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exiftool - Read and write meta information in files


exiftool [OPTIONS] [-TAG...] [--TAG...] FILE...
exiftool [OPTIONS] -TAG[+-<]=[VALUE]... FILE...
exiftool [OPTIONS] -tagsFromFile SRCFILE [-SRCTAG[>DSTTAG]...] FILE...
exiftool [ -ver | -list[w|f|r|wf|g[NUM]|d|x] ]

For specific examples, see the EXAMPLES sections below.

This documentation is displayed if exiftool is run without an input FILE when one is expected.


A command-line interface to Image::ExifTool, used for reading and writing meta information in a variety of file types. FILE is one or more source file names, directory names, or - for the standard input. Information is read from source files and printed in readable form to the console (or written to output text files with -w).

To write or delete information, tag values are assigned using the -TAG=[VALUE] syntax, or the -geotag option. To copy or move information, the -tagsFromFile feature is used. By default the original files are preserved with _original appended to their names -- be sure to verify that the new files are OK before erasing the originals. Once in write mode, exiftool will ignore any read-specific options.

Note: If FILE is a directory name then only supported file types in the directory are processed (in write mode only writable types are processed). However, files may be specified by name, or the -ext option may be used to force processing of files with any extension.

Below is a list of file types and meta information formats currently supported by ExifTool (r = read, w = write, c = create):

  File Types
  3FR   r     | DYLIB r     | KEY   r     | OTF   r     | RWL   r/w
  3G2   r     | EIP   r     | LNK   r     | PAGES r     | RWZ   r
  3GP   r     | EPS   r/w   | M2TS  r     | PBM   r/w   | RM    r
  ACR   r     | ERF   r/w   | M4A/V r     | PDF   r/w   | SO    r
  AFM   r     | EXE   r     | MEF   r/w   | PEF   r/w   | SR2   r/w
  AI    r/w   | EXIF  r/w/c | MIE   r/w/c | PFA   r     | SRF   r
  AIFF  r     | EXR   r     | MIFF  r     | PFB   r     | SRW   r/w
  APE   r     | F4A/V r     | MKA   r     | PFM   r     | SVG   r
  ARW   r/w   | FFF   r/w   | MKS   r     | PGF   r     | SWF   r
  ASF   r     | FLA   r     | MKV   r     | PGM   r/w   | THM   r/w
  AVI   r     | FLAC  r     | MNG   r/w   | PICT  r     | TIFF  r/w
  BMP   r     | FLV   r     | MOS   r/w   | PMP   r     | TTC   r
  BTF   r     | FPX   r     | MOV   r     | PNG   r/w   | TTF   r
  CHM   r     | GIF   r/w   | MP3   r     | PPM   r/w   | VRD   r/w/c
  COS   r     | GZ    r     | MP4   r     | PPT   r     | VSD   r
  CR2   r/w   | HDP   r/w   | MPC   r     | PPTX  r     | WAV   r
  CRW   r/w   | HDR   r     | MPG   r     | PS    r/w   | WDP   r/w
  CS1   r/w   | HTML  r     | MPO   r/w   | PSB   r/w   | WEBP  r
  DCM   r     | ICC   r/w/c | MQV   r     | PSD   r/w   | WEBM  r
  DCP   r/w   | IDML  r     | MRW   r/w   | PSP   r     | WMA   r
  DCR   r     | IIQ   r/w   | MXF   r     | QTIF  r     | WMV   r
  DFONT r     | IND   r/w   | NEF   r/w   | RA    r     | X3F   r/w
  DIVX  r     | INX   r     | NRW   r/w   | RAF   r/w   | XCF   r
  DJVU  r     | ITC   r     | NUMBERS r   | RAM   r     | XLS   r
  DLL   r     | J2C   r     | ODP   r     | RAR   r     | XLSX  r
  DNG   r/w   | JNG   r/w   | ODS   r     | RAW   r/w   | XMP   r/w/c
  DOC   r     | JP2   r/w   | ODT   r     | RIFF  r     | ZIP   r
  DOCX  r     | JPEG  r/w   | OGG   r     | RSRC  r     |
  DV    r     | K25   r     | OGV   r     | RTF   r     |
  DVB   r     | KDC   r     | ORF   r/w   | RW2   r/w   |

  Meta Information
  EXIF           r/w/c  |  CIFF           r/w  |  Ricoh RMETA    r
  GPS            r/w/c  |  AFCP           r/w  |  Picture Info   r
  IPTC           r/w/c  |  Kodak Meta     r/w  |  Adobe APP14    r
  XMP            r/w/c  |  FotoStation    r/w  |  MPF            r
  MakerNotes     r/w/c  |  PhotoMechanic  r/w  |  Stim           r
  Photoshop IRB  r/w/c  |  JPEG 2000      r    |  APE            r
  ICC Profile    r/w/c  |  DICOM          r    |  Vorbis         r
  MIE            r/w/c  |  Flash          r    |  SPIFF          r
  JFIF           r/w/c  |  FlashPix       r    |  DjVu           r
  Ducky APP12    r/w/c  |  QuickTime      r    |  M2TS           r
  PDF            r/w/c  |  Matroska       r    |  PE/COFF        r
  PNG            r/w/c  |  GeoTIFF        r    |  AVCHD          r
  Canon VRD      r/w/c  |  PrintIM        r    |  ZIP            r
  Nikon Capture  r/w/c  |  ID3            r    |  (and more)


Case is not significant for any command-line option (including tag and group names), except for single-character options when the corresponding upper-case option exists. Many single-character options have equivalent long-name versions (shown in brackets), and some options have inverses which are invoked with a leading double-dash. Note that multiple single-character options may NOT be combined into one argument because this would be interpreted as a tag name. Contrary to standard practice, options may appear after source file names on the exiftool command line.

Option Summary

Tag operations

  -TAG or --TAG                    Extract or exclude specified tag
  -TAG[+-]=[VALUE]                 Write new value for tag
  -TAG[+-]<=DATFILE                Write tag value from contents of file
  -TAG[+-]<SRCTAG                  Copy tag value (see -tagsFromFile)

  -tagsFromFile SRCFILE            Copy tag values from file
  -x TAG      (-exclude)           Exclude specified tag

Input-output text formatting

  -args       (-argFormat)         Output data as exiftool arguments
  -b          (-binary)            Output data in binary format
  -c FMT      (-coordFormat)       Set format for GPS coordinates
  -charset [[TYPE=]CHARSET]        Specify encoding for special characters
  -csv[=CSVFILE]                   Export/import tags in CSV format
  -d FMT      (-dateFormat)        Set format for date/time values
  -D          (-decimal)           Show tag ID numbers in decimal
  -E, -ex     (-escape(HTML|XML))  Escape values for HTML (-E) or XML (-ex)
  -f          (-forcePrint)        Force printing of all specified tags
  -g[NUM...]  (-groupHeadings)     Organize output by tag group
  -G[NUM...]  (-groupNames)        Print group name for each tag
  -h          (-htmlFormat)        Use HMTL formatting for output
  -H          (-hex)               Show tag ID number in hexadecimal
  -htmlDump[OFFSET]                Generate HTML-format binary dump
  -j[=JSONFILE] (-json)            Export/import tags in JSON format
  -l          (-long)              Use long 2-line output format
  -L          (-latin)             Use Windows Latin1 encoding
  -lang [LANG]                     Set current language
  -listItem INDEX                  Extract specific item from a list
  -n          (--printConv)        Read/write numerical tag values
  -p FMTFILE  (-printFormat)       Print output in specified format
  -php                             Export tags as a PHP Array
  -s[NUM]     (-short)             Short output format
  -S          (-veryShort)         Very short output format
  -sep STR    (-separator)         Set separator string for list items
  -sort                            Sort output alphabetically
  -struct                          Enable output of structured information
  -t          (-tab)               Output in tab-delimited list format
  -T          (-table)             Output in tabular format
  -v[NUM]     (-verbose)           Print verbose messages
  -w[!] EXT   (-textOut)           Write output text files
  -X          (-xmlFormat)         Use RDF/XML output format

Processing control

  -a          (-duplicates)        Allow duplicate tags to be extracted
  -e          (--composite)        Do not calculate composite tags
  -ee         (-extractEmbedded)   Extract information from embedded files
  -ext EXT    (-extension)         Process files with specified extension
  -F[OFFSET]  (-fixBase)           Fix the base for maker notes offsets
  -fast[NUM]                       Increase speed for slow devices
  -fileOrder [-]TAG                Set file processing order
  -i DIR      (-ignore)            Ignore specified directory name
  -if EXPR                         Conditionally process files
  -m          (-ignoreMinorErrors) Ignore minor errors and warnings
  -o OUTFILE  (-out)               Set output file or directory name
  -overwrite_original              Overwrite original by renaming tmp file
  -overwrite_original_in_place     Overwrite original by copying tmp file
  -P          (-preserve)          Preserve date/time of original file
  -password PASSWD                 Password for processing protected files
  -q          (-quiet)             Quiet processing
  -r          (-recurse)           Recursively process subdirectories
  -scanForXMP                      Brute force XMP scan
  -u          (-unknown)           Extract unknown tags
  -U          (-unknown2)          Extract unknown binary tags too
  -z          (-zip)               Read/write compressed information

