Using Metadata and Custom Text for Slideshow Captions

by Mikkel Aaland

Possibly the single most compelling feature of the Lightroom Slideshow module is the ability to turn metadata associated with an individual image into a slide caption which is totally sizeable and positionable. You can also add custom text that applies as a global caption to all the slides. Here's how.

To create custom text that will appear the same on every slide, click on the ABC icon in the toolbar (circled) and in the resulting Custom Text text box, start typing. When you are done hit the Return (Mac) or Enter (Win) key. The text will appear in the work area in a bounding box where it can be resized or repositioned.

Figure 10-31

To use metadata as a slide caption for a specific image, use the presets that appear in the pop-up menu when you click on the up and down arrows next to the text box. If none of these presets are appropriate, select Edit. This opens up the Text Template Editor, where you'll have many more options.

Figure 10-32

Using the Text Template Editor

In the Text Template Editor, shown in, you can create a new preset that will appear next time you click on the triangle next to the toolbar text box. To create one using the IPTC Creator field, for example, go to the IPTC Data section of the dialog and choose Creator from the first pop-up menu (circled, bottom), then click Insert. An example will appear at the top of the dialog box (circled, top). To save your new preset, select Save Current Settings as New Preset from the Preset pop-up menu, Name your Preset and select Create, then click Done.

Figure 10-33

Adding Multiple Captions

You can add as many text boxes as you want. To add multiple text boxes, click the ABC icon in the toolbar. Make your selection from the pop-up menu, or type in text and hit the Return key. Then, click the ABC again to create another text box.

Working with Text

You can go back at any time and edit, resize, or change the properties of a text box. To change the color or font properties, click on the bounding box containing the text. Go to the Overlays pane in the right panel. The Text Overlays section is automatically selected. Make your changes here (circled). . You can't have different fonts and colors within the same bounding box, but you can change text properties on each box.

Figure 10-34

Moving and scaling text

Move the bounding box by dragging the box from within. As you do this, the box tethers itself to points on the image's border. The text will now float next to an image or within an image at a consistent distance from the border, regardless of the size or orientation of the image. Scale the text by dragging the corners to the desired size. .

Figure 10-35
Figure 10-36

Changing and deleting text

To delete a text box, click on it in the image view window, then hit the Delete key. To change custom text, select the text box, then change the text in the toolbar's Custom Text box. (To change text based on metadata go to the Library module and re-enter the text in the Metadata pane.)

Mikkel Aaland is a professional photographer whose pioneering work in digital photography dates back to 1981. He is the author of nine books including the bestselling Photoshop Elements Solutions and O'Reilly's acclaimed Photoshop Lightroom Adventure. Visit his website at

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