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Preferably a short one. 'Description' fits my purpose very well, but is longer than I'd like (3 - 5 letters are ideal).

It's going to be used as a heading, umbrella-term, button or similar for image-metadata of some of the ones in Dublin Core; subject ("husband and children") and description ("family in front of waterfall"). And also tags ('Ben', 'Jeremy', 'Sarah', 'waterfall', 'holiday', 'Iceland')

Recognisable acronyms and abbreviations would also work, but usability goes first, so if nothing better is found, 'description' it is.

Edit: Clarification: 'Description' (as it is called for now) is the name of only one category in a software program for image-metadata. Other categories are 'Cam' (camera; shutterspeed, ISO, aperture etc.), 'GPS'/'Geo' (longitude, latitude) etc.

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you probably want Info: – Joe Blow Jul 4 '11 at 12:38
I'd just call it title (it's not likely you've got any other field that should more properly have that name). – FumbleFingers Jul 4 '11 at 13:41

I can't think of anything else except details. It isn't necessarily the same as description, but if you're going for shorter words more than a more suitable meaning, then naturally some of the original meaning will be lost.

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I've thought of the same, trouble is: This is going to be used in an image-metadata program. Other information tidbits will be EXIF-info, location etc. So 'description' is merely one category of metadata (: – Jonta Jul 4 '11 at 12:05
Yep, I understand, I even know what EXIF is, I'm a photographer :) but, as I said, language isn't about short words. If "description" is what you need, then it's what you should use. If you need a short word, you will lose the meaning of the original word. – RiMMER Jul 4 '11 at 12:07
Yes, I realise the loss of meaning. It's just that all other categories have nice, short, understandable names. Might 'Descr' be valid? – Jonta Jul 4 '11 at 12:10
@Jonta, actually, that's a very good idea. "Desc" is the abbreviation of "description". I saw it somewhere, and I'll get the reference. – Thursagen Jul 4 '11 at 12:16
There you go, and its used in formatting I think. – Thursagen Jul 4 '11 at 12:18

It seems caption could work in its place:

caption |ˈkøpʃən|
a title or brief explanation appended to an article, illustration, cartoon, or poster.

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Hm, this might indeed work. 7 letters vs. 11. Still, description seems to fit better. 'Caption' might very well work in other circumstances, but I do think it has a special connotation when it comes to images, and won't be a good hypernym. – Jonta Jul 4 '11 at 12:18

In the 4/5 letters range, you'll probably have to accept some approximation:

  • memo
  • note
  • remark

...are possible approximate substitutes.

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'Note' or 'notes' probably fits best here. Good suggestions. – Jonta Jul 4 '11 at 12:23

You could use "details" as in:

Subject("husband and children") ; details("family in front of waterfall")

Also, there's 'abstract' which is used in formal reports :

a summary of a text, scientific article, document, speech, etc.; epitome.

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(I edited the question after this answer was posted, to clarify). With 'abstract' we run into the same problem; 'Description' is only one of several categories. – Jonta Jul 4 '11 at 12:12
@Jonta, what do you mean by one of several categories? – Thursagen Jul 4 '11 at 12:13
Added to question. Or is it still unclear? – Jonta Jul 4 '11 at 12:15

Just call it Title.

Effectively that's what a brief description is. If your user wants to identify any particular picture when talking about it to someone else, they're practically bound to use this descriptive text to make that identification.

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