Special features

  -geotag TRKFILE                  Geotag images from specified GPS log
  -use MODULE                      Add features from plug-in module


  -delete_original[!]              Delete "_original" backups
  -restore_original                Restore from "_original" backups

Other options

  -@ ARGFILE                       Read command-line arguments from file
  -k          (-pause)             Pause before terminating
  -list[w|f|wf|g[NUM]|d|x]         List various exiftool capabilities
  -ver                             Print exiftool version number

Advanced options

  -common_args                     Define common arguments
  -config CFGFILE                  Specify configuration file name
  -echo[2] TEXT                    Echo text to stdout or stderr
  -execute[NUM]                    Execute multiple commands on one line
  -srcfile FMT                     Set different source file name
  -stay_open FLAG                  Keep reading -@ argfile even after EOF

Option Details

Tag operations


Extract information for specified tag (ie. -CreateDate). A tag name is the handle by which a piece of information is referenced. See Image::ExifTool::TagNames for documentation on available tag names. A tag name may include leading group names separated by colons (ie. -EXIF:CreateDate, or -Doc1:XMP:Creator), and each group name may be prefixed by a digit to specify family number (ie. -1IPTC:City). Use the -listg option to list available group names by family.

A special tag name of All may be used to indicate all meta information. This is particularly useful when a group name is specified to extract all information in a group (but beware that unless the -a option is also used, some tags in the group may be suppressed by same-named tags in other groups). The wildcard characters ? and * may be used in a tag name to match any single character and zero or more characters respectively. These may not be used in a group name, with the exception that a group name of * (or All) may be used to extract all instances of a tag (as if -a was used). Note that arguments containing wildcards must be quoted on the command line of most systems to prevent shell globbing, and wildcards may not be used when writing/deleting tags.

A # may be appended to the tag name to disable the print conversion on a per-tag basis (see the -n option). This may also be used when writing or copying tags.

If no tags are specified, all available information is extracted (as if -All had been specified).

Note: Descriptions, not tag names, are shown by default when extracting information. Use the -s option to see the tag names instead.


Exclude specified tag from extracted information. Same as the -x option. May also be used following a -tagsFromFile option to exclude tags from being copied, or to exclude groups from being deleted when deleting all information (ie. -all= --exif:all deletes all but EXIF information). But note that this will not exclude individual tags from a group delete. Instead, individual tags may be recovered using the -tagsFromFile option (ie. -all= -tagsfromfile @ -artist). Wildcards are permitted as described above for -TAG.


Write a new value for the specified tag (ie. -comment=wow), or delete the tag if no VALUE is given (ie. -comment=). += and -= are used to add or remove existing entries from a list, or to shift date/time values (see for details). += may also be used to increment numerical values, and -= may be used to conditionally delete or replace a tag (see "WRITING EXAMPLES" for examples).

TAG may contain a leading family 0 or 1 group name separated by a colon. If no group name is specified, the tag is created in the preferred group, and updated in any other location where a same-named tag already exists. The preferred group is the first group in the following list where TAG is valid: 1) EXIF, 2) IPTC, 3) XMP.

The special All tag may be used in this syntax only if a VALUE is NOT given. This causes all meta information to be deleted (or all information in a group if -GROUP:All= is used). Note that not all groups are deletable. Use the -listd option for a complete list of deletable groups. Also, within an image some groups may be contained within others, and these groups are removed if the containing group is deleted:

  JPEG Image:
  - Deleting EXIF or IFD0 also deletes ExifIFD, GlobParamIFD,
    GPS, IFD1, InteropIFD, MakerNotes, PrintIM and SubIFD.
  - Deleting ExifIFD also deletes InteropIFD and MakerNotes.
  - Deleting Photoshop also deletes IPTC.

  TIFF Image:
  - Deleting EXIF only removes ExifIFD which also deletes
    InteropIFD and MakerNotes.

Note: MakerNotes tags may be edited, but not created or deleted individually. This avoids many potential problems including the inevitable compatibility problems with OEM software which may be very inflexible about the information it expects to find in the maker notes.

Special feature: Integer values may be specified in hexadecimal with a leading 0x, and simple rational values may be specified as fractions.


Set the value of a tag from the contents of file DATFILE. The file name may also be given by a FMT string where %d, %f and %e represent the directory, file name and extension of the original FILE (see the -w option for more details). Note that quotes are required around this argument to prevent shell redirection since it contains a < symbol. +<= or -<= may also be used to add or delete specific list entries, or to shift date/time values.

-tagsFromFile SRCFILE or FMT

Copy tag values from SRCFILE to FILE. Tag names on the command line after this option specify the tags to be copied, or excluded from the copy. If no tags are specified, then all possible tags (see note 1 below) from the source file are copied to same-named tags in the preferred location of the output file (the same as specifying -all). More than one -tagsFromFile option may be used to copy tags from multiple files.

By default, this option will commute information between same-named tags in different groups and write each tag to the preferred group. This allows some information to be automatically translated when copying between images of different formats. However, if a group name is specified for a tag then the information is written to the original group (unless redirected to another group, see below). This works even if All is used as a group name, so -All:All is used to specify that all information be copied to the same group in the destination file.

SRCFILE may be the same as FILE to move information around within a single file. In this case, @ may be used to represent the source file (ie. -tagsFromFile @), permitting this feature to be used for batch processing multiple files. Specified tags are then copied from each file in turn as it is rewritten. For advanced batch use, the source file name may also be specified using a FMT string in which %d, %f and %e represent the directory, file name and extension of FILE. See -w option for FMT string examples.

A powerful redirection feature allows a destination tag to be specified for each copied tag. With this feature, information may be written to a tag with a different name or group. This is done using "'-SRCTAG>DSTTAG'" or "'-DSTTAG<SRCTAG'" on the command line after -tagsFromFile, and causes the value of SRCTAG to be copied from SRCFILE and written to DSTTAG in FILE. Note that this argument must be quoted to prevent shell redirection, and there is no = sign as when assigning new values. Source and/or destination tags may be prefixed by a group name and/or suffixed by #. Wildcards may be used in the source tag name only, with the exception that All or * may be used as a destination group or tag name to represent the same family 1 group or tag name as the source. If no destination group is specified, the information is written to the preferred group. As a convenience, -tagsFromFile @ is assumed for any redirected tags which are specified without a prior -tagsFromFile option. Copied tags may also be added or deleted from a list with arguments of the form "'-SRCTAG+>DSTTAG'" or "'-SRCTAG->DSTTAG'".

An extension of the redirection feature allows strings involving tag names to be used on the right hand side of the < symbol with the syntax "'-DSTTAG<STR'", where tag names in STR are prefixed with a $ symbol. See the -p option for more details about this syntax. Strings starting with a = sign must insert a single space after the < to avoid confusion with the <= operator which sets the tag value from the contents of a file. A single space at the start of the string is removed if it exists, but all other whitespace is preserved.

See "COPYING EXAMPLES" for examples using -tagsFromFile.


1) Some tags (generally tags which may affect the appearance of the image) are considered "unsafe" to write, and are only copied if specified explicitly. See the tag name documentation for more details about "unsafe" tags.

2) Be aware of the difference between excluding a tag from being copied (--TAG), and deleting a tag (-TAG=). Excluding a tag prevents it from being copied to the destination image, but deleting will remove a pre-existing tag from the image.

3) The maker note information is copied as a block, so it isn't affected like other information by subsequent tag assignments on the command line. Also, since the PreviewImage referenced from the maker notes may be rather large, it is not copied, and must be transferred separately if desired.

4) The order of operations is to copy all specified tags at the point of the -tagsFromFile option in the command line. Any tag assignment to the right of the -tagsFromFile option is made after all tags are copied. For example, new tag values are set in the order One, Two, Three then Four with this command:

    exiftool -One=1 -tagsFromFile s.jpg -Two -Four=4 -Three d.jpg

This is significant in the case where an overlap exists between the copied and assigned tags because later operations may override earlier ones.

5) The normal behaviour of copied tags differs subtly from that of assigned tags for list-type tags. When copying to a list, each copied tag overrides any previous operations on the list. While this avoids duplicate list items when copying groups of tags from a file containing redundant information, it also prevents values of different tags from being copied into the same list when this is the intent. So a -addTagsFromFile option is provided which allows copying of multiple tags into the same list. ie)

    exiftool -addtagsfromfile @ '-subject<make' '-subject<model' ...

Other than this difference, the -tagsFromFile and -addTagsFromFile options are equivalent.

6) The -a option (allow duplicate tags) is always in effect when reading tags from SRCFILE.

7) The -struct option is in effect by default when copying tags, but this may be disabled with --struct on the command line. See the -struct option for details.

