of IPTC metadata?


 

In the macOS Finder, File > Get Info is supposed to show it. File Properties in Windows does the same thing. Many other photo applications and digital asset managers should display metadata. The Preview application on macOS will if you choose Tools > Show Inspector. But the GIF showing metadata in Bridge does not show metadata anywhere else. Could be a private Adobe thing then.

 

It might be related to how well GIF supports this in the first place. The Wikipedia entry for IPTC Information Interchange Model says:

 

IIM metadata can be embedded into JPEG/Exif, TIFF, JPEG2000 or Portable Network Graphics formatted image files. Other file formats such as GIF or PCX do not support IIM.

IIM's file structure technology has largely been overtaken by the Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP), but the IIM attribute definitions are the basis for the IPTC Core schema for XMP. 


 

That might mean that it is actually not expected for metadata to be present in a GIF according to the standard, so again, maybe Bridge is showing it because of some private Adobe implementation in the Bridge database.

 

Maybe one of the forum’s metadata experts can come in and help explain…

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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Hi, is it in the metadata panel? What about Bridge's file info?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 09, 2021 Nov 09, 2021

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Yes, I read that, too, and found that interesting. Somewhere along the way, years ago, I got the notion that all the image filetypes except GIF could carry embedded metadata. I think I was lulled into that by the way PS File Info shows as empty. It turns out I was wrong, but we seem to agree that PS has a funny blind spot relative to making GIFs with IPTC metadata preserved. I have found a new reason to appreciate Adobe Bridge!

Mike Witherell

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