What Is EXIF?

EXIF is the abbreviation of Exchangeable Image File Format which is a standard that is formulated by CIPA – Camera and Imaging Products Association and JEITA – Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association.

Most of the digital cameras that you use today follow this standard. You can take a look at the complete document over here.

EXIF actually gives you details about your image or audio file and these details are actually stored within the file itself which you won’t be able to see unless you access the image properties.

If you are still confused about what this EXIF data is all about, right click on any image and click properties. Go to Details Tab and what you see there under Origin, Image, Camera, Advanced Photo sections are what EXIF data is all about.

Console EXIF Viewer

ExifTool by Phil Harvey is a platform independent Perl Library and command line executable available to view, write and edit EXIF data. The EXIF data viewer is not only simple but also is very powerful and is the best one that you could find online.

  • Go to http://owl.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/
  • Download the exiftool-9.77.zip file.
  • Extract the zip file contents.
  • You should find the exiftool(-k) executable inside the extracted folder.
  • Drag and drop any picture directly on to the exiftool(-k) executable for which you would like to view the EXIF data as shown below.

Drag and Drop file on to ExifTool

  • A command window will be opened up for you listing down all the EXIF data of the picture.

GUI EXIF Viewer

There is also a GUI based application available with relies on Phil Harvey’s ExifTool which is pretty easy to handle for people who are not interested in the command line commands.

  • You should have already downloaded the Phil Harvey’s ExifTool which is a pre-requisite for using the GUI.
  • Download the exiftoolgui515.zip file from this forum thread. http://u88.n24.queensu.ca/exiftool/forum/index.php/topic,2750.0.html
  • Extract the zip file contents.
  • Now copy the exiftool(-k) executable and place it under the exiftoolgui515\exiftoolgui\ and rename it as just exiftool as shown below

Place exif tool inside the GUI folder

Now double click and run the ExifToolGUI application.

EXIF GUI Tool

As you can see above the GUI has the provision to browse the files and view the EXIF data.

You can also export the EXIF data to a text file using the Export/Import Menu. Refer below screenshot.

Export EXIF data to text file

There are lot of other useful features available which i will leave it to you to explore.

How to Remove EXIF Data

You can use either the command line tool or the GUI tool to remove EXIF data from your pictures,

  • Use the below command to remove EXIF data via console,

exiftool -all= <imagename>

  • If you have the GUI EXIF Viewer then, Go to Modify Menu and click Remove Metadata. Check the –remove ALL metadata check box and click Execute.

Remove EXIF Metadata using GUI

That’s it your EXIF data will be removed as simple as that. Ensure that you don’t use this on RAW image files since they contain information that is needed to convert the image. Please refer this document for more commands on how to use the EXIF tool.

Found this tool useful, share and spread the knowledge. Know a better tool that does the job? Please share it.