-x TAG (-exclude)

Exclude the specified tag. There may be multiple -x options. This has the same effect as --TAG on the command line. May also be used following a -tagsFromFile option to exclude tags from being copied.

Input-output text formatting

-args (-argFormat)

Output information in the form of exiftool arguments, suitable for use with the -@ option when writing. May be combined with the -G option to include group names. This feature may be used to effectively copy tags between images, but allows the metadata to be altered by editing the intermediate file (out.args in this example):

    exiftool -args -G1 --filename --directory src.jpg > out.args
    exiftool -@ out.args dst.jpg

Note: Be careful when copying information with this technique since it is easy to write tags which are normally considered "unsafe". For instance, the FileName and Directory tags are excluded in the example above to avoid renaming and moving the destination file. Also note that the second command above will produce warning messages for any tags which are not writable.

-b (-binary)

Output requested data in binary format without tag names or descriptions. This option is mainly used for extracting embedded images or other binary data, but it may also be useful for some text strings since control characters (such as newlines) are not replaced by '.' as they are in the default output. List items are separated by a newline when extracted with the -b option. May be combined with -X to extract binary data in XML format.

-c FMT (-coordFormat)

Set the print format for GPS coordinates. FMT uses the same syntax as the printf format string. The specifiers correspond to degrees, minutes and seconds in that order, but minutes and seconds are optional. For example, the following table gives the output for the same coordinate using various formats:

            FMT                  Output
    -------------------    ------------------
    "%d deg %d' %.2f"\"    54 deg 59' 22.80"  (default for reading)
    "%d %d %.8f"           54 59 22.80000000  (default for copying)
    "%d deg %.4f min"      54 deg 59.3800 min
    "%.6f degrees"         54.989667 degrees


1) To avoid loss of precision, the default coordinate format is different when copying tags using the -tagsFromFile option.

2) If the hemisphere is known, a reference direction (N, S, E or W) is appended to each printed coordinate, but adding a + to the format specifier (ie. %+.6f) prints a signed coordinate instead.

3) This print formatting may be disabled with the -n option to extract coordinates as signed decimal degrees.

-charset [[TYPE=]CHARSET]

If TYPE is ExifTool or not specified, this option sets the ExifTool character encoding for output tag values when reading and input values when writing. The default ExifTool encoding is UTF8. If no CHARSET is given, a list of available character sets is returned. Valid CHARSET values are:

    CHARSET     Alias(es)        Description
    ----------  ---------------  ----------------------------------
    UTF8        cp65001, UTF-8   UTF-8 characters (default)
    Latin       cp1252, Latin1   Windows Latin1 (West European)
    Latin2      cp1250           Windows Latin2 (Central European)
    Cyrillic    cp1251, Russian  Windows Cyrillic
    Greek       cp1253           Windows Greek
    Turkish     cp1254           Windows Turkish
    Hebrew      cp1255           Windows Hebrew
    Arabic      cp1256           Windows Arabic
    Baltic      cp1257           Windows Baltic
    Vietnam     cp1258           Windows Vietnamese
    Thai        cp874            Windows Thai
    MacRoman    cp10000, Roman   Macintosh Roman
    MacLatin2   cp10029          Macintosh Latin2 (Central Europe)
    MacCyrillic cp10007          Macintosh Cyrillic
    MacGreek    cp10006          Macintosh Greek
    MacTurkish  cp10081          Macintosh Turkish
    MacRomanian cp10010          Macintosh Romanian
    MacIceland  cp10079          Macintosh Icelandic
    MacCroatian cp10082          Macintosh Croatian

Other values of TYPE listed below are used to specify the internal encoding of various meta information formats.

    TYPE       Description                                  Default
    ---------  -------------------------------------------  -------
    EXIF       Internal encoding of EXIF "ASCII" strings    (none)
    ID3        Internal encoding of ID3v1 information       Latin
    IPTC       Internal IPTC encoding to assume when        Latin
                IPTC:CodedCharacterSet is not defined
    Photoshop  Internal encoding of Photoshop IRB strings   Latin
    QuickTime  Internal encoding of QuickTime strings       MacRoman

See for more information about coded character sets.


Export information in as a CSV file, or import information if CSVFILE is specified. When importing, the CSV file must be in exactly the same format as the exported file. The first row of the CSVFILE must be the ExifTool tag names (with optional group names) for each column of the file, and values must be separated by commas. A special "SourceFile" column specifies the files associated with each row of information (a SourceFile of "*" may be used to apply the information to all target images). The following examples demonstrate basic use of this option:

    # generate CSV file with common tags from all images in a directory
    exiftool -common -csv dir > out.csv

    # update metadata for all images in a directory from CSV file
    exiftool -csv=a.csv dir

Empty values are ignored when importing. To force a tag to be deleted, use the -f option and set the value to "-" in the CSV file. May be combined with the -g or -G option to add group names to the tags. Note that list-type tags are stored as simple strings in a CSV file, but the -sep option may be used to split them back into separate items when importing.

Special feature: -csv+=CSVFILE may be used to add items to existing lists. This affects only list-type tags. Also applies to the -j option.

Note that this option is fundamentally different than all other output format options because it requires information from all input files to be buffered in memory before the output is written. This may result in excessive memory usage when processing a very large number of files with a single command.

-d FMT (-dateFormat)

Set the format for date/time tag values. The specifics of the FMT syntax are system dependent -- consult the strftime man page on your system for details. The default format is equivalent to "%Y:%m:%d %H:%M:%S". This option has no effect on date-only or time-only tags and ignores timezone information if present. Only one -d option may be used per command. The inverse operation (ie. un-formatting a date/time value) is currently not applied when writing a date/time tag.

-D (-decimal)

Show tag ID number in decimal when extracting information.

-E, -ex (-escapeHTML, -escapeXML)

Escape characters in output values for HTML (-E) or XML (-ex). For HTML, all characters with Unicode code points above U+007F are escaped as well as the following 5 characters: & (&amp;) ' (&#39;) " (&quot;) > (&gt;) and < (&lt;). For XML, only these 5 characters are escaped. The -E option is implied with -h, and -ex is implied with -X. The inverse conversion is applied when writing tags.

-f (-forcePrint)

Force printing of tags even if their values are not found. This option only applies when tag names are specified. With this option, a dash (-) is printed for the value of any missing tag. May also be used to add a 'flags' attribute to the -listx output, or to allow tags to be deleted when writing with the -csv=CSVFILE feature.

-g[NUM][:NUM...] (-groupHeadings)

Organize output by tag group. NUM specifies a group family number, and may be 0 (general location), 1 (specific location), 2 (category), 3 (document number) or 4 (instance number). Multiple families may be specified by separating them with colons. By default the resulting group name is simplified by removing any leading Main: and collapsing adjacent identical group names, but this can be avoided by placing a colon before the first family number (ie. -g:3:1). If NUM is not specified, -g0 is assumed. Use the -listg option to list group names for a specified family.

-G[NUM][:NUM...] (-groupNames)

Same as -g but print group name for each tag.

-h (-htmlFormat)

Use HTML table formatting for output. Implies the -E option. The formatting options -D, -H, -g, -G, -l and -s may be used in combination with -h to influence the HTML format.

-H (-hex)

Show tag ID number in hexadecimal when extracting information.


Generate a dynamic web page containing a hex dump of the EXIF information. This can be a very powerful tool for low-level analysis of EXIF information. The -htmlDump option is also invoked if the -v and -h options are used together. The verbose level controls the maximum length of the blocks dumped. An OFFSET may be given to specify the base for displayed offsets. If not provided, the EXIF/TIFF base offset is used. Use -htmlDump0 for absolute offsets. Currently only EXIF/TIFF and JPEG information is dumped, but the -u option can be used to give a raw hex dump of other file formats.

-j[=JSONFILE] (-json)

Use JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) formatting for console output, or import JSON file if JSONFILE is specified. This option may be combined with -g to organize the output into objects by group, or -G to add group names to each tag. List-type tags with multiple items are output as JSON arrays unless -sep is used. By default XMP structures are flattened into individual tags in the JSON output, but the original structure may be preserved with the -struct option (this also causes all list-type XMP tags to be output as JSON arrays, otherwise single-item lists would be output as simple strings). The -a option is implied if the -g or -G options are used, otherwise it is ignored and duplicate tags are suppressed. The -b, -L and -charset options have no effect on the JSON output.

If JSONFILE is specified, the file is imported and the tag definitions from the file are used to set tag values on a per-file basis. The special "SourceFile" entry in each JSON object associates the information with a specific target file (see the -csv option for details). The imported JSON file must have the same format as the exported JSON files with the exception that the -g option is not compatible with the import file format (use -G instead). Additionally, tag names in the input JSON file may be suffixed with a # to disable print conversion.

-l (-long)

Use long 2-line Canon-style output format. Adds a description and unconverted value to the XML output when -X is used.

