Editing or Removing Metadata from PDF files

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MacOSphere, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. MacOSphere macrumors member


    Mar 8, 2015
    Columbus, Ohio
    I'm looking for a program, perhaps something like ImageOptim, that can either completely clear or edit Metadata from PDF files.

    I'm using OS X Yosemite 10.10.4.

    Thank you!
  2. tgd85 macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2013
    It really depends on the ultimate goal you're trying to accomplish, the level of security you need, and the line of work you are in.

    If you are working sensitive files / confidential files / client documents, I would only recommend using a Pro version of Acrobat, especially if you intend to send these documents to a third party (perhaps a court, an arbitrator, government agency, IRS, etc.) or an opposing party (lawyers from an opposing party, etc). In both of those instances, the stakes are high, and accidentally revealing metadata could prove to be extremely damaging.

    Acrobat makes the process easy, and is customizable - you can select the types of metadata you want scrubbed, etc. It's also the most secure. I'd also recommend Acrobat if you need to deal with preserving documents in archive formats (PDF/A). Acrobat Pro is the standard in the legal community for dealing with PDF related tasks, no question.

    But if you're just looking to scrub for internal use or non-adversarial parties, then I'm sure you could use something less secure, but I am not aware of another program that can accomplish this. Certainly Acrobat isn't cheap.....
  3. Evren Carven macrumors regular

    Evren Carven

    Dec 16, 2014
    Thought I needn't to remove or edit any metadata for my PDF files(They are normal documents for reading or something else), I try to google some PDF metadata editors and find there is not too many developers to provide these utilities.
  4. superscape macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2008
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    If you're comfortable with the command line then I'd strongly recommend exiftool. Its free and does a good job although there's a bit of a learning curve.

  5. res.ipsa macrumors newbie


    Jul 12, 2015
    San Diego, CA
  6. superscape macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2008
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
    A quick test on my Mac revealed that *some* meta data is carried over, e.g. subject and author. Possibly other stuff too if you'd populated it in Word. These seem to be successfully removed from the PDF using exiftool like so:

    exiftool -All= /path/to/your/file/goes/here.pdf
    Annoyingly, exiftool will read, but not write/delete metadata in Word files.

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