Adding EXIF with Adobe® Lightroom® and LR2/Mogrify

Since I’m using Adobe Lightroom more and Adobe Photoshop® less, I’ve been researching ways to add EXIF information to an image processed for the Web in Lightroom, in much the same way that my PrintEXIF script does in Photoshop. If you’re not familiar with the PrintEXIF script, please read some of my earlier blog entries. The best solution that I’ve found so far is Timothy Armes’ LR2/Mogrify plug-in for Lightroom 2. LR2/Mogrify works on both PCs and Macs, but on a PC, you have to install ImageMagick first.

Here’s how to use LR2/Mogrify to add EXIF data to an image processed for the Web. These instructions are written from the perspective of a Mac user, but the PC process is almost identical.

First, follow the installation instructions on Timothy Armes’ site to install LR2/Mogrify. Once installed correctly, you should see it listed in the Lightroom Plug-in Manager dialog box (File>Plug-in Manager…):


In the Lightroom Library module, choose an image (or images) that you want to export for the Web with the EXIF data displayed in an image frame. Click “Export…” (or select File>Export… from the File menu OR right-click and choose Export>Export… OR use the keyboard shortcut Shift-Command-E on a Mac) and select the settings for the exported file:


In this example, I’ve chosen to keep the same filename for the exported image, export the image as a JPEG with the sRGB color space and a quality of 70, resize to 800 pixels on the longest side, and sharpen the image for screen viewing. I’ve also chosen to minimize the embedded metadata in the exported image to reduce its size.

Now the fun begins. If LR2/Mogrify has been enabled in the Plug-in Manager, a Post-Process Actions box should appear in the lower left of the Export dialog window:


We want to create a border (or borders) around the image, including a large border at the bottom to hold the EXIF text. In the Post-Process Actions box, double-click Outer Borders and Text Annotation 1, and a check mark will appear beside each of those items and beside the Mogrify Configuration item. As you double-click each action, an options dialog box will appear in the Export dialog window. The first box, Mogrify Configuration, will look something like this:


The Mogrify Configuration box may have a different appearance and options in the PC version of LR2/Mogrify, so you should consult the installation instructions for the plug-in for the appropriate setting(s). The illustration above is for the Mac version.

The next box is the Mogrify Outer Border Options box. Here we’ll choose the width and colors of the border(s) for the image.


In this example, I’ve chosen a 1-pixel white border to set off the image, a 10-pixel gray border on three sides, and a 55-pixel gray border on the bottom to hold the EXIF text. If you choose an image size different from the one in this example (800 pixels on the longest side), you may want to experiment with the border dimensions to get a result that you like. The plus and minus signs on the right of the box alllow you to add or delete borders. And the “Scroll up” and “Scroll down” buttons allow you to see the additional border settings if you add more than two borders.

The next step is to add the EXIF data to the bottom frame. We’ll do that with the Mogrify Text Annotation 1 box:


Notice that I’ve chosen to add the text annotation after the border is applied so that the text will appear in the bottom border. You need to know where the fonts are stored on your system to choose a font. On a Mac, they’re stored in the “/Library/Fonts” directory. In this example, I’ve chosen TektonPro-Bold. You’ll have to use trial-and-error to choose the font size. I experimented and found that with an 800-pixel image, and a 55-pixel bottom border, a font size of 14 pixels was just about right for the TektonPro-Bold font. I chose white at 100% opacity for the font color. Since we’ve already created a bottom border for the text, we’ll leave the “Solid background” box unchecked. For positioning the text, I chose to indent the text 20 pixels horizontally and 10 pixels vertically. And I chose to have the text read horizontally in the bottom border. Note however that you could have just as easily created a side border for the text, and had the text read vertically.

The LR2/Mogrify plug-in gives the user access to all of the metadata available in Lightroom, including the EXIF and IPTC information. In this example, I’ll add only EXIF data to the frame, but you can add as many data “tokens” as your border will hold. Click “Add Token” and select “EXIF” as the Category from the pop-up box:


Now start adding EXIF “tokens” one at a time. You can add punctuation (commas, @ symbols, colons, etc.) directly in the “Define your text” box. You can see that in this example I have added a comma after “{cameraModel}”, an @ symbol after “{lens}” and “sec.” after “{shutterSpeed}”. Remember to click “Add a new line” after several tokens to stay within the boundaries of the bottom border.

Until I’m sure that I have all of the options set to my liking, I select “Show in Finder” (different in the PC version) in the Post-Processing box:


Now click “Export” and see what you’ve created. You’ll likely not get everything spot on the first time around, but after several tries, you’ll get the result you want.

Once you’re satisfied with the settings, you’ll want to save those settings as a User Preset. In the “Preset” box, click “Add”: lr2_mogrify_20

Now, name the preset something descriptive like “800px with EXIF” and save it in the “User Presets” folder:


Here’s the final result for this example. Enjoy.


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