Mapping custom fields



I have some custom fields [Client Name], [Job Name] and [Job Number], and they work well.

However, when I batch convert an image to other formats, the data held within these custom fields is not processed to the resultant image.

I guess I need to map these custom fields to metadata fields but I am unsure how to do it…

At present I am having to revisit the newly created images and re-input the data - a bit of a pain.

Can anyone help me please?

Many thanks in advance


Data stored in a Portfolio catalog is just that, data in Portfolio. It doesn’t exist in an original file unless you embed it into the original file. Thus when you batch process, you won’t see the data if those new files are then catalogued. You need to look into a workflow that involves embedded metadata if you want data that travels from original to derivative file.


Thanks Chris - I do embed the data in the original file, via Portfolio. But when I batch convert the original file to other formats (like to a JPG) the embedded meta does not convey to the new file. The [Client Name], [Job Name] and [Job Number] fields are vital for our workflow so I need that embedded data to follow thru the chain… any thoughts?


As those fields are not ‘standard’ fields, they’re likely not configured in Portfolio to embed anywhere. In my experience there are 3 options:

  1. Embed to an existing standard field that you’re not currently using. It’s not ideal though as the values won’t relate to the ‘named field’ of the standard. But for internal purposes it can work if everyone is aware of what is mapped to where, and values can be seen in standard ‘File Info Panels’ if you’re using a tag that is in one of the default panels.

  2. Embed into your own XMP namespace. Usually the most preferred option, to use something like ‘mynamespace:myfield’ for the XMP tag. The namespace usually relates to the organisation. The problem is that Portfolio can’t embed into custom namespaces, only extract from them, so metadata embedding typically has to be done outside of Portfolio, through custom panels built for the likes of Photoshop/Bridge/Lightroom. So whilst preferred, it can be quite technical to setup.

  3. Embed into the XMP namespace. This is kind of the ‘halfway house’. Rather than using unrelated standard tags, Portfolio can embed into any XMP you create. So if you create a tag such as ‘xap:myfield’ it should be able to embed to it. I usually recommend adding an organisational identifier into the name (e.g. xap:CompanyJobNumber) so that the field name should be unique to you and not used by anyone else. Portfolio can then be configured to embed your custom field ‘Job Number’ into that XMP tag. This option is relatively easy to configure and you can verify that the data is embedded in Photoshop/Bridge when you look at the ‘Advanced’ or ‘Raw Data’ view under File Info. You can then also extract that tag when you catalog your derivative files.

So based on ease of setup and what you’re looking to do, I’d say the third option will probably work for you. If this is all unfamiliar to you though, you may need to read up on XMP first before doing anything, or look at our Integration Consulting Services (ICS) team for assistance, who often develop workflows with customers to meet their needs, though that has a cost associated to it.


Thank you Chris - I will consider option 1


Hi Chris - thank you so much for that. I went for your 3rd option and it works a treat, saving me so much future (repetition of) work.


How do you modify a XMP namespace? I have created custom panels in which I assume is a custom namespace because Portfolio easily extracts from those but doesn’t seem to be embedding into it.


You can create your own namespace, and Portfolio can extract such data, but Portfolio cannot currently embed into custom created namespaces. We do have customers using their own namespace but therefore using the likes of Adobe Bridge with their own custom ‘File Info’ panel, to embed the data that Portfolio can then extract.

Thus the workaround I mentioned was to use the ‘XMP’ namespace by using tags such as ‘xap:myfieldname’, as Portfolio can embed into this namespace, for any custom tag you create. Similarly, you can create your own XMP ‘File Info’ panel if you wish to and see data embedded by Portfolio in these panels. Without such a custom panel, you’d only be able to see the data in the ‘Advanced’ or ‘Raw’ data views, to see the custom tags.

If it should be working but you’re having issues with embedding data, then you should contact technical support directly for assistance.


Just to verify, when you say custom tags, do you mean the custom field name in Portfolio? Or do you simply map an existing custom field to a newly created custom XMP name when embedding the contents of that field?



I use ‘tags’ and ‘fields’ to differentiate between what’s in Portfolio (fields) and what’s metadata that’s embedded into files (tags) usually in XMP. There are standard tags that Portfolio is configured to embed into by default (e.g. dc:subject, xmp:description etc.), but by ‘custom tags’ I’m talking about creating your own tags that are not part of any published standard (e.g. xap:myowntag).

So I’m saying the second thing you mention, to embed data in your Portfolio custom fields to your own custom XMP tags that you create.


OK got it… I was confused in where you are able to define the tag in the whole export metadata process. Ultimately it was very easy to first set this up.

  1. Select records to export
  2. Select Item/Embed Properties
  3. Select View Metadata Settings
  4. Under embedding tab select Edit Metadata List
  5. In Metadata list view, select New
  6. Enter your name for the field “New Name”
  7. Enter your tag code - “xap:NewName-1”
  8. Hit OK & OK returning to Metadata Properties Settings and map your custom field to the new Field Data
  9. Press OK & then Proceed
  10. System will provide progress on the # of records complete and any errors
  11. open original in bridge or psd and look at file info, selecting raw to see data

Now what’s the easiest way to make a new XMP Panel tab, programmed with your new XMP fields, so they show up in Adobe’s XMP Viewer?



That I’m afraid is where I can’t help anymore! The panels used to be easily configured via editing an xml file in a text editor, but it moved to flash based panels in CS4. Since then I’ve not done any work with custom XMP panels. So I can only really point you in the direction of the Adobe XMP Developer Center.