How to Change the Document Title of a PDF

PDFs, like many files, have metadata that contains additional information about the file. This can include data like creation date, file name, description, authors, and much much more. Many applications rely on this metadata to show information about a file to the user viewing it.

Web browsers, for example, can use a file’s title metadata for the tab’s title the file is being viewed in. Some email clients, using features like Outlook’s link preview, will use metadata to construct a preview of a file.

When this metadata is incorrect, it can cause confusion for people receiving the file. Thankfully, metadata in a PDF can be changed without having to re-create the entire file. In this article, we’ll show you how to change the title metadata for a PDF document.

Method 1: Change PDF Title Metadata with Adobe Acrobat Pro

If you have a subscription to Adobe Acrobat Pro, then you’re in luck, because this is the easiest way to change a PDF’s title. Adobe Acrobat Reader can view a PDF’s metadata, but editing the fields is a feature only available in the Pro version. We’ll be using Acrobat Reader in the example below, but the steps are the same for the Pro version.

  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
  2. Click File in the upper left corner and select Properties...
    Adobe Acrobat Reader Properties in File Menu
  3. In the Document Properties window that appears, change the PDF’s title in the Title field and click OK.
    Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF Title in File Properties Window
  4. Save the PDF (Ctrl + S or File > Save).

Method 2: Change the PDF Title Metadata with Microsoft Word

If the document was originally created in Microsoft Word, then you might be able to change the PDF’s title with Word. Once you open the PDF in Word, it will attempt to convert its contents to a Word document. If it’s successful, you can then change the document’s metadata and save it as a PDF again – here’s how.

  1. Open the PDF in Microsoft Word. When browsing for the file, you might need to change the File Type dropdown to All Files (*.*).
    Windows 10 File Type Dropdown in File Explorer
  2. Click OK on the information message you see about converting to PDF.
    Microsoft Word 365 Convert from PDF Information Message Box
  3. Click File in the upper left corner and select the Info tab in the leftmost menu of the following screen.
    Microsoft Word 365 Info Tab in File Menu
  4. Under Properties on the right hand side, change the title of the PDF in the Title field.
    Microsoft Word 365 Title Metadata Field in File Properties
  5. Click the Save As tab in the menu at the left and save it as a new PDF.

Method 3: Use Notepad++

Another way to change the document title of a PDF is with a text editor like Notepad++. You can actually edit the PDF in a text editor and get access to the metadata in text form. You should make a backup of the original PDF before attempting this method, because one minor mistake could corrupt the entire file.

  1. Make a backup of the original PDF by creating a copy of it.
  2. Open the copy of the PDF in Notepad++. You can either right click it and select Edit in Notepad++ or open it in Notepad++ via File > Open.
    Edit with Notepad Plus Plus in PDF Right Click Menu
  3. Hit Ctrl + F on your keyboard and search for “title”.
    Notepad Plus Plus Find Window
  4. On the Title(<Current Title>) line, change ONLY what’s in the parenthesis to what you want the title of the PDF to be. In the example below, we would change Title(Incorrect Title) to Title(Correct Title).
    PDF Title Metadata in Notepad Plus Plus
  5. Save the PDF (Ctrl + S or File > Save).

Method 4: Use an Online PDF Metadata Editor

You can change the title metadata of a PDF using an online PDF metadata editor like Sejda.com or PDFCandy.com. How you use these tools will vary on which tool you choose, but in general you’ll:

  1. Upload your copy of the PDF.
  2. Make the changes to the Title metadata field.
  3. Download a new copy of the PDF.

Keep in mind that, like any online tool, you should never upload documents with sensitive information in them. These are public tools and you never know what’s happening behind the scenes after you upload your document.

Leave a Comment