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What is Metadata? Metadata I know the word itself sounds kind of strange and maybe a little technical or nerdish, but it's actually something quite familiar to most people who've ever worked on a computer. Metadata is information about the file itself; you know something as simple as a file name. When you name something that you save, that's metadata about the file, or like the date that the file was created or last updated, that kind of information that you can see in Windows Explorer or the Finder, that's all Metadata. But going further than that, Metadata can be actually, you can add Metadata to a file in special panels or different, there's different ways to add that to different files, because these days there are a lot of software systems that want to access a file's Metadata.
So not just the content of the file, but information about the file; like a typical example might be Google search engine that searches not just the contents of web pages, but also information that the designer of the web page can insert in the title of the web page or keywords for the web page, that kind of thing. Especially, if you are posting your PDFs to a web site, Google and other search engines will index or copy into their little database all of the PDF's Metadata; so not just the content of the PDF but also the metadata.
So where can you actually add things like keywords and description and authors and copyright, that kind of stuff? You go to the File > Properties command. So open up the PDF, go to File, Properties, and it's this area right here, under Description, and then also Additional Metadata that you can access. So for example, though the file name is ChgoCreativeCoalitionNL.pdf, you might want to have a title that's a little bit more description like Chicago Creative Coalition Summer 2010 Newsletter. And then the Author, whoever created the PDF, whoever created the publication, I might just say it's ChicagoCreative.org and the subject is whatever you want to put in here, and then keywords, I am not going to add a whole lot but I will just say, creative, you separate these by commas; organization, graphic design and so on.
As I said, search engines will index this information, and also there are programs that enterprise uses, sort of like Digital Asset Management programs that will look for metadata in your PDFs and other files and include that so you can easily do a search for example for anything having to do with the graphic design and know the words graphic design aren't in the file name or the title of this document, they were included in the keywords and so this document would come up as one of the search results. If you go to Additional Metadata, there is other information you can enter like Author, and a Description of the file, Description Writer; you can set if the PDF is copyrighted.
So I'll say, yes, it is copyrighted, it's not public domain and enter your Copyright Notice here along with the URL for more information and then click OK and save it. So this is using what's called XMP which is kind of a standard for saving metadata that's used among various programs including Adobe Acrobat. So click OK and then click OK and then save it and then your metadata is saved with the PDF. Now, in addition, when this file is created in Word or InDesign or Publisher or whatever, all these pictures could also have Keywords, and Descriptions and Copyright Info attached to them.
Now, they're not immediately evidenced in the PDF but metadata that is saved with an image is also included in the PDF and can be extracted with a number of utilities. So that's how you add metadata to a PDF and it's a very good practice to use with all of your PDFs.
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