I own a Sony Reader PRS-600 ebook reader. I bought a ton of Manning Publications ebooks (DRM-free) recently. Many of the books are PDFs since not all the ones I wanted are available in epub format.

The problem: Some of the PDF books I purchased have incorrect or missing metadata. Making things worse, the Sony Reader only displays the "Title" from the PDF metadata when displaying book titles in the reader's collection of books! The Reader doesn't display the filename. So, even though I have a PDF informatively named "Windows PowerShell In Action.pdf", it shows up as "untitled" in the Reader.

Imagine how useful the Reader's list of book titles becomes when many are just "untitled" or "unnamed document" ! Yes, it is maddening.

So – short of expecting the publisher to fix the files or Sony to add a filename-based list instead, I'm looking for a way to fix the PDF metadata. I can view the metadata with Adobe Reader, but it doesn't permit modification of the properties. Leading to:

Question: Is there a tool – free, or cheap – and either for PC or Mac, that can modify the properties / metadata of a DRM-free PDF document? I want to correct "Title" and "Author" fields, specifically.


YES There is a tool out there that is free. Google the following application name: BeCyPDFMetaEdit. It's free, and very good for the price (nothing !).

  • 1
    I tried this tool and it did the job. Thanks! Apr 10 '10 at 19:23

ExifTool can do this pretty easily. On a Mac, download and install the .pkg. Open Terminal.app and run the following command to set the metadata:

exiftool -Title="Windows PowerShell In Action" "/path/to/Windows PowerShell In Action.pdf"
  • I tried but got: Error renaming WindowsPowerShellInAction.pdf Apr 10 '10 at 19:17

I got the same issue when I loaded some PDF files on my Nook. I wrote a blog on this one:


  • the trial version works fine to do this?
    – JuanZe
    Aug 5 '11 at 15:12

To programmatically change the metadata of a PDF you could use ABCpdf from webSupergoo. The following example shows how to set the Title and Author fields using C#:

Doc theDoc = new Doc();
if (theDoc.GetInfo(-1, "/Info") == "")
  theDoc.SetInfo(-1, "/Info:Ref", theDoc.AddObject("<< >>").ToString());
theDoc.SetInfo(-1, "/Info*/Author:Text", "Arthur Dent");
theDoc.SetInfo(-1, "/Info*/Title:Text", "Musings on Life");
theDoc.SetInfo(theDoc.Root, "/Metadata:Del", "");

Source: http://www.websupergoo.com/helppdf7net/source/5-abcpdf6/doc/1-methods/addobject.htm


Calling file1.bat will update all pdf documents in "\Path\Documents" (change as needed) by overriding the "title" property with the file name (without .pdf) and the "author" with an empty string.

For more details see ExifTool


@echo off
for /r "\Path\Documents" %%x in (*.pdf) do call "file2.bat" "%%x"


@echo off
"exiftool.exe" -overwrite_original -Title="%~n1" -Author="" %1

There is option for Mac provided by the Automator action called Set PDF Metadata that allows to set Title and Author. This can be used as a service or an application. Hint: enable in the action Options checkbox “Show this action when the workflow runs”.

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