Using Formulas

A look into setting up and using formulas to help format your metadata properly.

Chris Emmerson avatar
Written by Chris Emmerson
Updated over a week ago

Formulas are an integral part of Caption Pro, allowing you to format how names are displaying across various metadata fields. 

You can insert formulas into any metadata field in both the image and project wide sections by pressing the equals button '='. 

There are four types of formulas:

  1. People 

  2. Plural 

  3. Duplicate

  4. Original value

  5. Sequence


'People' formulas will present the names of the people in the image into the specified metadata field separated by your input in the 'Delimiter' field (so for instance a comma if you wish to have your names listed as such) with the "Final delimiter" also needing to be specified (use "and" if you wish your last two names in the list to be separated by an "and").

Note: Formula outputs adhere to any spaces in the delimiter fields, so be sure to add them or remove them in accordance with how you want your output formatted.  

You also have the option in the People formula to include 'Prefix' and/or 'Postfix' to the formulas. Checking these boxes will mean the names displayed using this formula will include this information, as long as it has been specified for the particular person. A Prefix or Postfix can be added to a person's name when adding a new person or by clicking 'edit in database' on a selected person, which can be found in the top right quadrant of the interface.

You can also 'ignore guests' locally within each people formula. This is useful if you want one formula to output 'guest' for any unknown individuals in the image (lets say into the 'caption/description' field) and then in another people formula output you only want known people listed (for instance into the 'keyword' or 'persons shown' fields).

The 'always capitalize first letter' option, when activated, will make sure that the first letter in the people formula output will be capitalised. This is useful if there are people records with prefixes that would only need to be capitalized if they appear first in the caption and also if you have 'guest mode' enabled and want only the first instance of 'guest' to be capitalized.

Automating group name in the people formula

There is also an option to 'include group name' in the output of the 'people formula'. This is available to all Team accounts and this is an advanced option which is particularly useful for sports users wishing to auotamate instances of an athlete's team name.

When automating the group name the software looks in two places for this information depending on whether the person in question is recognised through facial recognition or text detection.

  • If the person in the image is identified through facial recognition then it gets the group name from the person record itself. Information about how to create and manage the group name for the people records in your face database can be found here.

  • If the person in the image is identified through number/text detection then it will get the group name from the active text recognition lists within your project settings from the optional 'group' column.

Let's use the team name "Baseball Reds" as an example. In this example we would have a full baseball roster on our face database allocated to a 'group' called "Baseball reds". The settings in the 'people formula' allow you to automatically add this information alongside the person's name in a metadata field.

In order to do this, first you would select the "include group name" check box and then you are presented with some further options. These options allow you to specify:

  • where (relative to the persons name) you would like the group name to appear

  • whether or not you would like to repeat instances of the group name if you have multiple people in the image next to each other with the same group name

  • whether or not you would like to add additional text between the person name and the group name

By changing these settings you can create (among others) these possible caption formats:

"Joe Blogs #45, David Armstrong #89 and Arnold Swanson #2 of the Baseball Reds"

"Baseball Reds batter Joe Blogs #45, pitcher David Armstrong #89 and catcher Arnold Swanson #2"

If people from multiple groups appear in the image, then the output can adapt to that as well, only removing sequentially repeating instances of the same team name.

If you want to make full use of this feature it is important that your face database and/or your text recognition lists are well organised with the group information applied correctly.


'Plural' formulas allow you to have various words appear in a metadata field depending on how many people are in the image. 

The 'Singular' field determines what word will appear with only one person in the image (or with as many people in the image below the 'threshold number'). 

The 'Plural' field dictates what word will display if the image has the 'threshold number' of people in, or above. 

In case you haven't already guessed, the sole purpose of the 'Threshold' is to switch the display from the 'Singular' input to the 'Plural' input, so the number you choose here decides how many people are required in an image for the word to change. 

You can also 'ignore guests' locally within each plural formula. This is important if you have 'guest mode' activated across the project but you have ignored guests on a people formula that you were hoping to pair with a plural formula.


The Duplicate formula allows you to insert the information from one metadata field into another, automatically. Just select the target field from the dropdown menu and the contents of that field will be pasted wherever your 'duplicate' formula is located. For speed, you can start typing with the 'target field' dropdown open and it will select the typed field. 

As a safety net you can not duplicate fields in a source-loop. So if you have 'Field A' pointing to 'Field B', 'Field B' won't be able to point back to 'Field A' etc. 

Original Value

If you leave a field empty, Caption Pro will bring in whatever information was already in that image's metadata. The Original Value formula does this same thing, but it allows you to add more information around this, by way of additional text or other formulas, without overwriting what was originally contained within that field upon ingestion.


The Sequence formula is different from the others in that it isn't available for use until you reach the export modal. It is used to create a number sequence when renaming images for export.

Using this formula will add a number to the file name of the exported images. You can specify where you want the numbering to start by modifying the 'Start Index'. 

If you want to export a second batch of images with the numbers continuing off from the last export, be sure to specify the new start number in the 'start index'. 

Viewing Results

You can view how the results of the formulas will be output for each image by switching between "Formulas" and "Results" at the top of the image metadata section in the bottom right quadrant of the UI. This can also be toggled by pressing the keyboard shortcut 'f'.

What's Next?

Once you've finished Editing Metadata, you can Confirm and Export your images

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