I have some images which I edited in GIMP, which lost some EXIF metadata in the process (and some EXIF tags added, too), so when I'm done I copy all the metadata from the original image into the GIMPed one, using exiftool -tagsFromFile or a similar mechanism. So far, so good.

Problem is, in some of the images there are vendor specific EXIF tags, for example 0x9999 which is not copied because it's not standard. So this is the issue: I want the GIMPed image to have an exact copy of the metadata of the original image, using exiftool, and handling unknown tags

I know I can create a .ExifTool_config file containing this vendor specific tag and it will be copied, but the problem with this solution is that future vendor specific tags I have not added to the config file won't be copied. I want this to be automatic and cover any future unknown tag I may encounter.

I want the GIMPed image to have an exact copy of the metadata of the original image, using exiftool, and handling unknown tags.

Is this at all possible or my best bet is to lose these tags or keep adding them to the config file whenever I notice there's a new one?

I prefer to use exiftool because it integrates better in my workflow, but if the only solution is to use another tool which works both in Windows, macOS and Linux, I'm open to it. My last resort is to write my own thing, but I prefer not to go down that route for the time being.


You can copy the EXIF group as a block by using


See the last paragraph of exiftool FAQ #9

| improve this answer | |
  • I totally missed that paragraph, thanks A LOT. The only problem I have with this solution is that other metadata which I wanted to remove (e.g., GPS and IFD1) is not removed if I copy EXIF as a block, but I'll work that out later, calling exiftool a second time to remove that metadata is not a problem at all. Thanks! – Raúl Núñez de Arenas Coronado Apr 25 '19 at 19:30
  • Exiftool's documentation is massive. Even though I knew it was possible, I didn't know where it was documented until @harrymc post. – StarGeek Apr 25 '19 at 19:52

Try this syntax:

exiftool -tagsfromfile src.jpg -all:all dst.jpg

Source: ExifTool FAQ, sections 9a and 9b.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    The trouble with that command is that it will only copy tags that exiftool already has definitions for. It will not copy unknown tags as the in the OP's case. But the last paragraph of that FAQ does cover this situation. – StarGeek Apr 25 '19 at 19:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.