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If I view a jpg in the MacOS Preview app, I can use Tools>Show Inspector to bring up a More Info window. Its info tab () has four sub-tabs: General, Exif, IPTC, and TIFF. The General tab shows information about the file. I assume that the Exif and IPTC tabs pull information from the Exif and IPTC-IIM information in the file, but what does the TIFF tab show? Is TIFF this program's way of referring to XMP?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's very unlikely that the TIFF tab would show XMP data. I'm not on a Mac so I can't check but the TIFF format allows for multiple images to be embedded in the file. I would suspect that it might show data for each of the embedded images. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarGeek
    Jan 7, 2022 at 5:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I found an image on this apple discussions page which shows data on the TIFF tab. It's basically showing the same info that would probably appear on the EXIF tab. The EXIF data format is based upon the TIFF format, so it seems reasonable that there may be some overlap. But, as I said, I'm not on a Mac so I can't really test it, only make some guesses. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarGeek
    Jan 7, 2022 at 5:16

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I downloaded Carl Siebert's Metadata Test Image, which has unique values in many metadata fields, and I then edited it to have unique values in the timestamps for when taken and when digitized. For the fields I checked (primarily description/caption, copyright, date taken, and date digitized), the MacOS Preview Inspector showed the values stored in the IPTC metadata. This was regardless of the tab in the Inspector, so even the Exif tab appears to pull from the IPTC metadata.

The answer to the question thus appears to be that the TIFF tab shows IPTC metadata, but so does the Exif tab (and, as one would hope, the IPTC tab).

-----Update-----

I did some additional tests. If Exif, IPTC, and XMP metadata are all present, all tabs show IPTC metadata. If there is no IPTC metadata, but Exif metadata is present, all tabs (including the IPTC and TIFF tabs) show Exif metadata. If both IPTC and Exif metadata are missing, all tabs show XMP metadata (assuming it's there). It thus appears that the tab labels are entirely cosmetic. Data for all tabs are drawn from a single metadata source.

I would be grateful if someone would try to reproduce these results, because they're counterintuitive, and I worry that I did something wrong.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If you want a test file with even more metadata, I've posted a file on the exiftool forums which has a little over 1,400 different image metadata tags. Nearly all the tags that exiftool can write into a jpg. Plus the args file used to create it so you can make your own in other formats. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarGeek
    Jan 8, 2022 at 5:50

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