Adding EXIF with Adobe® Lightroom® 3 and LR/Mogrify 2

In a post about two years ago, I wrote a tutorial on the use of Adobe Lightroom 2 and Timothy Armes’ LR2/Mogrify plug-in to add EXIF information to an image processed for the Web. Since that tutorial was written, Lightroom has been updated to Lightroom 3 and LR2/Mogrify has been updated to LR/Mogrify 2.

This tutorial is an update, providing complete illustrated instructions for using Lightroom 3 and LR/Mogrify 2 to add EXIF data to an image processed for the Web. LR/Mogrify 2 works on both PCs and Macs, but on a PC, you must install ImageMagick first. These instructions are written from the perspective of a Mac user, but the PC process is almost identical. For those who would prefer to use Adobe Photoshop to perform this function, the PrintEXIF and FrameShop scripts, available free on this website, are good alternatives.

First, follow the installation instructions to install LR/Mogrify 2. 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 LR/Mogrify 2 has been enabled in the Plug-in Manager, a Post-Process Actions box will appear in the lower left of the Export dialog window:


I want to create two borders around the image – a white stroke inner border with a width of 1 pixel to highlight the image and a larger outer border to hold the EXIF text. In the Post-Process Actions box, double-click “Inner Borders”, “Outer Borders” and “Text Annotations”, 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 LR/Mogrify 2, 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 I’ll choose the width and colors of the borders for the image.


In this example, I’ve entered a 25-pixel 50% gray border on three sides, and a 50-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.

I also want to add a 1-pixel white inner border to the image and enter that information in the Inner Border Options section:


The next step is to add the EXIF data to the bottom frame. We’ll do that with the Mogrify Text Annotations 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 50-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 I’ve already created a bottom border for the text, I’ll leave the “Background” box unchecked. For positioning the text, I’ve chosen to indent the text 30 pixels horizontally and 10 pixels vertically. And I’ve chosen to have the text read horizontally in the bottom border. Note however that I could have just as easily created a side border for the text, and have the text read vertically.

The LR/Mogrify 2 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}”, “lens at” 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”:


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.


If you’re confused by the lens description, I was using a 1.4x teleconverter for this image.

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