How To Set PDF Keywords In Microsoft Windows

How To Set PDF Keywords In Microsoft Windows

The ScanSnap Organizer program that comes with WIndows versions of the Fujitsu ScanSnap is pretty good, but it does have one big limitation that DocumentSnap reader Katherine from Austin Texas ran into: you can’t OCR or set keywords to PDF files that were not created by the ScanSnap scanner.

I couldn’t find a built-in way to set PDF keywords in Windows 7 like there is on the Mac (if anyone knows one, please leave it in the comments), but here are a few options for doing it.

A-PDF Info Changer

A-PDF Info Changer is a handy Windows utility that lets you open up a PDF and set all the associated metadata such as Author, Title, Subject and Keywords.

It is freeware, but they do request a donation so if you find it useful kick them a few bucks. It has a command-line version for $35 that lets you manipulate a bunch of PDFs all at once.

For the free version, just fire it up and set your keywords separated by commas. Then hit Save File and you are done.

A-PDF Info Changer

By the way, A-PDF has a huge number of little PDF utilities, many with freeware versions, that are worth checking out. If you need to do something with Windows, chances are they have a utility to do it.

Adobe Acrobat

It would be overkill to buy Acrobat just for this purpose, but if you have a ScanSnap S1500 or ScanSnap S1500M you already own it.

Open up the PDF in Acrobat and go to File > Properties and you can enter the keywords in the Keywords box.

Acrobat keywords

Any other tricks to set keywords and PDF metadata on Windows? Leave a comment and let us know.

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 5 comments

David - February 14, 2011 Reply

I was searching for a solution to this problem and found When it installs, it adds an item to the menu you get when right clicking on a pdf file in windows explorer. One of the choices is "Document Properties" Click that and edit away. It does other tasks as well, but this is the only one I use. I'd really like a keyboard shortcut if anyone can tell me the easiest way to set that up.

    Brooks Duncan - February 14, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for the pointer David!

@snafu77 - January 25, 2011 Reply

When I read a post on here a few months back about using the ScanSnap with Hazel to add keywords automatically I went about looking for a way to do it with my Xerox DocuMate 162. I didn't find a way to automate it that I could use since all the Win apps I could find that had the functionality were expensive and aimed at business document management. What I did find was AutoMetadata by Evermap – . Its a free app that will let you load multiple pdf files and edit various information including keywords. This doesn't duplicate the ScanSnap on Mac with Hazel "keywording" action since there is more work involved but it allows me to scan all my docs and place them in groups then go back later and select them all and add keywords. Really great free app. (It's not mine and this isn't spam

Julie - January 25, 2011 Reply

I am confused what do you mean by "the way you can on a Mac" What can we Mac users do that isn't as easy on a PC. I want to make sure I know about the feature on a Mac. IS the Acrobat or Word specific?

    Brooks Duncan - January 25, 2011 Reply

    Hi Julie, sorry for not being clear. It is a feature that is actually built into Mac OSX. Open up a PDF in Preview and then hit Command-i to bring up the Inspector. On the tab with the Magnifying glass, you can see/set the keywords. Here's a screenshot:

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