-L (-latin)

Use Windows Latin1 encoding (cp1252) for output tag values instead of the default UTF-8. When writing, -L specifies that input text values are Latin1 instead of UTF-8. Equivalent to -charset latin.

-lang [LANG]

Set current language for tag descriptions and converted values. LANG is de, fr, ja, etc. Use -lang with no other arguments to get a list of available languages. The default language is en if -lang is not specified. Note that tag/group names are always English, independent of the -lang setting, and translation of warning/error messages has not yet been implemented.

By default, ExifTool uses UTF-8 encoding for special characters, but the the -L or -charset option may be used to invoke other encodings.

Currently, the language support is not complete, but users are welcome to help improve this by submitting their own translations. To submit a set of translations, first use the -listx option and redirect the output to a file to generate an XML tag database, then add entries for other languages, zip this file, and email it to phil at for inclusion in ExifTool.

-listItem INDEX

For list-type tags, this causes only the item with the specified index to be extracted. INDEX is 0 for the first item in the list. Has no effect when writing or copying tags, in a -if condition, or in combination with structured output options.

-n (--printConv)

Read and write values as numbers instead of words. By default, extracted values are converted to a more human-readable format for printing, but the -n option disables this print conversion for all tags. For example:

    > exiftool -Orientation -S a.jpg
    Orientation: Rotate 90 CW
    > exiftool -Orientation -S -n a.jpg
    Orientation: 6

The print conversion may also be disabled on a per-tag basis by suffixing the tag name with a # character:

    > exiftool -Orientation# -Orientation -S a.jpg
    Orientation: 6
    Orientation: Rotate 90 CW

These techniques may also be used to disable the inverse print conversion when writing. For example, the following commands all have the same effect:

    > exiftool -Orientation='Rotate 90 CW' a.jpg
    > exiftool -Orientation=6 -n a.jpg
    > exiftool -Orientation#=6 a.jpg
-p FMTFILE or STR (-printFormat)

Print output in the format specified by the given file or string (and ignore other format options). Tag names in the format file or string begin with a $ symbol and may contain a leading group name and/or a trailing #. Case is not significant. Braces {} may be used around the tag name to separate it from subsequent text. Use $$ to represent a $ symbol, and $/ for a newline. Multiple -p options may be used, each contributing a line of text to the output. Lines beginning with #[HEAD] and #[TAIL] are output only for the first and last processed files respectively. Lines beginning with #[BODY] and lines not beginning with # are output for each processed file. Other lines beginning with # are ignored. For example, this format file:

    # this is a comment line
    #[HEAD]# Generated by ExifTool $exifToolVersion
    File: $FileName - $DateTimeOriginal
    (f/$Aperture, ${ShutterSpeed}s, ISO $EXIF:ISO)
    #[TAIL]# end

with this command:

    exiftool -p test.fmt a.jpg b.jpg

produces output like this:

    # Generated by ExifTool 8.10
    File: a.jpg - 2003:10:31 15:44:19
    (f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 100)
    File: b.jpg - 2006:05:23 11:57:38
    (f/8.0, 1/13s, ISO 100)
    # end

When -ee (-extractEmbedded) is combined with -p, embedded documents are effectively processed as separate input files.

If a specified tag does not exist, a minor warning is issued and the line with the missing tag is not printed. However, the -f option may be used to set the value of missing tags to '-', or the -m option may be used to ignore minor warnings and leave the missing values empty.


Format output as a PHP Array. The -g, -G, -sep and -struct options combine with -php in the same way as with -json. As well, the -b option may be added to output binary data. Here is a simple example showing how this could be used in a PHP script:

    eval('$array=' . `exiftool -php -q image.jpg`);
-s[NUM] (-short)

Short output format. Prints tag names instead of descriptions. Add NUM or up to 3 -s options for even shorter formats:

    -s1 or -s        - print tag names instead of descriptions
    -s2 or -s -s     - no extra spaces to column-align values
    -s3 or -s -s -s  - print values only

Also effective when combined with -t, -h, -X or -listx options.

-S (-veryShort)

Very short format. The same as -s2 (or two -s options). Tag names are printed instead of descriptions, and no extra spaces are added to column-align values.

-sep STR (-separator)

Specify separator string for items in list-type tags. When reading, the default is ", ". When writing, this option causes values assigned to list-type tags to be split into individual items at each substring matching the specified separator. Space characters in the separator string match zero or more whitespace characters.


Sort output by tag description, or by tag name if the -s option is used. Tags are sorted within each group when combined with the -g or -G option. When sorting by description, the sort order will depend on the -lang option setting. Without the -sort option, tags appear in the order they were specified on the command line, or if not specified, the order they were extracted from the file.

-struct, --struct

Output structured XMP information instead of flattening to individual tags. This option works well when combined with the XML (-X) and JSON (-j) output formats. For other output formats, the structures are serialized into the same format as when writing structured information (see for details). This option is enabled by default when copying tags to allow the preservation of complex structures, but may be disabled with --struct. These options have no effect when assigning new values since both flattened and structured tags may always be used when writing.

-t (-tab)

Output a tab-delimited list of description/values (useful for database import). May be combined with -s to print tag names instead of descriptions, or -S to print tag values only, tab-delimited on a single line. The -t option may also be used to add tag table information to the -X option output.

-T (-table)

Output tag values in table form. Equivalent to -t -S -q -f.

-v[NUM] (-verbose)

Print verbose messages. NUM specifies the level of verbosity in the range 0-5, with higher numbers being more verbose. If NUM is not given, then each -v option increases the level of verbosity by 1. With any level greater than 0, most other options are ignored and normal console output is suppressed unless specific tags are extracted. Using -v0 causes the console output buffer to be flushed after each line (which may be useful to avoid delays when piping exiftool output), and prints the name of each processed file when writing.

-w[!] EXT or FMT (-textOut)

Write console output to files with names ending in EXT, one for each source file. The output file name is obtained by replacing the source file extension (including the '.') with the specified extension (and a '.' is added to the start of EXT if it doesn't already contain one). Alternatively, a FMT string may be used to give more control over the output file name and directory. In the format string, %d, %f and %e represent the directory, filename and extension of the source file, and %c represents a copy number which is automatically incremented if the file already exists. %d includes the trailing '/' if necessary, but %e does not include the leading '.'. For example:

    -w %d%f.txt       # same effect as "-w txt"
    -w dir/%f_%e.out  # write files to "dir" as "FILE_EXT.out"
    -w dir2/%d%f.txt  # write to "dir2", keeping dir structure
    -w a%c.txt        # write to "a.txt" or "a1.txt" or "a2.txt"...

Existing files will not be overwritten unless an exclamation point is added to the option name (ie. -w! or -textOut!). Output directories are created automatically if necessary.


1) In a Windows BAT file the % character is represented by %%, so an argument like %d%f.txt is written as %%d%%f.txt.

2) It is not possible to specify a simple filename as an argument for -w. Instead, this simple case is accomplished using shell redirection:

    exiftool FILE > out.txt

Advanced features: A substring of the original file name, directory or extension may be taken by specifying a field width immediately following the '%' character. If the width is negative, the substring is taken from the end. The substring position (characters to ignore at the start or end of the string) may be given by a second optional value after a decimal point. For example:

    Input File Name     Format Specifier    Output File Name
    ----------------    ----------------    ----------------
    Picture-123.jpg     %7f.txt             Picture.txt
    Picture-123.jpg     %-.4f.out           Picture.out
    Picture-123.jpg     %7f.%-3f            Picture.123
    Picture-123a.jpg    Meta%-3.1f.txt      Meta123.txt

For %c, these modifiers have a different effects. If a field width is given, the copy number is padded with zeros to the specified width. A leading '-' adds a dash before the copy number, and a '+' adds an underline. By default, a copy number of zero is omitted, but this can be changed by adding a decimal point to the modifier. For example:

    -w A%-cZ.txt      # AZ.txt, A-1Z.txt, A-2Z.txt ...
    -w B%5c.txt       # B.txt, B00001.txt, B00002.txt ...
    -w C%.c.txt       # C0.txt, C1.txt, C2.txt ...
    -w D%-.c.txt      # D-0.txt, D-1.txt, D-2.txt ...
    -w E%-.4c.txt     # E-0000.txt, E-0001.txt, E-0002.txt ...
    -w F%-.4nc.txt    # F-0001.txt, F-0002.txt, F-0003.txt ...
    -w G%+c.txt       # G.txt, G_1.txt G_2.txt ...
    -w H%-lc.txt      # H.txt, H-b.txt, H-c.txt ...

