Add File Info to your Images using Photoshop and Switch

Add File Info to your Images using Photoshop and Switch

Photoshop FlowThere are many techniques you can use to update the File Info of your images in Photoshop. Automating this requires some help from Switch and a little javascript. Whether you already have a system collecting data or you are manually entering the data there is a flow that can be set up to suit your needs.

The data can come from manually entered text or data that has already been collected. The Switch client can be used to make data entry simple and have that data submitted with one or many images for updating. The Switch client creates an xml file of the data entered and submits it with the files. If data already exists Switch can use its scripting capabilities to create an xml file to be used in updating files.

In xml form information can be dynamically added to the File Info fields that make of the xmp data in image files. This includes the IPTC data, Categories and SubCategories.

The xml file just needs to have the same name as the image for the data pickup to take place. Both files can be dumped into a folder that sends them into the flow. The xml data is attached to the image so that when the Switch Photoshop plugin is used to open the image, the xml data can be fed to the arguments of the javascript. This data will be directed into the fields of the File Info for the image and the document can be saved with the same settings it had when it was opened.

The Switch plugins (configurators) for Adobe Creative Suites products like Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator and Acrobat Pro all have the same types of properties. A file can be opened automatically or it can use a custom javascript with defined open settings. Photoshop allows settings to be changed in the properties when opening automatically. Settings like colorspace and resolution can be given values in case the image does not contain the right information to begin with.

A second script can be added to the Command section. The job can open automatically but a task can be performed while it is open using outside information passed from Switch to the arguments listed. The arguments can use the Switch built in variables as well as the parsed xml data. This is how we can automate the update of file information into the image.

Finally the file can be saved automatically to a specific format or a third script can be used to save with specified settings. The file will probably be saved the way it came in since we are only updating the file info.

The javascripts used by the Switch plugins are Adobe javascripts. These can be edited with the ExtendScript Toolkit that is supplied with every copy of Creative Suites. Adobe also supplies the scripting guides for each program with examples and sample files. There are many resources on the internet from forums to books on the subject of Creative Suites scripting. Switch using Javascript for Indesign, Acrobat Pro, Illustrator and Photoshop makes it easy to complete simple tasks and let Switch handle the work of opening and saving files plus moving them on to the next task.

Some other projects to start with using Switch, Creative Suites and javascript could be Custom purchase orders from Indesign, Watermarks on PDF files with Acrobat, or Removing Illustrator trim marks.

Find out more about Switch and Creative Suites Javascript: and