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10.4: Add Spotlight keywords to images with Preview
Authored by: Tom Robinson on Jun 17, '05 02:13:49AM

And after rereading the questions...

GC can add/edit IPTC data to files which support it (JPEG, GIF, TIFF, others?)

For other files you're stuck with whatever file format you're dealing with. Plain text files don't support any keywords, Word documents have their own properties you set within Word, RTFs have keywords you can set with TextEdit, etc.

Finder comments work but they've always been flakey. You may be able to instruct Spotlight to store additional data for the file (like it stores where Safari's downloaded a file from), but again, it's not something to be relied on.

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