A special feature allows the copy number to be incremented for each processed file by using %C (upper case) instead of %c. This allows a sequential number to be added to output file names, even if the names are different. For %C, the number before the decimal place gives the starting index, and the number after the decimal place gives the field width. The following examples show the output filenames when used with the command exiftool rose.jpg star.jpg jet.jpg ...:

    -w %C%f.txt       # 0rose.txt, 1star.txt, 2jet.txt
    -w %f-%10C.txt    # rose-10.txt, star-11.txt, jet-12.txt
    -w %.3C-%f.txt    # 000-rose.txt, 001-star.txt, 002-jet.txt
    -w %57.4C%f.txt   # 0057rose.txt, 0058star.txt, 0059jet.txt

All format codes may be modified by 'l' or 'u' to specify lower or upper case respectively (ie. %le for a lower case file extension). When used to modify %c or %C, the numbers are changed to an alphabetical base (see example H above). Also, %c may be modified by 'n' to count using natural numbers starting from 1, instead of 0 (see example F).

This same FMT syntax is used with the -o and -tagsFromFile options, although %c is only valid for output file names.

-X (-xmlFormat)

Use ExifTool-specific RDF/XML formatting for console output. Implies the -a option, so duplicate tags are extracted. The formatting options -b, -D, -H, -l, -s, -sep, -struct and -t may be used in combination with -X to affect the output, but note that the tag ID (-D, -H and -t), binary data (-b) and structured output (-struct) options are not effective for the short output (-s). Another restriction of -s is that only one tag with a given group and name may appear in the output. Note that the tag ID options (-D, -H and -t) will produce non-standard RDF/XML unless the -l option is also used. By default, list-type tags with multiple values are formatted as an RDF Bag, but they are combined into a single string when -s or -sep is used. Using -L changes the XML encoding from "UTF-8" to "windows-1252". Other -charset settings change the encoding only if there is a corresponding standard XML character set. The -b option causes binary data values to be written, encoded in base64 if necessary. The -t option adds tag table information to the output (table name, decimal tag id, and index for cases where multiple conditional tags exist with the same ID).

Processing control

-a, --a (-duplicates, --duplicates)

Allow (-a) or suppress (--a) duplicate tag names to be extracted. By default, duplicate tags are suppressed unless the -ee or -X options are used or the Duplicates option is enabled in the configuration file.

-e (--composite)

Extract existing tags only -- don't calculate composite tags.

-ee (-extractEmbedded)

Extract information from embedded documents in EPS and PDF files, embedded MPF images in JPEG and MPO files, streaming metadata in AVCHD videos, and the resource fork of Mac OS files. Implies the -a option. Use -g3 or -G3 to identify the originating document for extracted information. Embedded documents containing sub-documents are indicated with dashes in the family 3 group name. (ie. Doc2-3 is the 3rd sub-document of the 2nd embedded document.)

-ext EXT, --ext EXT (-extension)

Process only files with (-ext) or without (--ext) a specified extension. There may be multiple -ext and --ext options. Extensions may begin with a leading '.', and case is not significant. For example:

    exiftool -ext .JPG DIR            # process only JPG files
    exiftool --ext crw --ext dng DIR  # process all but CRW and DNG
    exiftool --ext . DIR              # ignore if no extension

Using this option has two main advantages over specifying *.EXT on the command line: 1) It applies to files in subdirectories when combined with the -r option. 2) The -ext option is case-insensitive, which is useful when processing files on case-sensitive filesystems.

-F[OFFSET] (-fixBase)

Fix the base for maker notes offsets. A common problem with some image editors is that offsets in the maker notes are not adjusted properly when the file is modified. This may cause the wrong values to be extracted for some maker note entries when reading the edited file. This option allows an integer OFFSET to be specified for adjusting the maker notes base offset. If no OFFSET is given, ExifTool takes its best guess at the correct base. Note that exiftool will automatically fix the offsets for images which store original offset information (ie. newer Canon models). Offsets are fixed permanently if -F is used when writing EXIF to an image. ie)

    exiftool -F -exif:resolutionunit=inches image.jpg

Increase speed of extracting information from JPEG images. With this option, ExifTool will not scan to the end of a JPEG image to check for an AFCP or PreviewImage trailer, or past the first comment in GIF images or the audio/video data in WAV/AVI files to search for additional metadata. These speed benefits are small when reading images directly from disk, but can be substantial if piping images through a network connection. For more substantial speed benefits, -fast2 also causes exiftool to avoid extracting any EXIF MakerNote information.

-fileOrder [-]TAG

Set file processing order according to the sorted value of the specified TAG. For example, to process files in order of date:

    exiftool -fileOrder DateTimeOriginal DIR

Additional -fileOrder options may be added as secondary sort keys. Floating point values are sorted numerically, and all other values are sorted alphabetically. The sort order may be reversed by prefixing the tag name with a - (ie. -fileOrder -createdate). A # may be appended to the tag name to disable print conversion for the sorted values. Note that this option has a large performance impact since it involves an additional processing pass of each file.

-i DIR (-ignore)

Ignore specified directory name. Use multiple -i options to ignore more than one directory name. A special DIR value of SYMLINKS (case sensitive) may be specified to ignore symbolic links when the -r option is used.

-if EXPR

Specify a condition to be evaluated before processing each FILE. EXPR is a Perl-like expression containing tag names prefixed by $ symbols. It is evaluated with the tags from each FILE in turn, and the file is processed only if the expression returns true. Unlike Perl variable names, tag names are not case sensitive and may contain a hyphen. As well, tag names may have a leading group name separated by a colon, and/or a trailing # character to disable print conversion. The expression $GROUP:all evaluates to 1 if any tag exists in the specified GROUP, or 0 otherwise. When multiple -if options are used, all conditions must be satisfied to process the file. Returns an exit status of 1 if all files fail the condition. Below are a few examples:

    # extract shutterspeed from all Canon images in a directory
    exiftool -shutterspeed -if '$make eq "Canon"' dir

    # add one hour to all images created on or after Apr. 2, 2006
    exiftool -alldates+=1 -if '$CreateDate ge "2006:04:02"' dir

    # set EXIF ISO value if possible, unless it is set already
    exiftool '-exif:iso<iso' -if 'not $exif:iso' dir

    # find images containing a specific keyword (case insensitive)
    exiftool -if '$keywords =~ /harvey/i' -filename dir

Note that the -n and -b options also apply to tags used in EXPR.

-m (-ignoreMinorErrors)

Ignore minor errors and warnings. This enables writing to files with minor errors and disables some validation checks which could result in minor warnings. Generally, minor errors/warnings indicate a problem which usually won't result in loss of metadata if ignored. However, there are exceptions, so ExifTool leaves it up to you to make the final decision.

-o OUTFILE or FMT (-out)

Set the output file or directory name when writing information. Without this option, when any "real" tags are written the original file is renamed to FILE_original and output is written to FILE. When writing only FileName and/or Directory "pseudo" tags, -o causes the file to be copied instead of moved, but directories specified for either of these tags take precedence over that specified by the -o option.

OUTFILE may be - to write to stdout. The output file name may also be specified using a FMT string in which %d, %f and %e represent the directory, file name and extension of FILE. Also, %c may be used to add a copy number. See the -w option for FMT string examples.

The output file is taken to be a directory name if it already exists as a directory or if the name ends with '/'. Output directories are created if necessary. Existing files will not be overwritten. Combining the -overwrite_original option with -o causes the original source file to be erased after the output file is successfully written.

A special feature of this option allows the creation of certain types of files from scratch. Currently, this can be done with XMP, ICC/ICM, MIE, VRD and EXIF files by specifying the appropriate extension for OUTFILE. The file is then created from a combination of information in FILE (as if the -tagsFromFile option was used), and tag values assigned on the command line. If no FILE is specified, the output file may be created from scratch using only tags assigned on the command line.


Overwrite the original FILE (instead of preserving it by adding _original to the file name) when writing information to an image. Caution: This option should only be used if you already have separate backup copies of your image files. The overwrite is implemented by renaming a temporary file to replace the original. This deletes the original file and replaces it with the edited version in a single operation. When combined with -o, this option causes the original file to be deleted if the output file was successfully written.


Similar to -overwrite_original except that an extra step is added to allow the original file attributes to be preserved. For example, on a Mac this causes the original file creation date, ownership, type, creator, label color, icon and hard links to the file to be preserved. This is implemented by opening the original file in update mode and replacing its data with a copy of a temporary file before deleting the temporary. The extra step results in slower performance, so the -overwrite_original option should be used instead unless necessary.

-P (-preserve)

Preserve the filesystem modification date/time of the original file (FileModifyDate) when writing. Note that some filesystems (ie. Mac and Windows) store a creation date which is not preserved by this option. For these systems, the -overwrite_original_in_place option may be used to preserve the creation date.

-password PASSWD

Specify password to allow processing of password-protected PDF documents. If a password is required but not given, a warning is issued and the document is not processed. Ignored if a password is not required.

-q (-quiet)

Quiet processing. One -q suppresses normal informational messages, and a second -q suppresses warnings as well. Error messages can not be suppressed, although minor errors may be downgraded to warnings with the -m option.

-r (-recurse)

Recursively process files in subdirectories. Only meaningful if FILE is a directory name. By default, exiftool will also follow symbolic links to directories if supported by the system, but this may be disabled with -i SYMLINKS (see the -i option for details).


