Creating a Customized Metadata Template to Use on Import

by Ellen Anon

Back in the days of slides we all judiciously created little stick on labels with identifying information about an image as well as our contact information, and then carefully applied them to every slide before we sent them out. We hoped that our slides - often originals - would find their way back to us and be properly credited when used. In today’s digital world, carefully applying identifying labels is at least as important, if not more so.

You probably know that there is a pop up menu in Aperture’s Import window that allows you to choose a Metadata view to add information to your images during downloading. However, if you’re like me, none of the pre-existing options have quite the right combination of information. However you can create a customized view - or several views - to meet your needs.

To create a customized metadata template to use during Import (or any other time) follow these steps:
1. Open the Metadata Inspector (Window >Show Metadata)
2. Choose Metadata View > All IPTC and fill in the information you want to import with every image
3. Click the Metadata Action icon in the upper right corner (it looks like a sun or gear) and choose New View
4. Type in a descriptive name for the new view and click OK.
5. The Metadata Inspector will change to reflect your specific entries, and there will be an empty check box in front of each potential field. Check each field that you want to appear on your import template. You can include some empty fields such as Event or Keywords, that you’ll fill in at the time of Import.
6. Your new View will appear in the Add Metadata drop down list. The Autofill Editor will make it easy to quickly fill in the information. (But a word ofcaution, don’t click Return/Enter to accept the Autofill Editor’s suggestion, instead use the tab key to move to the next field.
7. You can opt to complete your template in different ways and save those as Presets by clicking the Metadata Action icon and choosing Save As Preset. (For example, you might include your phone number in one preset and not in another.) Presets will also appear in the Metadata drop down list. Unfortunately empty fields disappear in the Presets, so you’d have to append another view to include any empty fields you need to customize such as keywords or event.
8. To remove a customized view or preset, choose Manage Views or Manage Presets from the action icon. Then choose the view or preset and click on the - button.


Using a customized template during import ensures that all my images have at least basic contact and copyright information with them even if I email them to others immediately. By including the keyword placeholder, I automatically add keywords that apply to all the images I’m importing.


random bob, a.r.c.
2007-09-05 09:14:26
that's pretty slick. I'll have to do that.
Bakari C
2007-09-05 19:42:33
Thanks for writing this, Ellen. Even though I've read your book, I've been meaning to do this preset for a while.
2007-09-11 11:30:45
Ellen, thanks for this write up, your post got me to finally configure my views and presets into something useful.

I wrote a post with my 2 cents as to why it's a good idea to setup presets and views over at my blog, have a look if you get a second: