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IPTC caption prefix and append at the same time

I work for a few publications that have different requirements for the caption field that includes something at the beginning of the caption and something at the end. I use the IPTC stationary pad to add these requirements, and love the option to prefix and append. However, I can't figure out how to do both at the same time. As an example, I start out with files that have a basic caption like this: 


John Smith plays basketball at the Cleveland Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Mon., Jan. 13, 2020. 


My final caption needs to look like this: 


CLEVELAND, OHIO - JAN 13, 2020. John Smith plays basketball at the Cleveland Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Mon., Jan. 13, 2020. 

CREDIT: M. Scott Brauer for Publication X

 I tried doing something like this using caption replace:


{city:UC}, {state:UC} - {monthname3}. {day}, {year4}. {caption}

CREDIT: M. Scott Brauer for Publication X


but the end result added to the file was: 


CLEVELAND, OHIO - JAN. 13, 2020. {city:UC}{state:UC} - JAN. 13, 2020. {caption}

CREDIT: M. Scott Brauer for Publication X

CREDIT: M. Scott Brauer for Publication X

 The only solution I've found is to do two separate caption prefix and append applications, but that doubles the time it takes to finish captions before uploading. 

Hi Steve,

There isn't really a straightforward way to do this using just the caption field, as there would need to be a way for Photo Mechanic to know what should be prefixed and what should be appended. However, I think we can easily make this happen through the use of variables.

My suggestion would be, instead of typing out the caption for the in the Caption field from the start, write the caption in a field that you don't typically use. For example, in my case I used the "Supplemental Category 1" field.

Then, in the Template in your caption field, you would put this:

{city:UC}, {state:UC} - {monthname3}. {day}, {year4}. - {suppcat1}

CREDIT: M. Scott Brauer for Publication X SLUG

Then, Photo Mechanic will just replace the supplemental category variable with the contents of that field for each image.

You can also expand the number of lines in the field that you choose to use by going to Photo Mechanic's Preferences, going to the Accessibility section and clicking the two Customize buttons.

Would that work for you?

Hi Andrew. That won't save me any work, and will in fact create more work for me. I need to have the basic caption in the caption field because that field is read by all sorts of software where I work with my pictures: photoshop, lightroom, photoshelter, wordpress, various contest submitting systems like picter for World Press Photo, etc. So I start working on every shoot by having a basic caption in the caption field. 

Using your system, I would have to do a batch IPTC application to move that caption to another place and then another batch IPTC application to move it all back again. That's a lot of work and time when I'm on a deadline and working with up to 100 pictures at a time. Or I could start with writing my caption in the supplemental category field, but I'd still need to do a couple of batches to copy both the basic caption to the caption field and the extended caption with dateline and credit as I described in my first post about this. 

When renaming files, you can use {filename} in the new renaming scheme, and everything works ok inserting the old filename into the new. For some reason it doesn't work that way when you put {caption} in the caption field, and I wish it did. 

Seems like there isn't a solution within PhotoMechanic except to do two separate IPTC batches, one appending, and one prefixing. Having those, though, is a big improvement over version 4 where it was replace or append only, which I was using, so I'm thankful for that!

I have done some pseudo-macros with AutoHotKey to automate some of the repetitive tasks I do in PhotoMechanic, so maybe I can figure out a solution with that. 

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