Scan all files (even unsupported formats) for XMP information unless found already. When combined with the -fast option, only unsupported file types are scanned. Warning: It can be time consuming to scan large files.

-u (-unknown)

Extract values of unknown tags. Add another -u to also extract unknown information from binary data blocks. This option applies to tags with numerical tag ID's, and causes tag names like "Exif_0xc5d9" to be generated for unknown information. It has no effect on information types which have human-readable tag ID's (such as XMP), since unknown tags are extracted automatically from these formats.

-U (-unknown2)

Extract values of unknown tags as well as unknown information from some binary data blocks. This is the same as two -u options.

-z (-zip)

When reading, causes information to be extracted from .gz and .bz2 compressed images. (Only one image per archive. Requires gzip and bzip2 to be installed on the system.) When writing, causes compressed information to be written if supported by the image format. (ie. The PNG format supports compressed text.)

Special features

-geotag TRKFILE

Geotag images from the specified GPS track log file. Using the -geotag option is equivalent to writing a value to the Geotag tag. After the -geotag option has been specified, the value of the Geotime tag is written to define a date/time for the position interpolation. If Geotime is not specified, the value is copied from DateTimeOriginal. For example, the following two commands are equivalent:

    exiftool -geotag track.log image.jpg
    exiftool -geotag "-Geotime<DateTimeOriginal" image.jpg

When the Geotime value is converted to UTC, the local system timezone is assumed unless the date/time value contains a timezone. Writing Geotime causes the following 8 EXIF tags to be created: GPSLatitude, GPSLatitudeRef, GPSLongitude, GPSLongitudeRef, GPSAltitude, GPSAltitudeRef, GPSDateStamp and GPSTimeStamp. Alternately XMP:Geotime may be written to create the following 5 XMP tags: GPSLatitude, GPSLongitude, GPSAltitude, GPSAltitudeRef and GPSDateTime.

The Geosync tag may be used to specify a time correction which is applied to each Geotime value for synchronization with GPS time. For example, the following command compensates for image times which are 1 minute and 20 seconds behind GPS:

    exiftool -geosync=+1:20 -geotag a.log DIR

Geosync must be set before Geotime (if specified) to be effective. Advanced Geosync features allow a linear time drift correction and synchronization from previously geotagged images. See "geotag.html" in the full ExifTool distribution for more information.

Multiple -geotag options may be used to concatinate GPS track log data. Also, a single -geotag option may be used to load multiple track log files by using wildcards in the TRKFILE name, but note that in this case TRKFILE must be quoted on most systems (with the notable exception of Windows) to prevent filename expansion. For example:

    exiftool -geotag "TRACKDIR/*.log" IMAGEDIR

Currently supported track file formats are GPX, NMEA RMC/GGA/GLL, KML, IGC, Garmin XML and TCX, Magellan PMGNTRK, and Honeywell PTNTHPR. See "GEOTAGGING EXAMPLES" for examples. Also see "geotag.html" in the full ExifTool distribution and the Image::ExifTool Options for more details and for information about geotag configuration options.


Add features from specified plug-in MODULE. Currently, the MWG module is the only plug-in module distributed with exiftool. This module adds read/write support for tags as recommended by the Metadata Working Group. To save typing, -use MWG is assumed if the MWG group is specified for any tag on the command line. See the MWG Tags documentation for more details. (Note that this option is not reversible, and remains in effect until the application terminates, even across the -execute option.)



These utility options automate the maintenance of the _original files created by exiftool. They have no effect on files without an _original copy. The -restore_original option restores the specified files from their original copies by renaming the _original files to replace the edited versions. For example, the following command restores the originals of all .jpeg images in directory DIR:

    exiftool -restore_original -ext jpg DIR

The -delete_original option deletes the _original copies of all files specified on the command line. Without a trailing ! this option prompts for confirmation before continuing. For example, the following command deletes a.jpg_original if it exists, after asking "Are you sure?":

    exiftool -delete_original a.jpg

These options may not be used with other options to read or write tag values in the same command, but may be combined with options such -ext, -if, -r, -q and -v.

Other options


Read command-line arguments from the specified file. The file contains one argument per line (NOT one option per line -- some options require additional arguments, and all arguments must be placed on separate lines). Blank lines and lines beginning with # and are ignored. Normal shell processing of arguments is not performed, which among other things means that arguments should not be quoted. ARGFILE may exist relative to either the current directory or the exiftool directory unless an absolute pathname is given.

For example, the following ARGFILE will set the value of Copyright to "Copyright YYYY, Phil Harvey", where "YYYY" is the year of CreateDate:

    -copyright<Copyright $createdate, Phil Harvey
-k (-pause)

Pause with the message -- press any key -- or -- press RETURN -- (depending on your system) before terminating. This option is used to prevent the command window from closing when run as a Windows drag and drop application.

-list, -listw, -listf, -listr, -listwf, -listg[NUM], -listd, -listx

Print a list of all valid tag names (-list), all writable tag names (-listw), all supported file extensions (-listff), all recognized file extensions (-listr), all writable file extensions (-listwf), all tag groups [in a specified family] (-listg[NUM]), all deletable tag groups (-listd), or an XML database of tag details including language translations (-listx). The -list, -listw and -listx options may be followed by an additional argument of the form -GROUP:All to list all tags in a specific group, where GROUP is one or more family 0-2 group names (excepting EXIF IFD groups) separated by colons. With -listg, NUM may be given to specify the group family, otherwise family 0 is assumed. When combined with -listx, the -s option shortens the output by omitting the descriptions and values, and -f adds a 'flags' attribute. Here are some examples:

    -list               # list all tag names
    -list -EXIF:All     # list all EXIF tags
    -list -xmp:time:all # list all XMP tags relating to time
    -listw -XMP-dc:All  # list all writable XMP-dc tags
    -listf              # list all supported file extensions
    -listr              # list all recognized file extensions
    -listwf             # list all writable file extensions
    -listg1             # list all groups in family 1
    -listd              # list all deletable groups
    -listx -EXIF:All    # list database of EXIF tags in XML format
    -listx -XMP:All -s  # list short XML database of XMP tags

Note that none of the -list options require an input FILE.


Print exiftool version number.

Advanced options

Among other things, the advanced options allow complex processing to be performed from a single command without the need for additional scripting. This may be particularly useful for implementations such as Windows drag-and-drop applications. These options may also be used to improve performance in multi-pass processing by reducing the overhead required to load exiftool for each invocation.


Specifies that all arguments following this option are common to all executed commands when -execute is used. This and the -config option are the only options that may not be used inside a -@ ARGFILE. Note that by definition this option and its arguments MUST come after all other options on the command line.

-config CFGFILE

Load specified configuration file instead of the default ".ExifTool_config". If used, this option must come before all other arguments on the command line. The CFGFILE name may contain a directory specification (otherwise the file must exist in the current directory), or may be set to an empty string ("") to disable loading of the config file. See the sample configuration file and "config.html" in the full ExifTool distribution for more information about the ExifTool configuration file.

-echo[2] TEXT

Echo text to stdout (-echo) or stderr (-echo2). Text is output as the command line is parsed, before the processing of any input files.


Execute command for all arguments up to this point on the command line. Allows multiple commands to be executed from a single command line. NUM is an optional number that is echoed in the "{ready}" message when using the -stay_open feature.

-srcfile FMT

Specify a different source file to be processed based on the name of the original FILE. This may be useful in some special situations for processing related preview images or sidecar files. See the -w option for a description of the FMT syntax. Note that file name FMT strings for all options are based on the original FILE specified from the command line, not the name of the source file specified by -srcfile.

-stay_open FLAG

If FLAG is 1 or True, causes exiftool keep reading from the -@ ARGFILE even after reaching the end of file. This feature allows calling applications to pre-load exiftool, thus avoiding the overhead of loading exiftool for each command. The procedure is as follows:

1) Execute exiftool -stay_open True -@ ARGFILE, where ARGFILE is the name of an existing (possibly empty) argument file or - to pipe arguments from the standard input.

2) Write exiftool command-line arguments to ARGFILE, one argument per line (see the -@ option for details).

3) Write -execute\n to ARGFILE, where \n represents a newline sequence. (Note: You may need to flush your write buffers here if using buffered output.) Exiftool will then execute the command with the arguments received up to this point, send a "{ready}" message to stdout when done (unless the -q option is used), and continue trying to read arguments for the next command from ARGFILE. To aid in command/response synchronization, any number appended to the -execute option is echoed in the "{ready}" message. For example, -execute613 results in "{ready613}".

4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each command.

5) Write -stay_open\nFalse\n to ARGFILE when done. This will cause exiftool to process any remaining command-line arguments then exit normally.

The input ARGFILE may be changed at any time before step 5 above by writing the following lines to the currently open ARGFILE:


This causes ARGFILE to be closed, and NEWARGFILE to be kept open. (Without the -stay_open here, exiftool would have returned to reading arguments from ARGFILE after reaching the end of NEWARGFILE.)

