PDFs are perfect for keeping data organized and trackable.
But sometimes, you might want to remove some of the metadata from a PDF for privacy or confidential reasons. Otherwise, the recipient can tell a lot of onfirmation about you or the document.
Such as the date of creation, author, title, and other information that was used to create the file.
Sometimes, you’ll want to keep that information private and remove the PDF metadata and properties.
Not sure how to do this?
You’ve come to the right place.
Today, we’re looking at the best methods for removing metadata from PDF files through a variety of different ways.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Editing PDF Files And Metadata Overview
- 6 Different Types of PDF Metadata You Should Know About
- Why Remove Metadata From PDFs?
- How to Remove Metadata from a PDF Using Adobe Acrobat
- How to Remove Metadata from a PDF Online
- Removing Metadata from PDFs with Third-Party Apps
But first, let’s have a quick review of metadata and PDFs, so we’re on the same page moving forward.
Editing PDF Files And Metadata Overview
PDF stands for Portable Document Format.
It’s a format used to store document files on the internet. PDF files can be opened in many different applications, including Microsoft Word, Chrome, Safari, and Edge.
Although PDF files are usually used for documents that have a lot of data, there are other benefits to using them.
One benefit is the use of graphics in PDF files. Graphics can be used to make your document stand out and provide a more visual experience.
Another benefit is the fact that PDFs are easy to share with people. And since many applications can open PDFs, this makes the format a convenient choice sharing and sending PDF files.
But perhaps the most notable benefit of PDF files is their ability to be manipulated by multiple users.
For instance, you can add drop-down menus to PDF files, as well as selectable options and various other items that the user can access.
PDFs are often used by medical and government entities that need to collect information on a mass scale. And when the user completes the PDF form, the provider can easily email or print it.
6 Different Types of PDF Metadata You Should Know About
Metadata is the information that describes something. It can be data, text, images, or anything else that can be used to identify or describe something.
Moreover, metadata can help you keep track of your objects and documents, and it can also help you create search engines for your data. Metadata has many applications depending on the need of the user.
There are several different types of metadata, too. Each type serves a unique purpose, as you’ll learn below.
These are the various types of metadata and the functions they serve:
Descriptive: This metadata refers to descriptive information pertaining to a resource. For example, descriptive metadata is used to identify and discover. As such, it can include elements like keywords, titles, and authors.
Structural: This metadata refers to containers of data, indicating how compound objects form together. A good example of structural metadata is a book’s chapters. It displays the pages and how they correlate to each chapter. As such, this metadata can contain types, versions, and other digital characteristics.
Administrative: This metadata type refers to information that helps in managing a resource, such as permissions, resource type, and creation data.
Reference: Statistical data that discusses the quality and contents of the information.
Statistical: Also referred to as process data, statistical metadata describes processes related to statistical data, namely, how it’s collected, processed, or produced.
Legal: This type of metadata details information about content’s public licensing, creator, and copyright holder data.
Now that you know what metadata is used for, let’s explore the steps needed to remove it from content.
There are numerous scenarios where you might not want these types of metadata readily available to the user.
So it’s important to know how to remove it.
Why Remove Metadata From PDFs?
As we discussed earlier, PDFs often get sent out to many different people, such as when a government entity needs to collect information from the public. And since many PDFs are sent via email, the user could view the file’s properties and see sensitive information as it relates to the metadata.
If it was just a typical Word document, redactions could be made by the provider to white out PDF sensitive information.
Alternatively, you could also password protect your PDF documents.
But since metadata isn’t in the main source of the PDF, special tools may be needed to remove it, as you’ll see below.
Let’s take a look at a couple of different ways you can do this.
How to Remove Metadata from a PDF Using Adobe Acrobat
It makes sense that you can remove metadata from PDFs using Adobe Acrobat. After all, Adobe is the company responsible for inventing PDF files.
With that said, you will need the Pro version of Adobe Acrobat to effectively remove metadata from PDFs. Once you have access to Adobe Acrobat Pro, follow the steps below:
- Run Adobe Acrobat as an Administrator. To do this, simply right-click on the Acrobat Pro icon and select “Run as administrator.”
- When the program loads, go to “File” and select “Properties.”
- A window will appear. From here, select “Additional Metadata...”
- This will display the PDF’s metadata. You will have the option to edit the data or remove it altogether.
- Choose to remove it, and then click “OK.”
- After making the appropriate changes, it’s important to remember to save your PDF.
- So go back to “File” and select “Save.” You may also press “Ctrl + s” on your keyboard to achieve the same action.
The process of removing metadata is simple, but there are some important things to note.
If you think you will need any information in the file, such as author names, dates, or even text, you’ll need to copy it into a different document prior to removing it from the PDF.
Additionally, if you’re copying text or images from other documents in order to paste them into the new one, be sure that both documents have equal formatting before the conversion takes place because some formatting may not convert correctly when converted into an Adobe PDF file.