What does Minimize Embedded Metadata do?

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In the Export module there is a checkbox called Minimize Embedded Metadata.

I can't find information on exactly what Metadata is expunged. I know that some fields are passed through.

Also, since LR does not "understand" a great many "proprietary" fields, does it try to delete them?

In general, copyright notice, image dimensions and processing software is included, even if "minimize Metadata" is checked. Makernotes (which contains the proprietary fields) is stripped completely.

You can play with it during export and use something like Exiftool or Jeffrey's Exif viewer to find out what's still included and what not.

The problem with the 'minimize embedded' is that it's a little 'All or (almost) Nothing'... And all can be annoying, because for example your complete processing goes into your exported file as metadata. Say you've got that 'signature' look you've created in the Develop Module. Anyone right-click saving it from your blog for example, and opening it up in Photoshop choosing File Info => Raw Data can 'read' your postprocessing...
If you want more control over what metadata is and isn't exported, you can use Jeffrey's Metadata Wrangler Plugin.
I did not realize that develop data would be saved into a jpg that exported from a dng. Thank's for the heads up.
Just a couple quick additions to what's already been said here:

(1) The 3.4 release candidate has a bug with Minimize Embedded Metadata where a small amount of extra metadata leaks out. This isn't there in 3.3, and presumably won't be there in the final release of 3.4.

(2) The important metadata that *isn't* minimized is your copyright notice (in IPTC and XMP), the embedded thumbnail, and the embedded color profile. Everything else is minimized if you check that box (including the copyright notice in EXIF). (If you also use Limit File Size, then the thumbnail is stripped too.)

(i) Which embedded thumbnail are you referring to? The one that's embedded to DNG as a special feature of DNG, the one that's embedded to camera RAW files out of the camera, or the one that's embedded to jpgs? In any event that is a significant leak that needs to be addressed somehow. Is Limit File Size the best way to do it? What if you choose a very large limit?

(ii) The copyright notice and other such info that my Nikon D700 attaches leaks out; Nikon must store it in IPTC rather than EXIF on purpose; I will double check.

I've started a feature request in the feedback forum. It is general in nature because I started it before I knew this level of detail. Here it is in case anyone cares to weigh in or vote (Victoria has already made a comment there):

I was talking about the embedded thumbnail in JPEGs. What do you mean by "a significant leak"? Most people want it there -- the only time I don't want it is for a file that's to be displayed on the web, because then it's just making the file unnecessarily bigger. In that case I'll strip it with Jeffrey's Metadata Wrangler.

The camera puts your copyright in EXIF Copyright. When you import into LR, that is copied into XMP dc:Rights and into IPTC CopyrightNotice. On export from LR, XMP dc:Rights and IPTC CopyrightNotice are always included. EXIF Copyright is included if metadata is *not* minimized, or stripped if metadata *is* minimized.

I have a feature request in that EXIF Copyright should always be included, whether or not Minimize Embedded Metadata is checked. Are you saying you want EXIF Copyright stripped? If so, you can do that with the Metadata Wrangler too.

If you're the sort of person that likes to have a lot of control over your metadata (like I do), you need to get familiar with the Metadata Wrangler. It's awesome.
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If the thumbnail mataches the photo it's not a leak. However, I have seen instances where the thumbnail did not match the photo; for example it was a thumbnail of the photo before it was cropped. I am not sure how that happened, but that is what I was referring to.

If LR copies the EXIF copyright automatically to IPTC and exports that, why do ou want to the EXIF to exported too?
You've seen the thumbnail not match the photo on an export? If so, that's a bug and should be reported, if it's repeatable.

I want EXIF Copyright exported too because not every bit of software looks at XMP dc:Rights or IPTC CopyrightNotice.
I've seen the thumbnail not match the photo on pictures downloaded from the web. I wasn't sure where LR is pulling the thumbnail from. If it's creating it at export it shouldn't be a problem. I do think that thumbnailing a jpg is a bad idea, especially since LR doesn't show the thumbnail. You need a specialized program to see it. Thumbnailing a RAW or DNG file is a good idea because the original file is not pixel based.
Windows sometimes shows you the actual picture sometimes the thumbnail. It's pretty unpredictable. You do need a special program to be sure you know what you're looking at. LR should have an explicit checkbox for whether or not a thumbnail is included, and it should separately have a window for showing all EXIF and other data associated with a photo, for crying out loud. $300 down the tube (not to mention CS5) and every time there is a question the answer is Jeffrey's or someone else's plugin or other third party program.
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It really is difficult to use this program without tons of plugins and thirty party apps to do the simplest of things. I want to upload pictures and let people see the EXIF data (exposure info and so on) but not my keywords, which are purely for my use. The numbers of ways that Minimize Embedded Metadata is unhelpful is quite large.
Is it just keywords?

If so, as a workaround until Lightroom provides the functionality you're looking for, you can double-click on a keyword in the Keyword list which will bring up an Edit Keyword dialog box. In there, you can select whether the keyword should be exported.

This is obviously somewhat painful to do for lots of keywords. In that case, it may be easier to export the keyword list, edit it by hand in a text editor (make at least one non-exportable so you'll see the syntax), then re-import the keyword list. (Disclaimer: I haven't tried it this way, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.)
Awesome; that's actually very helpful. "Not thrilling but nice." Without this forum I would have quit on LR by now.
Note that Lightroom 3.4 fixed a bug where

"Not all appropriate metadata fields were excluded when choosing the Minimize Embedded Metadata export option".

And Adobe stubbornly persists in not giving users the ability to see all metadata in their photos. Preposterous.
Not excluding metadata was a bug. Showing additional metadata is a feature request. Bugs are fixed in dot releases. Feature requests are primarily confined to full releases. Adobe can do clever things but they haven't figured out how to fit more than 24 hours in a day yet. We all have feature requests we'd love to see added, but we have to be patient as these things can't all happen at once.
Victoria, my point may not have been clear. The bug by itself is bad, but it's made worse by the fact that Lightroom does not provide a way to check my work.

How would you feel if Microsoft Word included hidden text when you emailed a document but did not provide a way for you to see what hidden there is?

Anyway, if you look at the feedback forum Adobe has indicated that it is not just a matter time. They in fact have revealed that they have no intention of showing additional metadata because "they don't understand it". My answer to that is slowly moving in the direction of "then get out of the business and let someone who does understand do it".
BTW, that Minimize bug was only in the release candidate; 3.3 was fine. Unfortunately, the 3.4 release has a new Minimize bug, where if you also choose Limit File Size, the EXIF metadata segment is not eliminated. The simple workaround is not to use Limit File Size and Minimize Embedded Metadata together.
It looks like having to work on the "Limit File Size" code is like labour camp for any Adobe programmer :rolleyes:

Yes, Limit File Size has been ridden with bugs over several versions; each time one gets fixed, another one shows up. And that code path didn't get the same new metadata engine, so for now I'll be sticking to setting the Quality slider myself.
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