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Customizing your Metadata panel

Mark Sirota

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2007
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Library's Metadata panel has a number of views, and there is a plug-in called Metadata Panels from Matt Dawson that adds a few more. That's by far the easiest way to get more options, but it lacks customization.

You can also make your own, customizing both the list of fields shown, the layout, and the titles for each field.

Here's a screen shot of my Metadata panel:
Screen shot 2011-04-29 at 1.05.06 PM.png

You'll see a number of customizations:

  • I've chosen my own set of fields and organization for those fields. It includes some fields not visible in any of the standard views, such as focus distance.
  • The labels to the left are different than the default names for some fields, making the left column narrower so that the right column can be wider. The widest label is "Copyright" -- compare that to your Metadata panel.
  • The formatting of some of the right-hand fields is non-standard as well. Look in particular at the field I've called "Size" and "Exposure":
    • Size has both the cropped and original dimensions on one line. There's a fancier "x" (the unicode multiplication sign) between the width and height with no spaces around it, and the unicode "proper subset" symbol between the two.
    • Exposure uses a curly "ƒ" rather than a standard "f" and a proper unicode division slash "⁄" rather than a standard slash "/".
    • (These changes apply anywhere in LR that image dimensions or apertures are shown, such as in the expanded grid cells, Loupe/Develop overlays, under the histogram, and text overlays in Print and Slideshow.)
There are many other possibilities as well, including changing the font -- I've played with using a narrower variation of the same typeface, for example.

To create your own template, you can use Jeffrey Friedl's Lightroom Configuration Manager, but it hasn't been updated in a long time. Still, it's a great GUI interface for building these things, and serves as an excellent starting point (that's how I got started). His tool also guides you through the installation process.

Or you can edit your own. They're written in the LUA programming language, but they're very simple syntax and no programming knowledge is necessary. Here's the one seen in the screen shot above:
return {
  version   = 1, -- format this file is in (format version #1)
  title     = "Summary",
  id        = "info.regex.lrmeta.v1.nrf",
  type      = "MetadataFieldList",
  items = {
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.basename', label="File Name" },
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.copyname', label="Copy" },
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.combinedImageFileDimensions', label="Size" },
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.model', label="Camera" },
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.focalLength', label="ƒ" },
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.subjectDistance', label="Distance" },
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.exposureAndISO', label="Exposure" },
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.captureDateTime', label="Time" },
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.location', label="Location" },
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.state', label="State" },
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.caption', allowNewlines=true, heightInLines=2 },
    { formatter = 'info.regex.lightroom.export.facebook2.uploaded', label="Facebook" },
    { formatter = 'info.regex.lightroom.export.facebook2.url', label="URL" },
    { formatter = 'info.regex.lightroom.export.flickr2.uploaded', label="Flickr" },
    { formatter = 'info.regex.lightroom.export.flickr2.url', label="URL" },
    { formatter = 'com.adobe.copyrightState', label="Status" }
These files have the file extension ".lrtemplate"; I name them to match the title (e.g. "Summary.lrtemplate"). They live in a folder called Metadata Field Lists under your home directory:

  • Mac: Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Metadata Field Lists/
  • Windows 7, Vista: AppData\Local\Adobe\Lightroom\Metadata Field Lists\
  • Windows XP: Application Data\Adobe\Lightroom\Metadata Field Lists\
To customize the right-hand side formatting, see Customizing Lightroom through TranslatedStrings.txt, also in Tips & Tricks.
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