IPTC Guidelines & Support

For help with questions and implementation of IPTC’s Photo Metadata standard, view these links to the IPTC Image Metadata Handbook, IPTC Core and Extension Guidelines, IPTC-PLUS Photo Metadata Toolkit for Adobe CS, user guides, forums, and more.

Handbook & User Guides

Quick Guide to IPTC Photo Metadata and Google Images

  • explains how to check and update IPTC Photo Metadata for best results in Google Images search results, as introduced by Google in September 2018.

IPTC Photo Metadata User Guide

  • Updated in 2019 to reflect the latest IPTC Photo Metadata Standard including Image Regions
  • The user guide walks users through the major groups of metadata and the fields contained within each. Suggestions are given about what type of information should be included in each fields.
  • The guide offers an alphabetical list of field name to help users easily locate a field within its category.
  • The document addresses the needs of the stock photo industry and the cultural heritage sector. Metadata examples for independent, staff, and agency photographers plus images of artwork are shown.

IPTC Photo Metadata Mapping Guidelines

  • As well as IPTC Photo Metadata, several other standards cover image metadata, such as Exif tags and schema.org properties. To help users and implementers understand how to align metadata between these different standards, the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group worked with the Exif team at CIPA to create a document explaining how to map metadata values across IPTC, Exif and Schema.org.

IPTC Photo Metadata Engine

  • Michael Steidl, Co-lead of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group, has created a JavaScript library for manipulating IPTC Photo Metadata using exiftool. The project is an open source library and is available on the NPM package library at https://www.npmjs.com/package/iptc-photometadata-engine

CEPIC/IPTC Image Metadata Handbook (2010)

  • outlines the industry standard for comprehensive metadata management by professionals including photographers, photo agencies and publishers.
  • was compiled as a thorough guide to include all changes and developments regarding IPTC fields prior to 2010.
  • explains the importance of metadata and illustrates how it can be entered, captured and stored.
  • gives examples of how metadata can be used for various businesses and organisations, including news agencies, stock agencies and museums.
  • includes sample workflow charts that allow businesses to assess needs and plan for how metadata will be used.
  • lists and explains all core and extension fields, which helps users maximise the information being stored, so that images are accurately described and easily accessed later.

 Adobe CS5 File Info Panels User Guide (PDF)

  • provides guidelines for users of the IPTC Photo Metadata properties using the IPTC and the IPTC Extension metadata panels of File Info in Adobe CS 5.0 – 6.0 products.


Photo Metadata Users Forum (groups.io discussion forum)

It allows users to share experiences, raise questions, and recommend and discuss changes to the Photo Metadata standard.

Reference Images with all current IPTC Photo Metadata

You can view and download an image file which includes all metadata fields defined by an IPTC Standard:

If you check this image with some imaging software you should see a value of the field reflecting the name of the field. For example, as value of the Creator field: “Creator1 (ref2021.1)”.

Mapping properties to other standards

IPTC Cultural Heritage Photo Metadata Panel

Two plugin panels for Adobe Bridge CC (up to 2016 versions) and CS6 with a focus on fields in the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard 2016 relevant for images of artwork and other cultural heritage objects like buildings.

These panels support

  • Reading and writing the complete set of Artwork or Object fields of the IPTC standard
  • Key image administration fields
  • Automatically generating image caption and keywords from existing Artwork or Object data
  • The second panel allows for import and export of data into IPTC fields embedded into an image

Photo Metadata Toolkit for Adobe CS 3 – 5.5 (ZIP file)

It boosts the easy and successful use of IPTC and PLUS photo metadata with Adobe CS3 to CS5.5 products – but not with CS6 and CC versions of Adobe products.

What is the Toolkit for?

  • The File Info metadata panels of Adobe Creative Suite version 3 and 4 did not support the IPTC Extension metadata schema of the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard. Therefore IPTC created a JavaScript plugin for Adobe Bridge which provides panels for the IPTC Core and the IPTC Extension fields. This plugin is available for the CS version 3 through 5.5, but CS 5 and 5.5 already support the IPTC Extension fields. For that reason IPTC does not plan to update this plugin for Adobe Creative Suite versions higher than 5.5 and Adobe Creative Common versions.

 What’s in the Toolkit?

  • IPTC-PLUS Metadata Panels for Bridge CS3 to CS 5.5 (not CS6 and CC)
    This JavaScript file provides panels for IPTC Core, IPTC Extension and PLUS metadata. The panels may only be run from Adobe Bridge, version CS3 or higher. The intention of this panel is to add IPTC Extension and PLUS capability to CS3 and CS4 as for both versions no corresponding file-info panels are available. This is the latest version (v4) of the panel only (no toolkit). See the version history page for the panel.
  • IPTC-PLUS Metadata Panels – Installer
    This is a script for installing the Panel script above.
  • IPTC-PLUS Metadata Panels User Guide
    Provides guidelines for users of the IPTC Photo Metadata properties using the IPTC-PLUS Metadata panels.
  • 4 example image files
    These image files have already a rich set of metadata and may be used as reference.