Can Portfolio write Photoshop file info?

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A number of users have asked if external programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator can read the data held in the 'file info', e.g. in the tags in PSDs and TIFs. The short answer is no - certainly for the Windows platform, though the picture is changing. Portfolio can read information in the tags in headers of certain file type. If mapping is set up correctly then Portfolio can not only read this information but store it.

Any information you then add to the Record in Portfolio is stored in the Catalogue and not the original file. To write back information would most likely involve scripting - both of Portfolio and the 'host' application for the image file type (e.g. Photoshop). Also note than you can do text export of Portfolio data to simple tab-delimited files which another application might be able to parse for data.

FWIW, the Photoshop v5.5 SDK gives no information of the saved File Information file type (.FFO) which could be merged by an action though this requires Photoshop to be running. Note that writing back info to a PSD outside Photoshop is not trivial as the file format is complex and inserting file info data would require other saved elements to be 're-indexed' before the file could be saved - or so I am told by those experienced with the program.

As of Photoshop v7, the FFO file has been replaced by an XML formatted version. In addition the scripting interface, a free downloadable add-on for Photoshop v7 (only) allows better VB/AS/JavaScript control; in Photoshop CS (v8) the scripting is part of the normal install. This could be used to add information or run and action to do the same by using Photoshop directly from a script run from Portfolio. This method requires scripting knowledge plus Portfolio and Photoshop.

Mac users can make use of 'pnot' data export, though this only covers Keywords/Description/Thumbnail and is dropped in Version 7.

Question: Can Portfolio write Photoshop file info? [FAQ00048.htm]
Last Update:- 31 May 2006

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