Definitions of some terms used in Photo Mechanic

TermDefinition
Code ReplacementsA feature in Photo Mechanic that enables a user to type text shortcuts to expand into longer text strings. For example, rather than typing the description of the football player ”Green Bay Packers Defensive End #11 Viserys Targaryen” into a dozen photos and risking a typo, the user can set up a Code Replacement so that typing a short code like“=gb94=” in a caption would automatically insert the whole string.
Contact SheetThe main screen for looking at photos in Photo Mechanic. It shows thumbnails of all the images that are in a folder (or group of folders) on a computer or other storage source.
EXIFA specific type of metadata written by the camera into each image file. It includes information like the make and model of the camera and lens, the date and time the image was taken, and the many of the specific camera settings that were used for that image. Note: Photo Mechanic is NOT used to edit or manipulate EXIF data. It is considered a resource and not something you would want to change. (EXIF stands for “EXchangeable Image File”)
HistogramA graph of the brightness information for each color channel in a photograph. It is used to quickly tell if a photo is evenly exposed, overexposed, or underexposed. For example, a photo may appear too dark, but if you see that the histogram graph is still rounded at the dark end, you will know it can be “salvaged” in a pixel editor like Photoshop.
Hot CodesSpecial types of Code Replacements where Photo Mechanic will replace the shortcut code from an assigned list of possible replacements based on specific metadata fields elsewhere in the file. The enables very complex metadata tasks to be completed very quickly.
IngestThe process of transferring files from one location (usually a memory card) to your computer’s main working drive. It can be a verb, e.g. “Ingest your files,'' or as a noun “I renamed files during the ingest.”
IPTCA type of metadata that is generally added after the picture is taken. It includes photographer credit, captions, keywords, scene types, copyright, model ideas, place names, and much more. (IPTC is the International Press Telecommunications Council, a group that sets global standards for photojournalism practice.)
JPEGJPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and it is one of many standard image formats. In Photo Mechanic preferences we use all caps (JPEG).
License KeyThis is the string of letters and numbers that a user must enter into Photo Mechanic to register it with Camera Bits and make it ready to use. Photo Mechanic then “phones home” with the License Key to check that it has not been used too many times before. This is true of current Photo Mechanic versions. Older versions referred to this as a “password” and at that time it was a string of only numbers.
MetadataA general term for text and numeric information that is included with or about an image. It covers captions, keywords, camera make and model, shutter speed, GPS data, photographer’s name, and much more. When working with digital photos, there are generally two types of metadata: IPTC and EXIF. Metadata is frequently kept in a "sidecar" file with the same base filename as the image, but with a .XMP file extension.
Metadata (IPTC) InfoA screen in Photo Mechanic for viewing and editing the IPTC metadata for one specific image at a time, generally. It can also make use of Code Replacements and Variables, and also displays the thumbnail of the image being changed. It can look very similar to the Metadata (IPTC Template, but you can tell the difference between the Metadata (IPTC) Info and Metadata (IPTC) Template screens by looking at the title bar of the specific window.
Metadata (IPTC) Template(Formerly known as IPTC Stationery Pad) This is a window in Photo Mechanic where a user can add or change a variety of IPTC metadata. The user can choose to apply that data to all of the currently selected photos (a single photo or a group of photos) or they can save the Stationery Pad for later uses via the Snapshot icon. The user can have multiple saved metadata templates for uses in different situations. When combined with Code Replacements and Variables, a user can use metadata templates to manage and manipulate the metadata on lots and lots of images very quickly in batches. It is the heart of productivity in Photo Mechanic. (Formerly known as IPTC Stationery Pad in older versions of Photo Mechanic)
PasswordThis was the name for the string of numbers that was entered into older versions of Photo Mechanic to register it. If a user ever refers to entering a “password” into Photo Mechanic itself, that is a cue that they are using an older version. This term can also be used to refer to login credentials for their Camera Bits Store account, so beware of any confusion.
Preview WindowA window launched from a contact sheet to review and zoom into single images or pairs of images for comparison. It also displays the metadata, histogram for the image, includes non-destructive cropping and image rotation tools, and more.
RAWRAW is a generic term for a type of image format from most digital cameras that captures the “raw” image data before turning it into a JPEG. it is not an acronym/initialism for anything, but tradition has been to type it in all caps. RAW file types from Canon cameras may use the .cr2 or .cr3 extension. Fuji RAW files use .raf. Sony RAW files use .arw, and Nikon RAW files use .nef.
RefreshA command on the View Menu of Photo Mechanic that refreshes the display of the Contact Sheet to reflect any changes to Tagging and Selections.
RescanA command on the View Menu of Photo Mechanic that checks the folder or folders that are currently displayed for any new images that have been added.
Sidecar (XMP)A separate file associated with an image file that contains the metadata (like captions, ratings, keywords etc.) with the same base filename, but with a .xmp file extension.
TagA tag can either refer to a discrete bit of metadata, as in "the EXIF tag for the aperture setting is fnumber" or it may refer to how images in Photo Mechanic can be identified with a "tag" in a checkbox. Tags are a way to select multiple images and have that information saved even after Photo Mechanic is closed.
VariablesWithin Photo Mechanic, this refers to a long list of shortcuts that allows a user to add specific information to IPTC metadata about an image without actually having to look the information up. For example, a user can type in the variable {iso} into a caption or keyword field. Photo Mechanic will look up the ISO value from the image’s EXIF data and replace the variable with that information. This is especially powerful when adding IPTC metadata to large numbers of photos, because the user can use one variable in a Metadata (IPTC) Template and the specific information changes for each photo that the template is applied to. A full list of variables can be found here.