Lightroom: Headline v. Description v. Title

category: Lightroom • 2 min read

Lightroom is a digital asset management system (some people will say: “not really!”) and it has a Headline in the MetadataContent section, a Description in the MetadataContent section and a Title in the Metadata → Status` section. Isn’t it redundant? What’s the difference? My original assumption is that headline and title should be the same, something short like a title…

It’s not. The problem is that they are “Brits.” The IPTC is based in the UK and they do it the “British” way.

The IPTC is a consortium of the world’s major news agencies, news publishers and news industry vendors

It’s for news organizations. It’s not for you, it’s not for me, it’s not for the publishing industry, it’s for the news industry and photography is a very small part of it. The big thing is video, not photos.


The description is what everybody expects, a one or two paragraphs, that describes the photo as fully as possible including some information that’s not in the photo like people’s names, locations, organizations… Information that is now included the new IPTC extension.


A short line with simple words. Something very similar to a newspaper or a magazine headline. It’s not a sentence, it doesn’t have to be grammatically correct, it’s just a few words to the grab the attention of the viewer/reader.


That’s where the problems lie and why I complain about the “Brits”. I, and I’m sure the vast majority of the people, expect the title to be like the title of a book. Wrong! If you deal with IPTC organizations, they want the filename in the title. Everybody else will either expect an identical entry to the headline or something very similar. Many people leave this as blank.