Author Topic: Copy Picasa region name to subject tag  (Read 3298 times)


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Copy Picasa region name to subject tag
« on: December 12, 2012, 10:24:45 AM »
Hi, I used to know DOS (when it was new) but I can't remember how to do anything with it.

I've got google picasa which does a good job at finding people's faces and tagging them with their name. I've just read that the latest version stores the person's name in the IPTC header/tags in the file (if you select this option from preferences) This is in something like XMP format under region name.

However, I prefer to use the software which came with the camera (Imagebrowser Ex) and GIMP (which isn't very helpful). Fortunately, (FINALLY!) they all seem to be talking the same language, but Picasa hides the person's name in an xmp format in the IPTC header.

So, I want to go through something like 10,000 jpg images checking if Picasa has stored any names and adding these in the subject tag (just called "tag" in Imagebrowser).

Hopefully I just need to do this once.

THis post (

seems to suggest using: -Xmp:Subject<Xmp:RegionName

I assume this are the parameters to a command line for exiftools.exe but how do I make it do the entire contents of a directory/folders and all sub-folders?

OK, finally got the GUI version to work (you have to copy all the exes from the GUI and command line version and rename exiftools(-k).exe to exiftools.exe. This however showed me that Picasa doesn't exactly excel at being consistent about updating field names.

I read somewhere that everytime Picasa updated it would use the new XMP tags. But when I looked they were not there. I tried adding my own "test" tag to force it to write, and yes it appeared under the exiftools GUI, but not the name. Eventually I clicked the image with the face selected a new name (actually the old one from the list) and updated and it finally amended the file to show the name under XMP list.

Perhaps what I need to do is to restart Picasa without any faces?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 10:55:51 AM by lenzie »

Phil Harvey

  • ExifTool Author
  • Administrator
  • ExifTool Freak
  • *****
  • Posts: 16317
    • ExifTool Home Page
Re: Copy Picasa region name to subject tag
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 10:51:21 AM »
To parse an entire directory with sub-folders, put the directory name on the command line and add the -r option to recurse into sub-directories.  ie)

exiftool "-xmp:subject<xmp:regionname" -r c:\images

Before doing this, try it on a few images to make sure it is doing what you want.

- Phil
...where DIR is the name of a directory/folder containing the images.  On Mac/Linux, use single quotes (') instead of double quotes (") around arguments containing a dollar sign ($).


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Copy Picasa region name to subject tag
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 12:51:36 PM »
Phil, thanks,

that looks much simpler than I thought.

However, Picasa stores the names like thus: "name1*name2*name3", so I will end up a tag combining the three names - but that is better than nothing.

But the more I think about it, the more disgusterd I am with the approach of google.

They claim they are using xmp because "it's the future standard", but they clearly haven't thought about it. Most software does not tag a region, instead people give name(s) without knowing where it is. So, their approach which assigns regions isn't going to be compatibale with anyone else who doesn't know where the region is.

What it really needs is an array of tag: name1, name2, which can be extended with subtags for the region e.g. name1.region.x

Instead google have it arse about face because they have the person's name as a subset of the information of a region.

So, whether or not XMP is the future, it's not going to be the google (un)"standard"