Add photo titles, captions, and keywords

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Captions tell your visitors everything they want to know about the photos they see. Write an epic tale, or just jot down where the photo was taken.

Note: Titles, captions and keywords will be used in search results, depending on gallery privacy.

They also boost your find-ability. Search engines look at the words you've entered there, so be descriptive if you want to be found.

Tip: Want to hide all this extra information in your Lightbox? Now you can! Read all about customizing your Lightbox over here.

Title, caption, and keyword your photos.


In the Lightbox.
To add or edit a title, caption, or keywords on a single photo, click the three-line icon for photo details in the Lightbox.

Click the Edit Photo Details button to add or edit your photo's information.

Add the title, caption, and keyword information you want, then click Save to save the information you’ve entered.

Enter your keywords separated by semicolons or commas. For phrases, you can separate them with semicolons or enclose the term in quotes.

The keywords you enter will show in the photo details. The caption and title you add will be visible at the bottom of the photo, or when viewing the photo details.

Note: It'll take some time for the magic to happen (i.e., keywords need time to index in the background), but be patient and check back on the progress.

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In the Library section.
You can also add or edit a title, caption, or keywords on photos individually. Select a photo to open it, then click the information icon to open the photo details.

Scroll to the bottom of the information pane and click the Edit Details button.

Add the title, caption, and keyword information you want, then click the green Save button to save the information you’ve entered.

Alternatively, keywords can be added to multiple photos at one time in the Photos section. Select the checkmark in the upper left of multiple photos. Next, in the menu in the upper-right corner, choose the little pencil icon  to edit the keywords.

Enter your individual keyword or phrase, then use a comma or return after typing each one and the new keyword will be added. You can also select the X to the right of any existing keyword and remove it from the selected photos.

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In the Organizer.
Lots of photos? You can add a slew of captions all in one go!

Go to the Organizer. Select the photos you want to add captions to, then click the wrench icon Title, Caption, and Keywords.

If your photos have any existing captions that aren’t identical to each other, you can choose to replace the current captions with the new info you enter, or add your new info before or after the existing captions.

Important: The original filenames of the photos are displayed under the thumbnails for convenience, and cannot be edited.

Your caption may be up to 65,000 characters long, so go ahead and tell the whole story.

If any of your selected photos already have keywords applied, they will show up in either the “All Selected” box or the “Some Selected” box. Keywords in “All Selected” are already applied to your selected photos. Keywords in “Some Selected” means some keywords exist on certain photos but not on others in your selection.

Click the “All Selected” box to enter keywords for all your photos. Enter your keywords separated by semicolons. For phrases, you can separate them with semicolons or enclose the term in quotes.

You can also “Promote” a keyword from “Some” to “All” by clicking the plus sign next to the word.

You can also irreversibly Remove All keywords from your photos or only Remove Numeric keywords that sometimes appear as a result of camera filenames such as DSC_3025.jpg.

Note: After you enter new keywords, if you don't see the cancel/save buttons appear at the bottom of the page, hit Enter on your keyboard and those will populate.

Click Save.

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More about keywords.

Keywords help search engines find your photos so your admirers get to the good stuff faassst!

If you added keywords in a program like iPhoto, Lightroom, or Photoshop before adding the photos to SmugMug, we'll do our best to find and automatically apply them. Specifically, we look for keywords in the IPTC keywords field.

Please note that keywords added on SmugMug do not get embedded in the IPTC data.

Filename keywording.

We also look at the filenames of your images. If your filename is "Alvin_Birthday3.jpg," for example, we'll add the keywords "Alvin" and "Birthday" automatically. If your filename is the common format of "IMG_1234.jpg" or "DSC_1234.jpg," we'll ignore it. You can always enable or disable this feature in the Discovery tab of your Account Settings > Search. If turned ON it only applies to the photos uploaded after the setting is enabled. 

Important: Only you, as the account owner, will be able to search for any keywords from Unlisted (Anyone with the Link) galleries, password-protected galleries, or galleries where you've used Private Sharing (People I Choose). We only index the first 100 keywords for each photo. Keywords can take up to 24 hours to populate and be searchable.

Note: Keywords are always shown next to photos in SmugMug- and Journal-style galleries. Other gallery styles only show Keywords in the Lightbox. Keywords can be hidden in the Lightbox by selecting Customize Design in any gallery, selecting the wrench icon for Lightbox settings under On All Galleries, and setting Keywords to OFF.

If you have Hide Owner enabled on a gallery, any keywords you try to add won't be saved. Make sure you disable Hide Owner before adding any keywords.

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Edit keywords.

You can edit any previously entered keyword by clicking the keyword and then typing your changes. Once you finish editing the keyword, either hit Enter to save the change or deselect the edited word by clicking outside the keyword box.

Want to back out of your keyword edit without saving? Hit the Esc key to cancel your inline edits.

Tip: When using IPTC fields in your metadata, the Headline field will be the Title on SmugMug, and the Description will be the Caption.

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