18th December, 2008 - Posted by MsD
I got an interesting email from Rob this morning. He asked about finding a source file’s name. That is, if you convert an image to PDF and save it, how and where can you find the original image’s name.
To be honest, I’ve wondered about that now and again, so today seemed like a good day to go on the hunt. The key to success is whether or not you’re using XMP metadata.
I suggested off the top of my head that you’d find the name in the Properties. Well, no you won’t. If you choose File > Properties to open the dialog box, you’ll find the tool used to generate the PDF, not the source itself.
Rob tried a couple of processes, also included on my list, which didn’t work.
And so began today’s merry little chase through the depths of Acrobat.
Here are the most common avenues of exploration:
- Properties dialog box didn’t show it in the General tab.
- Exporting the file as XML didn’t include the data.
- Looking through several of the Preflight panel offerings, such as Browse Internal PDF Structure generate a report about the image’s resources and structure.
- Ditto for exploring the Internal Document Structure in the same report.
The answer lies in how the image is defined in the first place. If you use a file that includes XMP metadata, such as a Photoshop, Illustrator, or other file, the file’s name becomes part of the metadata. The same thing works for placing a file in Indesign or Illustrator and exporting or saving as from those programs. Unless the file includes XMP metadata, you can’t find the source image file’s name in Acrobat.
One quick way to see additional info about a file is using the Content panel. Now, many folks don’t even know that it exists, but it does indeed. Right-click the panel area on the screen to open the list and choose Content. Open the panel’s hierarchy and you’ll find an X-Object defining your image (Fig. 01).
Fig. 01: Access objects quickly from the Content panel.Right-click the listing to open the shortcut menu, and choose Show Metadata. In the resulting XMP Metadata dialog box, shown in Fig. 02, you’ll see the original image’s information including the file name,
Fig. 02: XMP metadata includes source image information.In the Description panel, you’ll see the file’s name and author; at the bottom of the dialog box the source application and date information displays.