Adding source information to image files - Tuesday's Tip
I have hundreds of family photographs and documents in image format (.jpg, .gif, .png, etc.) saved in my genealogy files. When I save them to my computer I try to give them obvious titles such as "White Family 1900 federal census." But my naming conventions don't always offer me a way to indicate the source of the file or who the people are in a group photo.
In order to maintain order in my image files I insert source and photograph information within the properties of the file itself. There are several ways to do this, and I will cover a couple here. The first will be using Windows Photo Viewer. Those of us working on a PC and Windows platform use this program when viewing our image files.
The above .jpg is a roll of Confederate Prisoners at Fort Delaware, Delaware, but there is nothing on the .jpg image itself to indicate it's source. To add this information to the file, click on File and then Properties.
This will bring up the Properties window for that image.
The properties window shows four tabs along the top: General, Security, Details and Previous Versions. Click on the Details tab.
The information under this tab highlights the description of the image file. The top portion allows you to give the image a title, name the subject, and add tags and comments. Because I'm fairly lazy, I just insert all the information I want to add under the Comments box. In this case, you can see I added the complete source citation for the image. I also have used this comments section to list the names of individuals in a photo...especially useful for group photographs. After entering your information simply click okay and it is saved for reference later.
You can also add file information in photo editing programs. When you create or open an image file in Adobe Photoshop you can embed file information on the image by clicking File then File Info.
Doing so will open the File Info window which offers a myriad of options for adding information about your file.
Each word in the left-hand column indicates another tab within the file information window, similar to the Windows Photo Viewer Properties window.
Detailed information can also be added to your image files through Windows Photo Gallery. Play around with the programs on your computer to find what method you like best. Adding sources and names to images will go a long way in helping you to organize your family history images.