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Picture metadata: "Description" Field



I use the Metadata Panel in DO 12.5 to edit/add metadata to my photos.In particular I use “Title” and “Description” fields (under ‘Document Properties’). When the description is long I can only see some of it, as the “Description” field is only one line tall.

Is it possible (when will it be possible???) for this field to display more lines? It could be done in a number of ways:

  • Automatic resizing when there is a lot of text (as in ACDSee, or Lightroom);
  • Manual - by dragging the bottom edge of the field to resize the box (as in Photoshop);
  • Deciding in settings how many lines the field should have (and maybe saving it as a ‘custom view’)
  • In a ‘bubble’ (tool tip) when cursor hovering of the field (as in Windows explorer).

Having this feature would make DO truly useful to photographers and archivists (by the time you listed all the people on a group photo you have gone easily over the 1-line display limit of this fled).

Thanks for any help.

Andrew Zemek, London, UK


I agree it would be very nice to have.

This might be a little bit of a hyperbole though. :wink:

Also, isn’t it better to use Tags for people in a photo? Not to mention that the tags field actually does expand in size automatically when you’re typing in it, but it’s not persistent.


Yes, i also have suggested that once. But i would recommend to use kundal’s very handy script “Tagger”, which possibly can be found somewhere in the “scripts” department of this forum. It provides a sorted & fully visble list of your tags.


I have been dealing with electronic images on a professional basis for nigh on 25 years - I even used Photoshop 2. Adding metadata has always been a pain in the proverbial. It can be done, but you will need something like the Fotoware solution for fast abd reliable image tagging, and, that costs.

Sure you can tag images in Opus using the metadata panel, but I soon got fed up with its lack of multi-line entry points. Tagger seemed a good solution, and it is great, but a little over the top perhaps if you are just tagging and captioning images.

I found the ideal answer in a VBA script. It was hard to work out how to write it, but with the help of people like Leo and Jon and the VB gurus who float around the forums, I eventually succeeded. And if I can do it anybody can, believe you me. The effort is really paying dividends now, as I can tag and caption a job in quarter of the time it was taking before - and - best of all - it did not cost a penny thanks to the Opus scripting interface,

And, if you use Microsoft’s indexing service to index your images, searches are ridiculously fast.

But then that is why we all love Opus - it is so incredibly adaptable.


Many thanks for your advice. I wrote VB scripts in Excel and Access before (and macros), but haven’t tried my hand at it in Opus as yet. I’m not very skilled in it. Would you happen to have a simple script (about metadata handling) to get me started?


Many thanks for the tip. I’l look for the “Tagger”


With a li’l help ;), i was now able to find the original thread:


I’m afraid tags don’t do it for me. Depending on the photo a more narrative/explanatory text is required (e.g. describing a historical event shown), rather than just a list of keywords. But thanks for the tip. I didn’t know the TAG filed is self-expanding.


Thank you so much! I’ll try it out this weekend.


I wasn’t suggesting to pick one over the other of course. A description is a description. But people in a photo often come back regularly, on different projects. That’s where tags or keywords come in, to be re-used for reoccurring things. These can then be used to sort and filter on said tags or keyword, rather than searching ‘randomly’ through a description to look for a person or thing being mentioned.

That said i haven’t looked into what options there are for this exactly with Opus, but it’s what they’re for.


Many Thanks.


Here is the button for my photo-metadata script. You are more than welcome to hack around with it and make it your own. You will note it also does PDF and EPS files, but you can easily put those sections. Note also it is set up to plug my name in the credit and copyright fields, but this can be changed in an instant. It is also set up to use labels to control the workflow, but I suggest you simply remove this section as it will have little relevance to you.
Hope you find it as useful as I do.

Image Metadata.dcf (66.1 KB)


Thank you so much for directing me to it. I’ve spent half of Saturday to make it work, but eventually succeeded. There was a problem with one line in the script namely:
dlg.detach = true
dlg.x = 2450 - my monitor is only 1920 px wide and it didn’t want to display the dialog box - I could only see its miniature while hovering over the Windows taskbar. I eventually corrected it to 245 and it worked!
One more question though: is there a way to keep the dialog open while moving to the next file (and for it to display this new file’s metadata)? At the moment each photo requires many steps: 1) select photo, 2) click your smiley button, 3) edit metadata, 4) click OK (data saved, dialog closed), 5) select the next file, 6) click the smiley button again… Would it be possible to have a NEXT button, which would save the data and move to the next photo without closing the dialog? Either way - many thanks for allowing me to use your script. Andrew


How to use Microsoft’s indexing service to index images’ Tags, I filter images with tags in DOpus is too slow.

