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How To Add Copyright & Edit Photo Metadata In Photoshop


When most people think of photo-editing, they think of changing the way an image looks, but one of the most integral parts of the process is often overlooked. Adding copyright & editing photo metadata in Photoshop will help keep your images organized and can even protect you from unauthorized use if you plan to publish your pictures online.

For this reason, it is essential to ensure you understand how the metadata and copyright information can affect your images and how to edit this information straight from Photoshop.

How To Add Copyright To An Image In Photoshop

To add copyright and contact info to a photo in Photoshop, open your desired image and go to File > File Info. In the Basic Menu, you can set the Copyright Status of your image as well as any other relevant contact information and copyright information. Once applied, the metadata will be updated.

Adding copyright information to your images may be easy to overlook, particularly by beginner photographers who may not know how copyright works or why it is important.

Copyright information can be viewed on your image by people who download your photo from the web. Having copyright information on your pictures may help protect them from being shared without permission if you upload them online.

To add copyright to any of your photos, first, open up the image in Photoshop by heading to File > Open.

Once the image is open, head to File > File Info to bring up the file info dialogue box.

You will see the File Info dialogue box appear.

You can view and edit information about the file in this dialogue box. Make sure you’re on the Basic tab from the options on the left, as this is where you can find the copyright info.

Now, you can edit the copyright information in the provided boxes. The most important information to add for copyright purposes is your name, the copyright itself, and a way people can contact you if they’d like to use your images. This can help limit unauthorized use of your pictures.

Add your name in the Author space, and if you’d like, you can add a Document Title and Description for your image.

Click the drop-down menu after Copyright Status and select Copyrighted.

Next, you can add the copyright notice in the box provided. This includes the copyright symbol, your name, and whatever other information you would like to add — some people add the name of their business if applicable. If you have one, you can enter the URL of your website page that holds your copyright information in the Copyright Info URL box.

You’ll also need to enter contact details in the IPTC tab on the left.

At the top of this section, you’ll see your name in the Creator field. In the provided boxes below, you can enter any contact details you like. This may be your website, email, or any other personal or professional contact details you’d like people to use to get in touch about sharing your images.

While you do not have to list any personal contact information, you should at least have a website with a contact form someone can use to reach you.

How To Edit Image Metadata In Photoshop

Metadata is information about an image that can be used in many different situations: from sorting the images in your files to telling you something about a photo. Metadata can include the date and time you took the picture, the location, the equipment used, and even what settings you set the camera to.

Because metadata is automatically created when you take a photo, you can access the metadata for any image from Photoshop, and you can even add and edit some of the available metadata. This can be useful if you’d like to hide parts of the metadata.

You can access the metadata for any image by heading to File > File Info.

Just like you would when editing the Copyright info, head to the Basic tab first and fill out the basic information there. Because metadata can be seen by others, who download your file, add whatever you’d like other people to see. A name and contact information would be useful, as well as some basic info about your images — such as captions, descriptions, and titles can help you market your work.

You can then read through the Camera Data tab, which contains information such as your camera’s make and model and settings used at the time like ISO and Exposure. While you cannot add or edit the camera data as it is automatically set by your camera when you take the image, it is still good to know where to find your image’s camera data if you need to view it. 

The Origin tab allows you to view and edit the information that will remain about the original file (before any edits are made). Then, IPTC and IPTC Extension tabs allow you to enter important data for publication and are of particular use for press members. In these tabs, you can add information such as the location of the image, a credit line and source, headline, copyright info, and any info about the person or organization featured.

This information is optional, though some professionals may need to enter them at the requirement of their publication.

When your camera’s GPS is active while taking a picture, the GPS information appears in the GPS Data tab. Otherwise, this tab will appear blank. You cannot add or edit this information.

In the Photoshop tab, you can edit the history of your Photoshop edits. This can be useful if you’d like to recreate the same editing style in the future but don’t plan to keep the PSD file.

In the Raw Data tab, you can view and edit the raw XMP data, which contains all of the metadata embedded in the file thus far.

You will only need to use the Audio Data, Video Data, DICOM, and AEM Properties tabs in specific circumstances, so feel free to skip over those. 

Metadata is important, but you do not need to overthink what metadata you add. Usually, a contact method and some general information about the image are good enough.

How To Save A Copyright And Metadata Template In Photoshop

Once you’ve edited your image’s copyright info and metadata, you can create a template from the same information you’ve added here in case you’d like to apply it to other images without having to redo the whole process again.

At the bottom of the window, click the Template Folder button and select Export.

In the export window, you can name the template and select a location to save the template in your files. If you don’t have a specific location in mind, just save the file in the default location, which will be Photoshop’s Metadata Templates folder. Ensure the File Format is set to XMP and click Save when you’re done.

You can then apply the template to any other image by opening up any photo and heading to File > Info.

At the bottom, click the Template Folder drop-down menu again.

Now, select the template as you’ve named it. 

You’ll see a dialogue box open — here, and you can select Keep original metadata but replace matching properties from template. This will ensure that image-specific information like camera settings and dates remain. This is an important step as otherwise, your image may have incorrect metadata or copyright information.

Click OK when you’re done. Photoshop will then apply the information in the template to the image you’re currently working on.

Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. You can view my photography portfolio here.

These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

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