Adding captions to photos

I do Genealogy and Family History work and am looking at DT to use as a storage for all the research results for my genealogy database application.

I have downloaded the DT Pro demo and have been going through the tutorial to see how I might use it. I have successfully imported a number of images into my test database. Now to my question:

How do I enter information such as:

The name of each individual in the order in which they appear
The place the photo was taken
The date the photo was taken
Any other information such as the condition of the photo or just comments about relationship, etc.

Hope this is clear.


If you are importing the images as image documents, you can’t write inside the document itself.

But you can add notes to the Comment field in the document’s Info panel. Such text notes are searchable. Taking that approach, I might create a template file in TextEdit that I would paste into an image document’s Comment field, such as:

  • Name:
  • Location:
  • Photo date:
  • Notes:

Another approach might be to create a new rich text document for each image. The image file can then be dragged & dropped from the Finder into the text window (or copied and pasted into the text window). In this mode, you can directly add text into the document either as free-form text or using a List format. This approach would be more “transportable” as you could print the results in PDF format, copy the documents into a word processor for formatting and printing, or even use File > Export > As Website to export the collection as a Web site.


Is there a way to create templates in DT?

I tried the second approach and like that way also. Just wondering, can I import images directly from my camera?

Also, since the camera exports the metadata with the photo, is there a way to put that data in an RTF file as text?

No, except the simple approach I mentioned – just set up a format of headers to be filled in and paste them into each new document.

If your camera can mount the directory of photos in the Finder, DT Pro can import them via File > Import > Files & Folders. But the appriach you probably prefer would be to create a new rich text document and drag each photo file into it. I would go ahead and copy from your camera to the Finder, and then work from that set of photos on your hard drive. Fewer problems, such as running out of battery power in your camera while you are working with the files.

No, not at this time. You would have to use another application to read the photo EXIF data, which could then be copied/pasted to your DT Pro document or Info Comment field.

Just create a new rich text document, modify the ruler & style as desired and add some default contents if necessary. Then just duplicate this template in the future.

Hi Wayne,

After seeing your post on database crashes and memory, I searched for your other posts on genealogy. I thought I’d share my solution to photo captions and see if I’m off-base.

I have been collecting info, photos and docs for 16 years now. I use DT for collecting data but not for output – I worry about portability and longevity of file types and structures. I have gone through several reogranizations. I fear “the book” will never get written, so my focus now is on sharing the wealth with my siblings, nieces and nephews, … I’ve decided on scanning and distributing the docs and photos on CD-Rom and let the recipients do what they will with them.

The photos are organized in folders that correspond to ancestor pairs. I use a modified Swedish notaion (f=parents, ff=paternal grandparents, mf=maternal grandparents) and sequence numbers in file names; forexample, ff1.jpg is a scanned photo of my father’s parents. Each photo is stored in two places, one for the original, unmanipulated scans and the other for smaller, suitable-for-web versions.

To the original scans I’m adding a textual description of the scanned item (named individuals, place and date photo was taken, source code for where the original can be found) in Photoshop’s file info field – Photoshop stores this info so a variety of photo “readers” can display it: exif, iptc, jfif, tiff properties.

To the smaller, web-versions I’m adding the same description as a caption below the photo or doc for display purposes. Early on I got frustrated with Photoshop’s caption facillity and switched to for that task only. It’s available at, a great little application.

I meant to add that the photos on CD-Rom have an html interface with brief bios and genealogical data “printed” from the genealogy software (SeeGEDCOM).