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14 August 2017

Funny thing about software. It's never quite finished. Sure, you may turn those project specifications into code that commands worldwide adulation. But once that software puts a few miles on it, the problem it solves seems to have grown new thorns.

But that's also the beauty of software. It can evolve along with your needs.

As we explained in October 2013, we like to embed copyright information into the JPEGs we publish on Photo Corners. Most of the time, that's our own copyright information. But often not.

Using our AppleScript app Copyrighter Pro, we can harness ExifTool to add our copyright information to all three Exif tags of any number of images just by dragging the images to the script's icon and hitting the Return key twice.

It's a little more work to type in the name of a contributor as the photographer but not much more.

The trouble comes when you next run the script. Whose name should appear as the default?

We solved that issue in May 2016 when we compared the entered name with the stored default and, if different, asked if it was the new default.


But it never was, we've discovered. In fact, once you assign a default, you're pretty much done with defaults. Like Dexter Gordon once said of the Loch Ness monster, "It's you ... or no one."

Still, we didn't really want to remove the function. We just wanted to make it less obtrusive.

Photographer. Use the default, a temporary name or set a new default on one screen.

We run the Copyrighter Pro code from a Keyboard Maestro macro and that has a much more robust user interface options than AppleScript itself. We had a popup menu in that interface, which listed the default name plus any others we regularly use and also offered an Other for anyone not on the list. There is more than one way to skin a cat, as Larry Wall likes to say (actually he likes to say, "There's more than one way to do it.").

But we don't really need a list. You might if you are in charge of archiving the family photos and want to assign copyright for each adult and child and monkey in the household. But we don't mind typing the occasional name as long as the script remembers our default (namely ourselves).

To get rid of the second prompt for a new default, we just moved that code to a button, adding "New Default" as an option under the prompt for the photographer's name. Which doubles as an "OK" button, too.

If you just hit "OK," the default is not changed but the displayed name is used. Which is how you would use the default name itself.


We had one other little thing to optimize.

Our default button for the copyright year was, intelligently, the Capture Year of the image, taken from the Exif header. What else?

But, it turns out, we almost invariably use the current year.

Default Year. We rarely use the Capture Year.

Why? Either because the current edit is not the capture year or there is no capture year. Or because we happen to know using the Capture Year requires the software to find it for each image (which is why it's a handy option if you have images from more than one year).

So we just moved the default to the current year.

(The sharp-eyed will notice we've added the Note icon to the dialogs, too. It's sort of like wearing a tie to a wedding.)

Now we're back to a quick two Returns to add copyright information to any set of images. Even if they were taken by someone else.


If you're a standard level subscriber or sponsor, just email and the reply will have the script attached.

Note that Copyrighter Pro does require you to install ExifTool. But that's not hard. We've even done it ourselves, in fact.

We aren't done yet (no doubt), but this will keep you up to date.

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