PDF title vs. PDF file name
Have you ever noticed that a PDF file’s name is not always the same as its title? Have a look at the red and green highlighted areas in the photo above. As it happens, PDFs can have a lot of metadata – i.e. a set of information about the file itself – , such as a title, author’s name, contributors etc. (red rectangle). The downside of all this is that naming your file in your file explorer (e.g.: “My File.PDF” – green rectangle) will not overwrite the actual title of the PDF, the one that’s in the metadata. This issue can become most problematic when applications open your PDF and display its title rather than the name of the file. When the former is not what you intended, you need to figure out a way to change it. If you want to see all this metadata, all you have to do is click on “Get Info” on a Mac or “Properties” on a PC. However, you cannot edit the information like that.
Edit a PDF in Photoshop
I did a lot of research on how to modify those extra bits of data, but all I could find were expensive and complicated solutions. Nevertheless, I found a way of my own that works perfectly with a one-page PDF. What you need to do is detailed below, but check the things you need to bear in mind at the end too just in case. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.
- Make sure you have Adobe Photoshop installed.
- Right click on the PDF and select “Open with…” and then select Photoshop.
- When Photoshop opens, a dialogue box will pop up asking you how you want to import the file (see screenshot below). On the left you can select between several options, but the right one in this case is “Pages” (note that if you have a multipage document and select pages, each page will open as a separate file within Photoshop).
- On the right of that window you can see a few more options regarding the size and quality of the PDF document. The only thing that you need to adjust is the “Crop to”, which reflects in the length and width below it. For example, I pick “Media box” if I have an A4-sized PDF, as that will set my width and length to 20.99cm x 29.7cm, which is essentially the standard A4 size. You can thus play around with the crop options or you can input the dimensions manually in centimetres or inches to fit your document.
- Click “OK” and your document is now open within Photoshop.
- If you now click on the “File” tab and select “File info…” you can access and edit your PDF’s metadata, including title, author, media type and so on.
- Once you finish editing the info, click OK, save the document and that will also save the new information you entered.
To bear in mind:
- Sometimes when you open a PDF with Photoshop it will show up as a negative image. I haven’t been able to figure out why, but all you have to do is reverse the colours and your document will be restored to its original form. Just go to the “Image” tab, then “Adjustments” and click “Invert” (or use the shortcut CTRL+I or CMD+I).
- Photoshop might interpret the size of a page to be smaller than the dimensions you set at the beginning. That doesn’t mess up your document, but it leaves the inner borders transparent (see screenshot below). If your PDF is all white, the solution is extremely simple: on the right, where you have the layers, right click on the layer that is listed and select “Flatten image” (or go to the “Layer” tab at the top and you’ll find the option there too). Otherwise you’ll have to put your editing skills to the test and fill out the borders with the right colours, which is also fairly simple.
- Unless you have a layered PDF, you cannot edit the actual individual content of the PDF in Photoshop. You can only edit the PDF like you would with an image (e.g.: erase pixels, add text on top, change colours, etc.).