Note: When writing arguments to a disk file there is a delay of up to 0.01 seconds after writing -execute\n before exiftool starts processing the command. This delay may be avoided by sending a CONT signal to the exiftool process immediately after writing -execute\n. (There is no associated delay when writing arguments via a pipe with -@ -, so the signal is not necessary when using this technique.)


Note: Beware when cutting and pasting these examples into your terminal! Some characters such as single and double quotes and hyphens may have been changed into similar-looking yet functionally-different characters by the text formatter used to display this documentation. Also note that Windows users must use double quotes instead of single quotes as below around arguments containing special characters.

exiftool -a -u -g1 a.jpg

Print all meta information in an image, including duplicate and unknown tags, sorted by group (for family 1).

exiftool -common dir

Print common meta information for all images in dir.

exiftool -T -createdate -aperture -shutterspeed -iso dir > out.txt

List specified meta information in tab-delimited column form for all images in dir to an output text file named "out.txt".

exiftool -s -ImageSize -ExposureTime b.jpg

Print ImageSize and ExposureTime tag names and values.

exiftool -l -canon c.jpg d.jpg

Print standard Canon information from two image files.

exiftool -r -w .txt -common pictures

Recursively extract common meta information from files in pictures directory, writing text output to .txt files with the same names.

exiftool -b -ThumbnailImage image.jpg > thumbnail.jpg

Save thumbnail image from image.jpg to a file called thumbnail.jpg.

exiftool -b -JpgFromRaw -w _JFR.JPG -ext CRW -r .

Recursively extract JPG image from all Canon CRW files in the current directory, adding _JFR.JPG for the name of the output JPG files.

exiftool -d '%r %a, %B %e, %Y' -DateTimeOriginal -S -s *.jpg

Print formatted date/time for all JPG files in the current directory.

exiftool -IFD1:XResolution -IFD1:YResolution image.jpg

Extract image resolution from EXIF IFD1 information (thumbnail image IFD).

exiftool '-*resolution*' image.jpg

Extract all tags with names containing the word "Resolution" from an image.

exiftool -xmp:author:all -a image.jpg

Extract all author-related XMP information from an image.

exiftool -xmp -b a.jpg > out.xmp

Extract complete XMP data record intact from a.jpg and write it to out.xmp using the special XMP tag (see the Extra tags in Image::ExifTool::TagNames).

exiftool -p '$filename has date $dateTimeOriginal' -q -f dir

Print one line of output containing the file name and DateTimeOriginal for each image in directory dir.

exiftool -ee -p '$gpslatitude, $gpslongitude, $gpstimestamp' a.m2ts

Extract all GPS positions from an AVCHD video.

exiftool -icc_profile -b -w icc image.jpg

Save complete ICC_Profile from an image to an output file with the same name and an extension of .icc.

exiftool -htmldump -w tmp/%f_%e.html t/images

Generate HTML pages from a hex dump of EXIF information in all images from the t/images directory. The output HTML files are written to the tmp directory (which is created if it didn't exist), with names of the form 'FILENAME_EXT.html'.


Note that quotes are necessary around arguments which contain certain special characters such as >, < or any white space. These quoting techniques are shell dependent, but the examples below will work for most Unix shells. With the Windows cmd shell however, double quotes should be used (ie. -Comment="This is a new comment").

exiftool -Comment='This is a new comment' dst.jpg

Write new comment to a JPG image (replaces any existing comment).

exiftool -comment= -o newdir *.jpg

Remove comment from all JPG images in the current directory, writing the modified images to a new directory.

exiftool -keywords=EXIF -keywords=editor dst.jpg

Replace existing keyword list with two new keywords (EXIF and editor).

exiftool -Keywords+=word -o newfile.jpg src.jpg

Copy a source image to a new file, and add a keyword (word) to the current list of keywords.

exiftool -exposurecompensation+=-0.5 a.jpg

Decrement the value of ExposureCompensation by 0.5 EV. Note that += with a negative value is used for decrementing because the -= operator is used for conditional deletion (see next example).

exiftool -credit-=xxx dir

Delete Credit information from all files in a directory where the Credit value was (xxx).

exiftool -xmp:description-de='k&uuml;hl' -E dst.jpg

Write alternate language for XMP:Description, using HTML character escaping to input special characters.

exiftool -all= dst.jpg

Delete all meta information from an image. Note: You should NOT do this to RAW images (except DNG) since proprietary RAW image formats often contain information in the makernotes that is necessary for converting the image.

exiftool -all= -comment='lonely' dst.jpg

Delete all meta information from an image and add a comment back in. (Note that the order is important: -comment='lonely' -all= would also delete the new comment.)

exiftool -all= --jfif:all dst.jpg

Delete all meta information except JFIF group from an image.

exiftool -Photoshop:All= dst.jpg

Delete Photoshop meta information from an image (note that the Photoshop information also includes IPTC).

exiftool -r -XMP-crss:all= DIR

Recursively delete all XMP-crss information from images in a directory.

exiftool '-ThumbnailImage<=thumb.jpg' dst.jpg

Set the thumbnail image from specified file (Note: The quotes are neccessary to prevent shell redirection).

exiftool '-JpgFromRaw<=%d%f_JFR.JPG' -ext CRW -r .

Recursively write JPEG images with filenames ending in _JFR.JPG to the JpgFromRaw tag of like-named files with extension .CRW in the current directory. (This is the inverse of the -JpgFromRaw command of the "READING EXAMPLES" section above.)

exiftool -DateTimeOriginal-='0:0:0 1:30:0' dir

Adjust original date/time of all images in directory dir by subtracting one hour and 30 minutes. (This is equivalent to -DateTimeOriginal-=1.5. See for details.)

exiftool -createdate+=3 -modifydate+=3 a.jpg b.jpg

Add 3 hours to the CreateDate and ModifyDate timestamps of two images.

exiftool -AllDates+=1:30 -if '$make eq "Canon"' dir

Shift the values of DateTimeOriginal, CreateDate and ModifyDate forward by 1 hour and 30 minutes for all Canon images in a directory. (The AllDates tag is provided as a shortcut for these three tags, allowing them to be accessed via a single tag.)

exiftool -xmp:city=Kingston image1.jpg image2.nef

Write a tag to the XMP group of two images. (Without the xmp: this tag would get written to the IPTC group since City exists in both, and IPTC is preferred by default.)

exiftool -LightSource-='Unknown (0)' dst.tiff

Delete LightSource tag only if it is unknown with a value of 0.

exiftool -whitebalance-=auto -WhiteBalance=tung dst.jpg

Set WhiteBalance to Tungsten only if it was previously Auto.

exiftool -comment-= -comment='new comment' a.jpg

Write a new comment only if the image doesn't have one already.

exiftool -o %d%f.xmp dir

Create XMP meta information data files for all images in dir.

exiftool -o test.xmp -owner=Phil -title='XMP File'

Create an XMP data file only from tags defined on the command line.

exiftool '-ICC_Profile<=%d%f.icc' image.jpg

Write ICC_Profile to an image from a .icc file of the same name.

exiftool -hierarchicalkeywords='{keyword=one,children={keyword=B}}'

Write structured XMP information.

exiftool -trailer:all= image.jpg

Delete any trailer found after the end of image (EOI) in a JPEG file. A number of digital cameras store a large PreviewImage after the JPEG EOI, and the file size may be reduced significantly by deleting this trailer. See the JPEG Tags documentation for a list of recognized JPEG trailers.


These examples demonstrate the ability to copy tag values between files.

exiftool -tagsFromFile src.crw dst.jpg

Copy the values of all writable tags from src.crw to dst.jpg, writing the information to same-named tags in the preferred groups.

exiftool -TagsFromFile src.jpg -all:all dst.jpg

Copy the values of all writable tags from src.jpg to dst.jpg, preserving the original tag groups.

exiftool -all= -tagsfromfile src.jpg -exif:all dst.jpg

Erase all meta information from dst.jpg image, then copy EXIF tags from src.jpg.

exiftool -exif:all= -tagsfromfile @ -all:all -unsafe bad.jpg

Rebuild all EXIF meta information from scratch in an image. This technique can be used in JPEG images to repair corrupted EXIF information which otherwise could not be written due to errors. The Unsafe tag is a shortcut for unsafe EXIF tags in JPEG images which are not normally copied. See the tag name documentation for more details about unsafe tags.

exiftool -Tagsfromfile a.jpg out.xmp

Copy meta information from a.jpg to an XMP data file. If the XMP data file out.xmp already exists, it will be updated with the new information. Otherwise the XMP data file will be created. Only XMP, ICC and MIE files may be created like this (other file types may be edited but not created). See "WRITING EXAMPLES" above for another technique to generate XMP files.

exiftool -tagsFromFile a.jpg -XMP:All= -ThumbnailImage= -m b.jpg

Copy all meta information from a.jpg to b.jpg, deleting all XMP information and the thumbnail image from the destination.

