peter_w's blog

Restore EXIF information after 'Save for Web'

posted by peter_w, Aug 21, 2006 10:59 PM — 7 comments

UPDATE: Adobe has finally fixed the problem in Photoshop CS3. In the "Save for Web & Devices" dialog box, you can now enable EXIF embedding (Look for a separate post on that in the future). If you are on CS2 or earlier, you can use the workaround described here.

The "Save for Web" dialog gives you much more control and feedback over image compression than a simple "Save As" to a JPEG file. But in contrast to the latter, "Save for Web" tries to save space by stripping the EXIF data from your image.

If you want to submit your photo to a site such as our beloved stock.xchng, or if you want to add it to your personal iView/Lightroom/Generic DAM photo database, you should generally try to keep these, since they contain useful and/or interesting metadata about your shot, such as the date and time you took the shot, the camera type, the focal length, the aperture, and much more. Some programs (such as lens distortion correction filters) even use this info to calibrate or optimize some of their image processing algorithms.

So, to keep the EXIF, you need to either use Photoshop's "Save As..." command to save your JPGs, or, if you don't want to live without the extra comfort of the "Save for Web" dialog, re-attach the EXIF manually.

To do so, you need some kind of EXIF editing tool, such as the free Exifer.

Once you exported the JPG from Photoshop, start Exifer and navigate to the folder where you stored your output image. Right-click it, then choose "EXIF/IPTC > Insert from File...". Alternatively, you could press Ctrl+I on your keyboard. A file browser window appears. Select your source image (the one directly from the camera), not the photoshopped version. Exifer will copy the EXIF data into your new image.

If you are shooting RAW files, you can make a dummy JPG using "Save As..." and then use this to re-insert the data into the final file, which you can save using "Save for Web", using Exifer or similar Software.

Now you might want to update the EXIF preview thumbnail to reflect the changes you made in Photoshop, since the thumbnail, too, is copied from the original. Right-click the thumbnail preview on the right of the screen, choose "Create thumbnail", and confirm the thumbnail change.

Your JPG now contains the EXIF info.

So, if anyone from Adobe is listening, please add a "keep IPTC/EXIF" checkbox to the"Save for Web" dialog in the next version of Photoshop... please...

UPDATE: Apparently somebody was listening :)

Comments | RSS

1. posted by binlee, Oct 23, 2009 10:06 AM

thanks alot for it

2. posted by lobos, Aug 28, 2006 8:31 AM

Cropping an image in Photoshop clears the EXIF data from image too!!


1. Create new document from current state [History Palette].
2. Crop as you want.
3. Resize (and resample) source image to the size of the cropped image. EXIF is preserved.
4. Drag (or copy&paste) cropped image over the resized source image.
5. Move or nudge.
6. Save or save as.

3. posted by theRIAA, Sep 18, 2006 2:19 AM

im going back to MS paint

4. posted by zizimars14, Sep 24, 2008 11:57 AM

Where is 'keep EXIF data' in save for web dialog box?
I have CS3 but can't find this :))
Tnx :)

5. posted by torsions, Jun 3, 2009 5:35 AM

I have the same question as zizimars14 :-)

6. posted by softener, May 31, 2013 7:05 AM

Great stuff. Very helpful. Thanks.

7. posted by inizjall, Nov 6, 2013 3:40 AM

very helpful sir

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