View Full Version : Editing metadata tags

03-18-2009, 02:29 PM
How do I edit the metadata tags of PDFs for ebook purposes without having to use Calibre? I don't want to add any of the PDFs to Calibre's library but want to be able to edit the metadata tag and then store them using my EndNote manager citation software.

Any ideas?

03-18-2009, 07:48 PM
PDF Meta Edit. It's free.

03-19-2009, 12:37 AM
THANKS! I'll try that out :) I hope it edits the Meta data that concerns ebooks :)

03-19-2009, 12:59 AM
Oh...I should say, this is for OS X and not Windows. Is there a PDF metadata edit program for OS X?

03-19-2009, 02:07 AM
There's PDFtk (, which has a free distribution for OS X. It's not the most user friendly thing out there, and I've only ever used the Windows version myself, but it's something.

Looks like there's a html form interface for it posted lower on the homepage there, which may be easier than using it command-line-style. Haven't tried that either.

03-19-2009, 02:24 AM
Thanks, frabjous. Unfortunately, I don't know how to use the command line interface. I need GUI.

03-19-2009, 08:01 AM
Thanks, frabjous. Unfortunately, I don't know how to use the command line interface. I need GUI.

As I said, there's a web-form interface if you scroll down the page a bit. Also, the readme (at least in my package) explains how to use the command-line interface well enough.

Still, this is what I meant by calling it non-user-friendly. I'd bet you could find something else if you looked. Since I don't have a mac, I'm just not completely familiar with what's out there.

03-19-2009, 03:46 PM
Regarding the forms, I don't get it. I'm a fairly experienced user of Macs but definitely not someone who is technical enough to understand what those directions given on the web page are.

In the mean time, I guess I"m using Adobe Acrobat Professional to change the tags but I haven't yet had time to know if those tags are the ones that my digital reader uses.

03-19-2009, 03:49 PM
How is this thread news or a commentary?

03-19-2009, 04:17 PM
I've never tried to use the HTML front-end. Indeed, I may have misunderstood what it's all about, since I didn't really look at it.

I have, however, edited metadata using the command line interface.

It works roughly like this. Suppose the file whose metadata you want to edit is called "plato-republic.pdf"

First, you have to "dump" the metadata from the current .PDF into a textfile, with a command like:

pdftk plato-republic.pdf dump_data output plato-republic-metadata.txt

That should create a textfile called plato-republic-metadata.txt. Open it using a text editor.

You should find values in there like:

InfoKey: Title
InfoValue: The Republic
InfoKey: Author
InfoValue: Plato
InfoKey: Subject
InfoValue: Philosophy

Go ahead and change "The Republic" to whatever you want, and "Plato" to whatever you want... etc. Leave everythign else the same. (If a pair of InfoValue:/InfoKey: lines is missing for one of these tags, you can add them.) Save the file.

Now use another command line:

pdftk plato-republic.pdf update_info plato-republic-metadata.txt output plato-republic2.pdf

That should create a new .pdf with the revised metadata. Check it out. If it works, you can keep the new one and delete the old one.

Yeah, major pain in the butt. I'm very thankful I have the Professional Version of Acrobat now; I used to do it this way.

Still, I think there may be other things out there too.


There's this:
That might be command-line too, though.


AHA.... what about this?