15 thoughts on “Converting and Exporting Windows Photo Gallery People Tags

  1. Thanks very much for your post on migrating people tags from WLPG to LR. It works great!

    There are 2 other issues I am grappling with: :
    1. many of my old photos have no GPS data, but were “geotagged” in WLPG. The corresponding data appears correctly in LR in the Metadata “IPTC extension”. But. Is there a way using exiftool to make it also appear in the IPTC itself (Country – State/Province – City) to allow location search ?
    2. WLPG captions transfers twice: to LR: in “Title” and in “Caption” (not always though). Is there a way to avoid that ?

    Many WLPG users would be grateful if you have any help to give us on that.


    1. Glad to help. For the other issues:

      I wrote a post on the metadata fields WPG uses.

      1. You would need to copy the IPTC extension tags to the IPTC Core tags. Something like:

      exiftool *.jpg -"Location<LocationCreatedSubLocation" -"City<LocationCreatedCity" -"Province-State<LocationCreatedProvinceState" -"Country<LocationCreatedCountryName"

      I would be careful when executing this command, given that it will overwrite any values in the IPTC Core Location fields. Make sure you execute this only on the files you wish to perform the copy operation. I ran into a similar issue and decided to export all the metadata into an Excel file in order to pick which files I wanted to reconcile the metadata fields.

      2. Not that I am aware of. By design, WPG's "Caption" upon edit will overwrite various other fields such as Title, Description.

  2. I’m trying to migrate people tags from Windows Live Photo Gallery to Lightroom and/or Photoshop Elements. In what folder do I place the convert_regions.config file? Thanks

  3. Thank you!!! There was some other info that I found in adobe forums that had different fields for the second step and it wasn’t working.
    exiftool “-xmp:subject+<regionname" FolderName -overwrite_origional_in_place -m -r

    But even your second step seemed not to work as I was trying Essentials 2018 but that didn't seem to reflect any of the tags in the file other than the geo. Downloading Lightroom Classic however showed all the tags and the face boxes and names! Whoohooo!! Only problem now is that I can't justify Lightroom's subscription for my non-professional use and Essentials is apparently gimped. Reaallly miss WLPG and (secondarily) Picassa. Can't find anything else nearly as usable for organizing, tagging and light editing.

    1. Glad I was able to help!

      You mentioned “Essentials 2018”, but did you mean “Adobe Elements Organizer 2018”? If so, maybe something was changed in that version in the way the application reads MWG Region tags.

      The new Windows Photos app just recently added Face Recognition, but this information is unfortunately, not written back to the file like WPG. I still use WPG, but as of Jan 2017, it is no longer supported.

      Here are some other applications for managing photos:
      – IDImager Photo Supreme (Reads WPG People Tags).
      – Digikam (Free, also reads WPG People Tags)
      – ACDSee
      – GeoSetter (Free, I use this for geotagging alongside WPG, can also read WPG People Tags, as well as other metadata).

      Here is another post with other alternatives: https://www.geckoandfly.com/2306/alternative-photo-organizer-acdsee-10-photo-manager/

      1. Yes, I meant Elements, I just got Windows Live Essentials in my head and can’t edit after I submitted. 🙂
        I don’t have WLPG installed as I’ve rebuilt and couldn’t get it to install correctly so I was using it as a way to force me to find something as a go-forward solution. I’m still trying to force myself to stop using Digital Image Pro and use the Affinity Photo program I bought a while ago (primarily for things I scan, less so photos taken). Tough to get over the learning curve of the new thing, especially when it requires more steps to do the same thing.
        My primary data related needs are around what I shoot which is basic events with family, friends, vacations, etc so my data concerns are mainly file naming and event or area tagging (so I remember what the heck it about) and group common things together like 4th of July gatherings), geotagging, and of course people as that is the 1st or second most useful thing I use as needing finding shots of a person is the most common thing we do other than perhaps finding the photos of an event/trip/etc.
        Thanks for the other options to look at. I’ve used GeoSetter for a long time alongside WLPG and love it for what it does. I’m checking out Cyberlink’s PhotoDirector as it apparently has decent face tagging and can read existing tags (though I’m not sure which ones yet.) I really want to have a WLPG/Picassa like program where i can do all (or as close to all) data related things as well as quick/basic editing as I hate having to juggle between apps. So something like ACDSee looks great but it is out as it can’t do people.

      2. Wow, Digital Image Pro, was a good product at the time. I have tried to find a worthy replacement to Windows Photo Gallery, but I still fall back to using WPG over time, for its speed and simplicity. WPG is not without its faults but a good photo management app in the end. which covers most of my photo management needs. Microsoft should open source Windows Photo Gallery and let a community of developers keep it going.

        Some time ago I tried Photo Supreme – http://www.idimager.com/WP/?page_id=20 has decent features as well as support for Face tagging.

  4. I just got a copy of Adobe Elements Organizer 2018 and it does not honor MWG face tags. Plus when you add face tags the MWG metadata is not updated. I suspect but have not proved it also ignores MWG location tags. Face tags in Elements Organizer seem to be stored in the catalog database rather than the image metadata. Disappointing. But the search continues…

    1. Hello Nathan,
      I have not tried it out with the latest version of Adobe Elements. Did you add the MWG using another application other that Adobe Elements Organizer? If so, have you tried adding people’s names as keywords as described in my post? Would like to check if Elements 2018 picked up Lightroom’s quirk of needing to have a person’s name as a keyword as well as the MWG Face tag name in order to display it. Keep me posted on your findings.

      1. I may have jumped the gun. The next day I opened the catalog back up and the face tags were there. Maybe reloading the catalog “refreshed” things. I did add the people as tags as well. I should try it the other way and see what happens.

        I downloaded a trial of Lightroom Classic and it displayed the WLPG face tags no problem. Too expensive though. I have tried an even dozen PC and cloud solutions and nothing seems to be 100% perfect. I think I will settle on Elements because I own it and it does most of what I want. Thanks for the great blog!.

      2. Good to hear! It could be that Elements was still in the process of refreshing/ re-indexing its catalog after the restore. It can take some time depending on the number of photos on your PC.

  5. I am having an issue similar to what you are describing that hopefully you can help me with. Like you, I really liked the facial tagging feature of WPG. So, when support ended, I searched for another program that would perform the same features. I eventually ended up with Adobe Elements 15 Organizer. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t know of any way to import my existing facial tags, so I painstakingly went through and added them again using the face tagging feature in Organizer.

    Fast forward a couple of years… I recently purchased a new laptop. But, much to my dismay, when I installed my Elements package on my new laptop and re-discovered all of my pictures, none of the face tags were recognized by Organizer. I thought that perhaps the face tag data was never written to the files, so I sought out other programs that WOULD write this data to the files in the future. I figured that if I was going to have to tag them again, this would be the last time.

    So, I discovered digiKam, and when I imported my photos, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the face tags I had already done were still there. So, why didn’t they import into Adobe Organizer? I would just completely ditch Organizer and go with digiKam, but the stacking of similar faces in Organizer is REALLY nice, and much easier than what is available in digiKam.

    Btw, I did backup my Organizer database, but it looks like it backs up all the pictures along with the database. So, I’m afraid that it’s going to overwrite all my photos if I do a restore, and I’ve added and changed some photos since I did the backup. So, I’m afraid of what kind of mess I’ll end up with if I do a restore. It may be worth it in the end though…

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

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