This tutorial shows how to add copyright metadata to PDFs in Adobe Acrobat. We will also look at how to find copyright metadata after it has been added to PDFs.
What Is Metadata in a PDF?
Metadata is “behind the scenes” information about your PDF. It includes document properties you can create and edit such as the title, author, keywords, and security restrictions. It also includes unchangeable information created by Acrobat such as the software version and creation date. Metadata is important for search functions and indexing (including search engine indexing).
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Adobe Acrobat DC. These steps also apply to Adobe Acrobat 2020 and Adobe Acrobat 2017. In addition, the process is the same on PC and Mac. These steps don’t apply to Adobe’s free PDF display software, Acrobat Reader.
How to Add Copyright Metadata to PDFs in Adobe Acrobat
Important Note: These steps will only work in editable PDFs without security restrictions.
- Open the PDF to which you want to add the copyright metadata.
- Select the File menu.
- Select Properties from the drop-down menu.
- Select the Description tab in the Document Properties dialog box.
- (Optional) Add a title, author, subject, and keywords to the Description section. Separate the keywords with commas or semicolons.
- Select the Additional Metadata button.
- Select Copyrighted from the Copyright Status menu in the XMP dialog box. (XMP stands for Extensible Metadata Platform.)
- Type a copyright notice into the text box.
Important Note: The example below is not legal advice for writing copyright notices. Contact a legal professional to learn how to write copyright notices in your location.
- (Optional) Enter a web address related to the copyright notice in the Copyright Info URL text box.
Pro Tip: The Go to URL button opens the web address in the default browser set in your Preferences dialog box. It doesn’t turn the web address into a hyperlink in your metadata.
- Select the OK button.
- Select the OK button in the Document Properties dialog box.
- Save your PDF.
The section below shows where to find the copyright metadata you just created.
How to Find Copyright Metadata in PDFs in Adobe Acrobat
The following steps can be used to view copyright metadata in your PDFs or PDFs created by other users.
- Open the PDF containing the copyright metadata.
- Select the File menu (see figure 1).
- Select Properties from the drop-down menu (see figure 2).
- Select the Description tab in the Document Properties dialog box (see figure 3).
- Select the Additional Metadata button (see figure 5).
- Review the information in the copyright section of the XMP dialog box (see figure 6, figure 7, and figure 8).
- Select the Advanced tab.
- Select Dublin Core Properties.
- Select dc:rights (alt container).
- Review the copyright metadata following the [x-default]: label.
- Select XMP Rights Management Properties.
- Review the additional copyright metadata following the xmpRights:Marked: and xmpRights:WebStatement: labels.
- Select the OK button.
- Select the OK button in the Document Properties dialog box (see figure 10).