Aperture Caption AppleScript for Effortless Captioning

Update 2008-03-28: In conjunction with Aperture 2.1, Apple has released a free AppleScript-based app for captioning called Aperture Caption Palette. Check it out.

I’ve been using Aperture as my primary RAW processor for quite some time now. One thing that has been bothering me and others is the lack of a keyboard shortcut to edit the captions of successive photos. This is one reason why I’m still using iView Media Pro to handle annotating my images — it’s much faster to annotate photos using the keyboard in iView.

Since we all can’t wait for Aperture 2.0 to fix all of our problems with the app, I finally found an hour this evening to come up with a quick captioning solution. Aperture Caption is a free AppleScript that makes it really easy to caption your images one after another. You don’t even have to touch the mouse!

Aperture Caption is a free AppleScript that makes it easy to caption and keyword images in Aperture using just the keyboard.

  1. Download Aperture Caption
  2. Decompress the archive and install it in the following location:

    ~/Library/Scripts/Aperture Scripts/

  3. Make sure that you have the Scripts menu activated by running the AppleScript Utility application in the /Applications/AppleScript folder.

    AppleScript Utility

  4. Launch Aperture and select an image you wish to caption
  5. Choose Aperture Caption from the Script > Aperture Scripts menu.

    Aperture Caption in Script Menu

  6. Aperture Caption display the following dialog box on launch:

    Aperture Caption Welcome

  7. Click Captions Only to only add captions to your images. Click Captions & Keywords if you want to add both captions and keywords to your images.

    Enter your caption

  8. After entering your caption, click OK or press Return. If you launched Aperture Caption using the Captions & Keywords, another dialog prompt will appear allowing you to enter keywords for the current photo.
  9. Enter keywords for this photo

  10. Aperture Caption will then caption and keyword your image, replacing any existing caption or keywords in the image.
  11. Aperture Caption will now go to the next image until you hit Cancel.

    Aperture Caption will automatically go to the next image until you hit Cancel


If you want to add a keyboard shortcut for Aperture Caption, download FastScripts Lite from Red Sweater Software. The standard Scripts Menu in Mac OS X does not let you assign a keyboard shortcut using the Keyboards and Mouse System Preference.

6 thoughts on “Aperture Caption AppleScript for Effortless Captioning

  1. This looks very useful! I’ll give it a try once I start using Aperture again. At the moment, Aperture does not support my camera. grrr…

  2. Hey Adam, this looks great! Sometimes I get into a flow of naming/titling and this will help massively!

    Could I request one tweak for a future version? A “skip” button, so that one can skip over some images without cancel/quitting the process? If you did that, this would be utterly perfect for the way that I “stream-of-caption.”

    But regardless, bless you!

  3. if you just hit Return without entering a caption or any keywords, the script will skip the currently selected image.

  4. The newly announced Aperture 2.0 provides a command-key shortcut to move between images while keeping the cursor in the metadata field.

  5. Adam, I’m just getting ready to install it and give it a test run, so the timing of your reply is impeccable – thanks!

  6. Greg Carnevale

    All of this is fine. I have imported all 27,000 + of my photos from iPhoto into Aperture. Now when I want to e-mail the photo(s) none of them contains the original caption which works and has always worked in iPhoto. HELP!!

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