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Confidential Metadata Fields

PhotoJoseph's picture
April 21, 2012 - 3:00pm

A user asked in the forum if there was a way to attach potentially confidential data to a photo (for example a model’s phone number and address) so that you can easily find it, but not have to worry about it showing up on Flickr or wherever if you want to share your images — but not strip all the metadata.

Reader gfsymon pointed out something that’s in the manual, but I have to admit I didn’t realize (RTFM anyone?) and that’s that the Custom metadata fields are not included in an image export, even with full metadata turned on.

Custom fields can be used for all sorts of things, and this confidential aspect just adds one more reason to use it. Many plugins actually create custom fields for you; you may have several already built and not even realize it!

To see your custom list, switch to the Metadata tab and from the drop-down, choose Edit…. Then from the gear menu, choose Manage Custom Fields…. You can also get to this menu from Aperture > Presets > Metadata.

Custom Metadata Fields in Aperture 3

As you can see from my screenshot above, I have several labeled “SmugMug”. Those were created by various SmugMug upload utilities I’ve used in the past, and they are used to store info about where they were published, so the plugins can locate and replace existing images on the site. Cool!

I manually built some to keep track of copyright office submissions. Here you can see those tags in play:

Custom metadata is great for keeping track of copyright submissions

Or as the original poster suggested, it’s also a great place to store personal data about the subject that you don’t want others to find!

How do you use custom metadata?

Apple Aperture

Custom Fields are great for added info, including private, and you are right. they are not a option for exporting naming but that is exactly what I want… to save me time and typos.. use a custom field data to be added to the exported name…


or am I outta luck?



Afraid not. The File Naming Presets are great, but they could be so much more. That’s another great suggestion, but not one we have today. Here’s hoping for a future version!

I’d say you should provide that feature request through Aperture > Provide Aperture Feedback menu. You never know!

-Joseph @ApertureExpert
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