Why Photos duplicates a description across a set of images

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Have you had the description or title of a photo or video wind up duplicated across all the media in an album? It’s an easy thing to do by accident, judging by reader email.

This was harder to do with iPhoto, where you’d need to use the Photos > Batch Change item after selecting images and videos. In Photos, it can be as simple as pressing return.

With a single photo or movie selected, the Info palette (Window > Info) displays the specific metadata, like exposure time and shutter speed. Select multiple items, and it shows a summary. In the title, description, and keyword fields, you’re prompted to add something if everything selected has none of each or all of those items. If anything is present, you’ll see Various Titles, Various Descriptions, and a list of keywords.

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Multiple selected items can have the same description and title applied in Photos.

Still with multiple items selected, you can enter data into the title or description fields, press return or tab out, and that text is applied to all selected media. Fortunately, you can undo this action—but only if you do so immediately. Photos nests these operations, so you can back out multiple levels of undo. Otherwise, your metadata changes and you’d have to go back and select images individually and re-label them, a quite tedious task.

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