How to edit PDF metadata tags using GUI or command line on Linux

This article explains how to edit PDF metadata tags on Linux using the GUI or from the command line.

Edit PDF metadata tags on Linux using GUI

To edit PDF metadata tags on Linux using the GUI, we will use Master PDF Editor or PDFMtEd. Why use 2 tools? Because I don’t think either of these is perfect, users should decide which one suits their needs best. PDFMtEd runs a bit weird, it uses the old Python 2, but it is lightweight and made with open source tools, and Master PDF Editor is a complete suite for editing PDF files, so it takes up a lot of system resources and is not Free and open source software.

Edit PDF meta tags with Master PDF Editor on Linux

Main PDF editor Is a proprietary application for editing PDF documents on Linux, Windows and macOS. It can create, edit (insert text or images), annotate, view, encrypt and sign PDF documents. It also allows editing (and viewing) the following PDF metadata tags: title, subject, author, creator, producer, and keywords.
Download Master PDF Editor by visiting it Download page (It’s available for CentOS, RedHat, and Ubuntu-I didn’t try to see if it runs on Debian).
For version 5, the Master PDF editor has removed some features from its free version, such as editing or adding text, inserting images, etc., which is worthless, and for such features, you need to purchase the application, otherwise it Add watermark. Into your PDF document. However, this is not the case for editing PDF metadata. Even so, you can choose to use the latest version of Master PDF Editor 4, which is free for non-commercial use without any restrictions.

To use the “Master PDF Editor” to edit / add / remove metadata from a PDF file, first use it to open a PDF and then from the application File Menu click PropertiesAnd you will see editable PDF metadata tag fields on Document Info tab.Edit: In version 1.4, PDF Arranger also has the ability to edit some basic PDF metadata, such as PDF title, creator, producer, and creator tools.
PDF related: how to convert PDF to image (PNG, JPEG) using GIMP or pdftoppm command line tools

Edit PDF meta tags with PDFMtEd on Linux

PDF format (PDF Metadata Editor) is a set of tools to simplify the use of PDF metadata on Linux, including PDF Metadata Editor, PDF Inspector (for viewing complete PDF metadata and optionally clearing all PDF metadata Data) and PDF thumbnails. PDF Metadata Editor can handle multiple files and folders and can also be used to rename files based on PDF metadata. This tool allows editing of the following PDF meta tags: author, title, year, keywords, and subject.
Let’s install PDFMtEd (PDF metadata editor). The tool needs to run YAD, ExifTool, and Qpdf, while Git is required to get the code from its GitHub repository. You can also install Seda If necessary, it is recommended to use an extensible and configurable PDF operation layer library, but running PDFMtEd is not necessary.
Let’s install these (except for Sejda, which is not available in the repository):

  • Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Pop! _OS, Zorin OS, Elementary OS, and any other Debian or Ubuntu-based Linux distribution:
sudo apt install libimage-exiftool-perl yad qpdf git
  • Fedora:
sudo dnf install perl-Image-ExifTool yad qpdf git
  • CentOS / RHEL:
sudo yum install perl-Image-ExifTool yad qpdf git
  • Arch Linux, Manjaro:
sudo pacman -S perl-image-exiftool qpdf git

You need to install YAD From AURBecause it is not in the Arch repository.

  • openSUSE:
sudo zypper install exiftool yad qpdf git
  • Solus OS:
sudo eopkg install perl-image-exiftool yad qpdf git

You also need to have Python2 installed on your system to work.
Now, let’s clone the PDFMtEd repository and install the application (and create 3 folders, which will fail the installation if it doesn’t exist):

sudo mkdir -p {/usr/local/share/applications,/usr/local/share/icons/hicolor/scalable/apps,/usr/local/bin}

git clone

cd PDFMtEd

sudo ./

Warning: Never run a script you haven’t written without knowing what it does. Before running this script, check its script. code.PDFMtEd

To use PDFMtEd now, right-click the PDF file in the file manager, such as Nemo, select Open With -> PDFMtEd - Editor Open to open the selected PDF document to be able to edit its metadata tags, or Open With -> PDFMtEd - Inspector Open the PDF Document Inspector. If it is not listed here, click Other application And add it from there. Take Nautilus as an example, right click on the file and select Open with other applicationAnd look for “PDFMtEd-editor” and “PDFMtEd-inspector”. This is required because PDFMtEd is not added to the application menu and requires a PDF file as a parameter at runtime. If PDFMtEd is not found in the file manager Open With Option, you may need to restart the session (logout / login).
Users who want to uninstall PDFMtEd need to run Run the script as root (this script is available in the directory where PDFMtEd is cloned), for example:

cd PDFMtEd
sudo ./

Related to PDF: How to Convert PDF to Text (GUI and Command Line) on Linux

Edit PDF metadata tags on Linux from the command line

Linux has a variety of tools for editing PDF metadata, including ExifTool, pdftk, Ghostview, and other tools, but for this article, we will focus on ExifTool, which I think is the easiest tool to use.
ExifTool is a platform-independent Perl library, and there is also a command line application for reading, writing, and editing meta information in various files. For PDF documents, ExifTool supports writing native PDF and XMP metadata. It supports tags such as title, author, subject, keywords, creator and producer.
Install ExifTool on Linux:

  • Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Pop! _OS, Zorin OS, Elementary OS, and any other Debian or Ubuntu-based Linux distribution:
sudo apt install libimage-exiftool-perl
  • Fedora:
sudo dnf install perl-Image-ExifTool
  • CentOS / RHEL:
sudo yum install perl-Image-ExifTool
  • Arch Linux, Manjaro:
sudo pacman -S perl-image-exiftool
  • openSUSE:
sudo zypper in exiftool
  • Solus OS:
sudo eopkg in perl-image-exiftool

Now you can use the ExifTool command line tool (this is a command) to edit PDF meta tags on Linux:

exiftool -Title="PDF Title" -Author="Author Name" -Subject="PDF Subject" -Keywords="keyword1;keyword2" -Creator="Name of application used to create the PDF" -Producer="PDF producer name or note" myPDFdocument.pdf

What the PDF tags represent in this command should already be explained by the values ​​I use. Remember to replace myPDFdocument.pdf The name of the PDF file with the PDF tag you want to modify (include the path if it is not available in the current directory).
You can skip some of the tags I mentioned in this command, in which case the PDF will continue to use its original tags, if any. By default, ExifTool uses its name followed by the original name to create a backup of the original PDF document. _original. You can skip this step and overwrite the original file by appending -overwrite_original command.
You can view the full list of tags for PDF files supported by ExifTool On this page.ExifTool can also be used to read PDF metadata tags. To display all PDF tags using ExifTool, use:

exiftool -all:all myPDFdocument.pdf

It’s important to note that metadata editing with ExifTool is reversible, which is “a potential security issue because old information is never really deleted from a file.” PDF tab. However, you can use qpdf to permanently delete the old PDF metadata information by:

qpdf --linearize in.pdf out.pdf

In this command in.pdf Is the PDF file whose old metadata information you want to delete, and out.pdf Is the name of the generated PDF file.
PDF Related: How to Create Fillable PDF Forms Using LibreOffice Writer