I'm trying to create a PDF/X-1a compliant PDF, using pdfx and the [jobname].xmpdata external file. Not ever going to buy Adobe products as they require a prohibitive subscription fee.

For some reason the metadata isn't showing up when I use the Preview.app. I'm using MacTeX TeX Live 2016 on macOS Sierra. A quick test using Scribus results in metadata displaying properly using Preview.app.

Specifically, The "Author", "Subject" and "Keywords" are not displaying when processing with pdflatex using package pdfx.

This is 00.tex:

\chapter{Chapter 1}
\chapter{Chapter 2}

This is the metadata file, 00.xmpdata:

\Author{The Author}
\Title{Book Title Here}
\Keywords{Keyword1\sep Keyword2\sep Keyword3\sep Keyword4\sep Keyword5}
\Subject{The Subject Line Here}

I've also included USWebCoatedSWOP.icc and AdobeRGB1998.icc in the same directory as 00.tex and 00.xmpdata.

The command I use to create the PDF is: pdflatex 00.tex

Everything seems to be setup for a solid PDF/X-1a build. No errors are encountered when I typeset. Note: I use Terminal only, no GUI

The Terminal environment is setup properly. Pathing works and finds everything.


  • tlmgr revision 41476 (2016-06-18 02:45:25 +0200)
  • tlmgr using installation: /usr/local/texlive/2016
  • TeX Live (http://tug.org/texlive) version 2016
  • pdfx package revision: 41318
  • memoir package revision: 41203
  • pdflatex version: pdfTeX 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.17 (TeX Live 2016)
  • kpathsea version 6.2.2

After creating the PDF and using macOS Sierra Preview.app the Preview Menu "Tools >> Show Inspector" results in a lack of data for Author, Subject and Keywords.

Upon looking inside the PDF (because I did not let it compress) I find the location where the pdfx.xmpi data is located. The PDF and pdfx.xmpi are exactly the same. Not sure where to go at this point?

  • 2
    There is often more than one kind of metadata in a PDF. It is possible to have valid XMP metadata, but lack PDF Info Dictionary metadata. A very smart PDF reader is supposed to give priority to the XMP, and ignore the Info if it is present. Many PDF readers are not that smart: They ignore XMP, and just look at the Info. This may or may not pertain to your situation (no Mac here). There are several possibilities that I cannot diagnose, but I doubt if the problem is due to inability to locate component files via kpathsea. Find a friend with Adobe Reader and see what it says about your file.
    – user103221
    Feb 22, 2017 at 3:24

2 Answers 2


Thank you for the information. I think I've discovered the same thing you've described. The metadata pdfx includes in the final pdf file is in a very different location than the \pdfinfo metadata used in the following code:

  /Author (The Author)
  /Title (The Title)
  /Subject (The Subject)
  /Keywords (Keyword1, Keyword2, Keyword3, Keyword4, Keyword5)
  /Publisher (The Publisher)
  /Copyright (The Copyright)
  /Copyrighted (True)
  /PublicationType (Book) 

It appears there are several different types of metadata and both pdfx and the above code do function as designed.

Thank you for your input, it's much appreciated. I've resolved this issue myself.

  • Be sure to mark your reply as answering your own question, seeing as how you did the work.
    – user103221
    Feb 22, 2017 at 22:48

The answer is that both pdfx and \pdfinfo allow for metadata to be added to the PDF being generated. As was pointed out there are different types of metadata. And after I did several comparison tests it was noted that both pdfx and \pdfinfo metadata is valid but stored in different parts of the PDF file being created. So this was a non-issue after all.

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