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10.4: Generate PDFs without embedded author information System
I'm submitting what is supposed to be an anonymous review for a paper. I wrote up the review in a text file and generated a PDF from it (using Print » PDF » Save as PDF...) only to find out that the author info was emdedded in the PDF metadata. I thought there would be a free tool to modify PDF metadata in Mac OS X, but I seem to have been wrong.

The solution: Instead of using Save as PDF from the PDF pop-up meu, use the Compress PDF option instead. A side effect of this workflow is that the author info does not get embedded in the metadata.

[robg adds: I used Adobe Reader to confirm that this works -- the author data is definitely included with the normal Save as PDF, but not when using Compress.]
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10.4: Generate PDFs without embedded author information | 8 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Generate PDFs without embedded author information
Authored by: Interactive on Feb 12, '07 07:37:46AM

I truly appreciate this hint because I have always been annoyed by the inclusion of the author info.

Thank you!



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10.4: Generate PDFs without embedded author information
Authored by: jctull on Feb 12, '07 08:40:36AM

I just tested this on a figure from a paper to see if the compress option blurs or otherwise poorly renders a publication-quality figure. It seems to look fine. I did not try it with a picture.

Thanks for providing this tip. I had no idea that personal information was being embedded in pdf files.



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10.4: Generate PDFs without embedded author information
Authored by: palahala on Feb 12, '07 09:13:16AM

I recall that some PDF readers, possibly including OS X Preview, do not recognize clickable links in PDFs created this way (or do not show the user that a link can be clicked -- sorry, don't recall exactly). However, Adobe Reader would still make them clickable even when others did not, so I did not investigate any further.



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10.4: Generate PDFs without embedded author information
Authored by: Old Toad on Feb 12, '07 10:03:14AM

Why do they call it Compress PDF when the file created by that option is twice the size of the file created by the Save as PDF option?

I tested this hint by printing this (the home MacOSX Hints) web page both ways and got those surprising results.



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10.4: Generate PDFs without embedded author information
Authored by: rvcx on Feb 12, '07 10:27:53AM

The 'pdftk' command-line tool is very useful for this kind of pdf metadata hacking. (Google can find it.)



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10.4: Generate PDFs without embedded author information
Authored by: billclinton on Feb 12, '07 02:53:39PM

This is an interesting hint--thanks.

I have the exact same problem (providing anonymous reviews for manuscripts) and have solved it by editing the PDF in a text editor--search for your name (it appears as readable text within all the garbage characters) and just change it. It might be a good idea to keep the number of characters the same.

I also don't use a recognizable name, so if I forget to make the change I'm still OK wrt my anonymity.



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10.4: Generate PDFs without embedded author information
Authored by: jolinwarren on Feb 13, '07 05:08:11AM
Another easy way (which shouldn't degrade the image quality) is to use the 'Combine PDFs' software. This allows one to set the author name. Just drag your file into Combine PDFs, set the author name, and re-save it without changing the page order or adding another file.

http://www.monkeybreadsoftware.de/Freeware/CombinePDFs.shtml

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10.4: Generate PDFs without embedded author information
Authored by: Nogaej on Feb 17, '07 11:20:42AM

You can open previously made PDFs in TextEdit and search for Author, the name used on the computer follows in parentheses and delete it.
You should do this on a copy to make sure you haven't mucked something up.



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