Metadata vocabularies

Expression Studio 2.0

In Microsoft Expression Media, a vocabulary is a set of annotations. When you annotate a media item in an IPTC annotation field in the Info or Organize panel, a menu of available annotation terms is displayed. This list of terms is the vocabulary. Each editable category of annotations can have its own list. For example, you can have one list for keywords, and a separate list for people, and so on.

To create the list of possible annotations, you can either manually add terms using an Info panel or Organize panel option, or use the Vocabulary Editor. By default, Media Expression includes an empty default vocabulary, but you can create as many vocabularies as you need. However, for most users, only one vocabulary will be necessary.

Vocabulary terms are saved globally and can be accessed by every catalog you create.

You can use the Vocabulary Editor as a flexible and robust way to enter terms. In addition to entering terms there, you can also set up annotation terms that are associated with each other; create multiple sets of annotations (vocabularies) for different purposes; and lock the vocabulary so that you can select only specific annotation terms.

To enter terms in the Vocabulary Editor

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Preferences, and then click Vocabulary Editor.

  2. In the Field menu, select the field that you want to modify.

  3. Click Add.

  4. In the Terms section, type any annotations that you want to associate with the field you chose. You can type a single term or several terms separated by commas. You can also use quotation marks to separate phrases.

  5. If you want to enter a description of your annotation term, type it in the Terms description box. When you select a term in the Info or Organize panel, this description appears to the right of the annotation.

  6. Click OK.

  7. To add more fields, repeat steps 2-6.

  8. When you are finished adding terms, click OK.

    Adding terms

    Terms in the Info panel


  9. If you want to lock the vocabulary so that no one can annotate items with any other terms besides the terms that you have entered, select Constrain editing to defined terms. When you select this option, you can only add terms in the Vocabulary Editor. A locked vocabulary is also called a controlled vocabulary. A controlled vocabulary is generally much easier to search because the terms used to annotate are exclusive.

For a field that can contain more than one annotation term per field (Keywords, Categories, People, Scenes, and Subject Codes) you can save time by associating multiple annotation terms. This way, when you type one of the terms, you have the option of applying all the associated annotation terms at the same time.

Enter all the annotations, separated by a comma, in the terms section of the Vocabulary Editor. An example of this would be a stock photographer who wants to use many keywords in an image so that it can be found easily. For a photographer who regularly shoots landscapes, it might be worth setting up the associations of penguin, mountain, sea, and midday. When sea is typed in as a keyword, you can optionally apply all four of these keywords at the same time.

Expression Media can have multiple vocabularies. This is useful if you have different uses for Expression Media. You might regularly take photos for clients in the fashion industry, stock travel agencies, and also take personal photos.

You can create custom vocabularies. For example, you could create a vocabulary named "Personal," and this could contain the names of your family members and friends in your photos. You could select this vocabulary when annotating personal photos, and then switch to another vocabulary for photos for your clients. This way, when you switch between the two vocabularies, you will see annotation terms appropriate to the current catalog.

To create a new vocabulary

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Preferences, and then click Vocabulary Editor.

  2. In the Vocabulary Editor, click the Add Cc294745.b5c1e7fb-89aa-4e88-896d-0a504b156051(en-us,Expression.10).jpg button.

  3. In the New Vocabulary Set Name box, type the name of the new vocabulary.

Each vocabulary is created in a separate folder. The name of the folder is the name of the vocabulary. You can show the location of these folders by clicking the icon in the upper-right corner of the Vocabulary Editor Cc294745.486346a8-2fbe-49a7-aeed-70bc08cf9a22(en-us,Expression.10).png. For the default vocabulary, click the desktop icon button and make a copy of the Default folder on the desktop.

The list of terms for each field is stored as a separate text file inside the Expression Media Vocabulary folder. You can use any text editor to modify these files. You must follow each item in the list by pressing the ENTER key.

  • Copy from Head of Selection   Copies all annotations from the first selected item and applies them to all other selected items.

  • Copy from Items with Same Name   Copies metadata from selected items to items that have the same name but a different extension, or to items that have same full name in other folders.

  • Make Description from Text Files   Searches for .txt files in the same folder as the original, and then copies the contents into the caption field.

  • Make Description from Text Lines   Opens a text file and uses each line of the file as the caption for the selected items.

  • Make Keywords from Folders   Enables you to add keywords to media files from folder names. The dialog box provides the option of defining the level of folders in the path you want to use for keywords.

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