Monthly Archive: June 2009

Remove your PDF metadata


I get abstracts to review on a fairly regular basis, and conference organizers are often not particularly diligent about removing the PDF metadata. So, since I use EagleFiler to organize everything, it diligently picks up the metadata, displays it prominently in my list view, and quite often makes the abstracts very much non-anonymous.

At least in Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard), there’s a pretty quick fix. Here’s how to create a little droplet application that you can dump your PDF on to strip the metadata out. If you are organizing a conference: do this.

Open Automator, click Choose (to just open a blank workflow). From under Files & Folders, drag Get Selected Finder Items into the workflow. Then, from under PDF, drag Set PDF Metadata into the workflow below it. Check all the boxes. Save it, file format Application, as something like “RemovePDFmetadata”. Et voilĂ . Select a PDF (or a whole slew of PDFs) and drop them on the application, and it will remove the metadata.

Note: This relies on Automator, and therefore will only work on Mac OS X 10.5.x (not on previous versions of Mac OS X).