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By David Blatner | Thursday, May 30, 2013

InDesign Secrets: Adding and reading metadata for InDesign files

Metadata is data about your data—information about your images and documents, such as the creation date, file size, location tags, author, and much more. It’s common to work with metadata in programs like Adobe Photoshop or even Illustrator, but did you know that you can add metadata to your InDesign projects, too?

In this week’s InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows you how to add file info to your documents. As David says, it’s like putting on a luggage tag before you check your baggage; you don’t have to add it, but it really comes in handy for identifying it later. Plus, metadata is searchable by Google and other text engines, which makes it great for SEO.

1. To access a document’s metadata, open it in InDesign and choose File > File Info. Any information you add here is saved with the document, no matter where it goes—even if it’s exported as an EPUB or PDF.

Figure 1

2. To access the metadata for embedded objects—for example, if you had placed one InDesign file inside another—go to the Links panel, choose the object, click the flyout menu, and choose Utilities > XMP File Info.

3. Another way to use metadata is to make live captions for images. Select the image and choose Object > Captions > Caption Setup. Select what information you want the caption to contain from the Metadata dropdown and click OK. Then choose Object > Captions > Generate Live Caption.

Make sure to group the text frame for the caption and the image in question to make this trick work!

Figure 2

Start adding metadata to your InDesign documents to make them keyword rich and easily identifiable. And watch the new lynda.com member-exclusive movie, Adding alt tags to your images, to discover another kind of hidden data that makes your content accessible to the visually impaired and even more compelling to search engines. Check back for another free video in two weeks, when Anne-Marie Concepción shows how to place and link text frames without carrying over their formatting.

Interested in more?

• Start a free trial membership at lynda.com • The entire InDesign Secrets biweekly series • Courses by David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción on lynda.com • All lynda.com InDesign courses

Adobe, Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or countries.

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