exiftool -TagsFromFile src.jpg -title -author=Phil dst.jpg

Copy title from one image to another and set a new author name.

exiftool -TagsFromFile a.jpg -ISO -TagsFromFile b.jpg -comment dst.jpg

Copy ISO from one image and Comment from another image to a destination image.

exiftool -tagsfromfile src.jpg -exif:all --subifd:all dst.jpg

Copy only the EXIF information from one image to another, excluding SubIFD tags.

exiftool '-DateTimeOriginal>FileModifyDate' dir

Use the original date from the meta information to set the same file's filesystem modification date for all images in a directory. (Note that -TagsFromFile @ is assumed if no other -TagsFromFile is specified when redirecting information as in this example.)

exiftool -TagsFromFile src.jpg '-all>xmp:all' dst.jpg

Copy all possible information from src.jpg and write in XMP format to dst.jpg.

exiftool -@ iptc2xmp.args -iptc:all= a.jpg

Translate IPTC information to XMP with appropriate tag name conversions, and delete the original IPTC information from an image. This example uses iptc2xmp.args, which is a file included with the ExifTool distribution that contains the required arguments to convert IPTC information to XMP format. Also included with the distribution are xmp2iptc.args (which performs the inverse conversion) and a few more .args files for other conversions between EXIF, IPTC and XMP.

exiftool -tagsfromfile %d%f.CRW -r -ext JPG dir

Recursively rewrite all JPG images in dir with information copied from the corresponding CRW images in the same directories.

exiftool '-make+>keywords' image.jpg

Add camera make to list of keywords.

exiftool '-comment<ISO=$exif:iso Exposure=${shutterspeed}' dir

Set the Comment tag of all images in dir from the values of the EXIF:ISO and ShutterSpeed tags. The resulting comment will be in the form "ISO=100 Exposure=1/60".

exiftool -TagsFromFile src.jpg -icc_profile dst.jpg

Copy ICC_Profile from one image to another.

exiftool -TagsFromFile src.jpg -all:all dst.mie

Copy all meta information in its original form from a JPEG image to a MIE file. The MIE file will be created if it doesn't exist. This technique can be used to store the metadata of an image so it can be inserted back into the image (with the inverse command) later in a workflow.

exiftool -o dst.mie -all:all src.jpg

This command performs exactly the same task as the command above, except that the -o option will not write to an output file that already exists.

exiftool -XMP:Flash="{mode=on,fired=true,return=not}" a.jpg

Write a structured tag. See for more details.

exiftool -if '$jpgfromraw' -b -jpgfromraw -w %d%f_%ue.jpg -execute -if '$previewimage' -b -previewimage -w %d%f_%ue.jpg -execute -tagsfromfile @ -srcfile %d%f_%ue.jpg -overwrite_original -common_args --ext jpg DIR

[Advanced] Extract JpgFromRaw or PreviewImage from all but JPG files in DIR, saving them with file names like image_EXT.jpg, then add all meta information from the original files to the extracted images. Here, the command line is broken into three sections (separated by -execute options), and each is executed as if it were a separate command. The -common_args option causes the --ext jpg DIR arguments to be applied to all three commands, and the -srcfile option allows the extracted JPG image to be the source file for the third command (whereas the RAW files are the source files for the other two commands).


By writing the FileName and Directory tags, files are renamed and/or moved to new directories. This can be particularly useful and powerful for organizing files by date when combined with the -d option. New directories are created as necessary, but existing files will not be overwritten. The format codes %d, %f and %e may be used in the new file name to represent the directory, name and extension of the original file, and %c may be used to add a copy number if the file already exists (see the -w option for details). Note that if used within a date format string, an extra '%' must be added to pass these codes through the date/time parser. (And further note that in a Windows batch file, all '%' characters must also be escaped, so in this extreme case '%%%%f' is necessary to pass a simple '%f' through the two levels of parsing.) See for additional documentation and examples.

exiftool -filename=new.jpg dir/old.jpg

Rename old.jpg to new.jpg in directory dir.

exiftool -directory=%e dir

Move all files from directory dir into directories named by the original file extensions.

exiftool '-Directory<DateTimeOriginal' -d %Y/%m/%d dir

Move all files in dir into a directory hierarchy based on year, month and day of DateTimeOriginal. ie) This command would move the file dir/image.jpg with a DateTimeOriginal of 2005:10:12 16:05:56 to 2005/10/12/image.jpg.

exiftool -o . '-Directory<DateTimeOriginal' -d %Y/%m/%d dir

Same effect as above except files are copied instead of moved.

exiftool '-filename<%f_${focallength}.%e' dir

Rename all files in dir by adding FocalLength to the file name.

exiftool '-FileName<CreateDate' -d %Y%m%d_%H%M%S%%-c.%%e dir

Rename all images in dir according to the CreateDate date and time, adding a copy number with leading '-' if the file already exists (%-c), and preserving the original file extension (%e). Note the extra '%' necessary to escape the filename codes (%c and %e) in the date format string.

exiftool -r '-FileName<CreateDate' -d %Y-%m-%d/%H%M_%%f.%%e dir

Both the directory and the filename may be changed together via the FileName tag if the new FileName contains a '/'. The example above recursively renames all images in a directory by adding a CreateDate timestamp to the start of the filename, then moves them into new directories named by date.

exiftool '-FileName<${CreateDate}_$filenumber.jpg' -d %Y%m%d *.jpg

Set the filename of all JPG images in the current directory from the CreateDate and FileNumber tags, in the form "20060507_118-1861.jpg".


ExifTool implements geotagging via 3 special tags: Geotag (which for convenience is also implemented as an exiftool option), Geosync and Geotime. The examples below highlight some geotagging features. See for additional documentation.

exiftool -geotag track.log a.jpg

Geotag an image (a.jpg) from position information in a GPS track log (track.log). Since the Geotime tag is not specified, the value of DateTimeOriginal is used for geotagging. Local system time is assumed unless DateTimeOriginal contains a timezone.

exiftool -geotag t.log -geotime='2009:04:02 13:41:12-05:00' a.jpg

Geotag an image with the GPS position for a specific time. (Note that the Geotag tag must be assigned before Geotime for the GPS data to be available when Geotime is set.)

exiftool -geotag log.gpx '-xmp:geotime<createdate' dir

Geotag all images in directory dir with XMP tags instead of EXIF tags, based on the image CreateDate. (In this case, the order of the arguments doesn't matter because tags with values copied from other tags are always set after constant values.)

exiftool -geotag a.log -geosync=-20 dir

Geotag images in directory dir, accounting for image timestamps which were 20 seconds ahead of GPS.

exiftool -geotag a.log -geosync=1.jpg -geosync=2.jpg dir

Geotag images using time synchronization from two previously geotagged images (1.jpg and 2.jpg), synchronizing the image and GPS times using a linear time drift correction.

exiftool -geotag a.log '-geotime<${createdate}+01:00' dir

Geotag images in dir using CreateDate with the specified timezone. If CreateDate already contained a timezone, then the timezone specified on the command line is ignored.

exiftool -geotag= a.jpg

Delete GPS tags which may have been added by the geotag feature. Note that this does not remove all GPS tags -- to do this instead use -gps:all=.

exiftool -xmp:geotag= a.jpg

Delete XMP GPS tags which were added by the geotag feature.

exiftool -xmp:geotag=track.log a.jpg

Geotag an image with XMP tags, using the time from DateTimeOriginal.

exiftool -geotag a.log -geotag b.log -r dir

Combine multiple track logs and geotag an entire directory tree of images.

exiftool -geotag 'tracks/*.log' -r dir

Read all track logs from the tracks directory.

exiftool -p gpx.fmt -d %Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%SZ dir > out.gpx

Generate a GPX track log from all images in directory dir. This example uses the gpx.fmt file included in the full ExifTool distribution package and assumes that the images in dir have all been previously geotagged.


cat a.jpg | exiftool -

Extract information from stdin.

exiftool image.jpg -thumbnailimage -b | exiftool -

Extract information from an embedded thumbnail image.

cat a.jpg | exiftool -iptc:keywords+=fantastic - > b.jpg

Add an IPTC keyword in a pipeline, saving output to a new file.

wget -qO - | exiftool -fast -

Extract information from an image over the internet using the GNU wget utility. The -fast option prevents exiftool from scanning for trailer information, so only the meta information header is transferred.

exiftool a.jpg -thumbnailimage -b | exiftool -comment=wow - | exiftool a.jpg -thumbnailimage'<=-'

Add a comment to an embedded thumbnail image. (Why anyone would want to do this I don't know, but I've included this as an example to illustrate the flexibility of ExifTool.)


The exiftool application exits with a status of 0 on success, or 1 if an error occured or if all files failed the -if condition.


Copyright 2003-2012, Phil Harvey

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


Image::ExifTool(3pm), Image::ExifTool::TagNames(3pm), Image::ExifTool::Shortcuts(3pm),