Basic Editing

How to save EXIF data in photos

Written by Gail Bjork

To preserve EXIF data when editing, it’s important to save an image correctly.

Save As file menuWhen photo editing, EXIF data can be lost if an image file is not saved correctly. EXIF refers to settings and scene information recorded by a digital camera and embedded within each file.

The method to preserve EXIF data varies among editing programs, so check the help files.

Photoshop was used to illustrate one of the ways to preserve data in a JPEG, the file format found in almost every digital cameraSave As menu.

1-To preserve EXIF after editing an image, use the Save AS command (not Save for Web…) from the file menu. The save as dialog window opens.

2-Select JPEG (or other file format that saves EXIF data) from the format drop down menu and give the file a new name. Next click the Save button.

3- After saving the file, the JPEG Options window pops opens. It gives the the option to select quality settings between one and 12.

A lower number will create a small file size, but the image will appear low quality and have the most compression. High numbers give you the best visual image quality and least least compression.

Select the Quality number in the Image Options area or use the slider. You can see the effects of the option you choose by checking Preview. If you don’t like the results when doing a Preview, adjust the quality options.

JPEG OptionsSelect a number that gives you a good balance between image quality and file size. 1o usually gives a good balance between image quality and file size.

The EXIF data will remain embedded in the new file.

The method for saving EXIF data in other image editing programs may vary, so check the help files.

Tip: always edit copies of originals. If you make a mistake, start over using another copy of the original.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.

8 Comments

  • Gary, unless there is something wrong with your camera, the EXIF data should be embedded in your digital photos. Check your software help files about how to save EXIF data after editing images.

  • jrc, to delete all data from an image, including GPS, don’t use the “Save As” menu file option; use “Save for the web.” At least this is how you do it using Adobe products such as Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements. If you use a different photo editing program, check the help files. There are also some stand-alone utilities that will strip the data. Do a search to find one compatible with your operating system.

  • The question is not ‘how to do it’, but rather, ‘how to delete information’ – such as lat/long, date/time, etc for most of us who have NO INTEREST WHATEVER in unknowingly broadcasting this information, which is none of anyone else’s business. Sheesh.

  • thanks for that. i always save my pics with ‘save for web and devices’ on photoshop cs2 and i always wondered why my camera properties doesnt show up on flickr. thanks for clearing that up.

  • Photoshop CS3 does not preserve all the EXIF data, for example it wipes off Lens information, author information etc. Free tools like Windows Live Photo Gallery saves all the Exif data still providing very (i mean really basic) basic editing capabilities.

  • Not sure why all the EXIF data doesn’t show on Flickr. If you haven’t done so already, install the image browsing software from the Software Suite CD-ROM that came with your camera. It will no doubt give you the full EXIF data. Check the original, rather than an edited, image.