By Brigham Young University and Phil Harvey
The following are instructions to run the command line tool Exiftool in Terminal (I think it can be adapted for Windows fairly easily, but I have not done so here). Exiftool generates a report of scans’ technical metadata. This allows for automated, basic quality control checks for things like correct bid depth, color profile, etc. The command line is recursive, so you may run this command on a folder with several subdirectories of scans in it. It will return technical metadata for every file with the file extensions it’s programmed to find, no matter how many subdirectories deep those scans are.
- Ensure that the ExifTool program is downloaded onto your computer (if it already is, skip to step 2).
- Open Terminal.
- Type “cd[spacebar] ” into Terminal.
- Drag and drop the folder where you want your report to be saved into Terminal behind the space.
- Hit Enter.
- Determine whether you want to check tiffs or jpgs.
- Type the following into Terminal:
- TIFFs: exiftool -T -r -ext tif -FileName –Model -ImageSize -Megapixels -XResolution -BitsPerSample -FileSize -FileType -ProfileDescription -Directory -w+ %0fNAMEOFREPORT.txt /file path/
- JPEGs: exiftool -T -r -ext jpg -FileName –Model -ImageSize -Megapixels -XResolution -BitsPerSample -FileSize -FileType -ProfileDescription -Directory -w+ %0fNAMEOFREPORT.txt /file path/
- Delete the “/file path/” portion of the code(s) above. If you would like to give the report a specific name, replace the text “NAMEOFREPORT.txt” with whatever name you would like, followed by the extension “.txt” (Example: BOX2REPORT.txt).
- Type [spacebar], then drag and drop the subdirectory of TIFFs or JPEGs behind the space.
- Hit Enter.
- Depending on the number of scans, Exiftool will work for a few seconds to an hour, then create a .txt file in the folder you directed it to save to.
- Your report should now be saved into the directory you chose.
- The following technical specifications are available (note that the report does not actually return the field names in the first row. Those have been added for clarity):
- If you have a very large report, use the “Filter” in Microsoft Excel to review all of the entries in a given column quickly. For example, I turned on Filter view and looked at the Bits Per Sample column. From this I can discern there are both 16 and 8 bitdepths in this set of TIFFs. I need to go find and rescan the TIFF that was scanned at 8bit: