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Manage images

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Captions, keywords and descriptions

You add captions, keywords and descriptions to your images so they can be indexed by our search engine and found by customers. By keywording accurately you can influence your AlamyRank as the accuracy and relevancy of the words you use to describe an image determines which search terms find it and which don’t. Your AlamyRank can suffer if you use irrelevant keywords.

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Screenshot of “My Alamy”
Link to “Manage Images” in “My Alamy”
Annotating your images

  1. Go to My Alamy.
  2. Under “Organise images”, click “Manage Images”.
  3. Complete the fields next to each image.
  4. Alternatively, you may wish to use IPTC headers in Photoshop.


“Manage Images” interface
Click to see large screen shot (102Kb)

Annotation fields and their significance to the search engine
Name Explanation Characters Significance
Caption A short factual description of the image used by customers to summarise its content. 128 Low
Essential keywords The most important words and phrases for the image. Although you have 50 characters, try to limit yourself to just 35 - about 6 to 8 words only. 50 Very high
Main keywords The next most appropriate words and phrases. 300 High
Comprehensive keywords Any other words and phrases. Put all the remaining terms that apply, but which are not as significant as main or essential keywords. 856 Medium
Description Explanatory or background text relevant to the image. More appropriate for historical, reportage and editorial images than for conceptual or commercial material. 2000 Zero
Location Put the location where the image was taken using the convention of street name, town, city, state, province, country. This information can make or lose a sale. 100 Zero
Date taken If you know the date taken please use this field, put the date the image was created not the date it was scanned or submitted. If you feel the date is of particular significance, for example “England winning the Football World Cup in 1966” then also put it in the Caption and Essential keyword fields depending on the date’s relevancy.

Keywording do’s

Keywording don’ts

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IPTC headers

We import the IPTC metadata when we upload your images, but only extract the caption, description, keyword and date fields depending on which version of Photoshop you are using.

IPTC headers in Photoshop 6 & 7

IPTC headers in Photoshop CS and above

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Further help

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What next?