Your button’s dialog should be set to in the center of screen,that will be more good, as apzemek says, we must change the dlg.x to a low value to display the dialog.


I use a 4k screen - hence the x and y values with all that screen real estate I can get a clear view of the thumbnails in Opus and the metadata panel… Apzemek was looking for ideas to get him started on a macro. My macro is not a general image-tagging macro, but one designed specifically for the way I work.

It was never designed to work as Apzemek seems to want his to work. The idea is that you select a number of images and add whatever tags you need to those images. If I take 20 pictures of the same area, I can add copyright info to all of them, probably add the same caption (description) metadata. The macro will put whatever you type into the form into the metadata of ALL the selected images. I can add or amend metadata to individual images later.

If you select more than one image, you will note that t he rename facility will cease to work. I only use it to rename individual images, preferring to use the terrific Opus rename panel for multiple renames

Keywords I treat entirely differently. Of course they can be added through the macro - which I sometimes do, but I have a separate system based on a series of toolbars to add keywords to images.

As for using the indexing service, it is a breeze, and as I have said, blindingly fast:

Will get you started on the syntax for searches - you can write a macro to do it also - and you set up the indexing services via the window’s control panel. But, be aware, you cannot easily index mounted volumes, though that does not bother me, the way I work.

Please tear the macro apart at will to make it do exactly what you want. I provide it only as an idea for a starting point.

In the metadata game it really is a case of “Whatever gets you through the night”.


Hello Auden, thanks for further tips.
Somehow it didn’t occur to me that your script/button can be used with many images at the same time. Now it all makes perfect - sense: do bulk-edit of metadata in one go, and than tweak individual images as required. Speeds up work a lot.
I made some progress in tweaking your script regarding ‘Date taken’ filed. I work a lot with scanned old photos and need to manually assign ‘Date taken’ to them. Your script reads the ‘Date taken’ OK, but I had problem in writing it back to the file after changing it. It turns out that you need to put it in YYYYMMDD format to work, in spite the displayed (exiting) date is being displayed as DD/MM/YYYY. It seems OPus won’t tolerate any other input format.


You’ve got the idea apzemek. Believe you me this really speeds up the metadata process. I am glad you have been able to adapt the script to your particular needs regarding the date taken.

I have now assigned my script to the F9 key so that it now comes up instead of the Opus metadata panel. That is definitely an improvement for me.


Hello to All, and Auden in particular,
I worked on your script and came up with the dialog shown on the screenshot. I ‘improved’ it by adding check boxes for a single-click-fill of fields with frequently used data. The only thing missing from making me 100% happy is the lack of ‘Next Record’ (‘Next File/Next Selection’) button, which would save the current dialog data, move to the next file (or next selection of several files), read and display it. In spite for searching for 2 days I haven’t found anything which would could be attached to a (third) button to do just that. Anybody has any ideas?
Auden, many thanks for making the script available.


I am very happy you have largely made my script suit your needs. After a this is exactly what makes Opus so good - you can get what YOU want.

I am sure it is possible to do what you want my putting the almost the whole macro is a sort of For Next loop, but I guess it could get complicated. I am a photographer, not a a programmer so am not really qualified to help.

However many of your needs can be met by replacing the current attachment of the Opus metadata panel (F9) with your macro. You only need to press one key, then. And whatever, you do, you will always have to select the picture(s) you want the macro to operate on. This is what I do. It is simple and it works a dream.


After thinking a bit more about this, I came up with an idea that might appeal. I adapted my script to work in the Opus viewer pane. With the script attached to the F9 key I can now press F9 and have my own metadata panel appear.

I added a command line at the end of the script so that when you press OK or CANCEL the image viewer moves on to the next image. The you hit F9 to bring up the details of the new image in my metadata panel. So far it seems to work fine.

I had to do a modicum of work to get the script to work in the viewer, though.