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I need to prepend text to the description fields of a bunch of jpgs. I found discussions of appending text (e.g., here and here), but not of prepending text. My destination tag is mwg:description, and my understanding is that the current value of that tag is $mwg:description, so, conceptually, I think I'm looking for something like this:

exiftool -mwg:description="Text to Prepend $mwg:description" *.jpg

but that just replaces the current description with Text to Prepend; the existing description text is lost. Can someone help me with the proper incantation?

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An extension of the redirection feature allows strings involving tag names to be used on the right hand side of the < symbol with the syntax "'-DSTTAG<STR'", where tag names in STR are prefixed with a $ symbol.

https://www.exiftool.org/exiftool_pod.html

So, the only problem with your command is the = symbol which should be <.

It should also be properly screened for your terminal, for bash it's:

exiftool '-mwg:description<Text to Prepend $mwg:description' DSC00096.jpeg

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