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pdf file metadata

New Here ,
Jan 14, 2023 Jan 14, 2023

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I have a series of InDesign newsletter (INDD) files and their corresponding PDFs that go back several years. Unfortunately, it appears that when they were copied and shared with my by a previous editor, the original file creation and modification dates were lost. When I look at properties and also via the Macintosh Finder GetInfo windows, all I see is the same date for all the files (apparently the date they were copied).

My question: Is there metadata stored deep inside either INDD or PDF files that will reveal their actual original creation dates, as well as edi/tchange history (activity dates) as they were worked on? I'm trying to build a timeline. Please help.

TIA

-Don

 

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Create PDFs , Edit and convert PDFs , How to

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New Here ,
Jan 14, 2023 Jan 14, 2023

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*(reposted w/typos fixed):

I'm trying to build a timeline of newsletter work history. Please help.

 

I have a series of files (InDesign INDDs and their corresponding PDFs) that go back several years.

 

Unfortunately, it appears that when they were copied and shared with me by a previous editor, the original file creation and modification dates were lost. When I look at properties from within InDesign and Acrobat and also via Macintosh Finder GetInfo, all I see is the same date for all the files (apparently the date they were copied).

 

My question: Is there metadata stored deep inside either INDD or PDF files that will reveal their actual original creation dates, as well as edit/change history (activity dates) as they were worked on?

 

TIA

 

-Don

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Community Expert ,
Jan 15, 2023 Jan 15, 2023

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Open the file in Adobe Acrobat and look at the metadata.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 15, 2023 Jan 15, 2023

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Answer is no for PDF files.

If you redo new PDFs from the INDD files, you can keep the creation date but the modification date will be today's.

 

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New Here ,
Jan 16, 2023 Jan 16, 2023

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Thanks for your replies, Bernd & JR.

 

Rethinking this situation, since for me, PDFs are generally created as a final output and not edited later, it appears my focus should really be on InDesign metadata to find the creation history I'm trying to pull together. So, I dug in that direction and found each INDD file appears to have am embedded XMP data file.

 

I chose one of our newsletters, published in the Fall of 2016, as a case study. I was able to use Excel's Get Data function to bring that particular XMP file in for review.

 

Interestingly, I found this particular newsletter's XMP file has 114 entries exactly like this:

 

<rdf:li rdf:parseType="Resource">
<stEvt:action>saved</stEvt:action>
<stEvt:instanceID>xmp.iid:FD7F11740720681180839C328B58F80D</stEvt:instanceID>
<stEvt:when>2015-04-10T14:44:44-06:00</stEvt:when>
<stEvt:softwareAgent>Adobe InDesign 7.0</stEvt:softwareAgent>
<stEvt:changed>/

 

The only difference is the 'when' (date) line. The 114 dates include multiple entries for each date, beginning 2015-04-07 and ending 2016-12-13. Unfortunately these data are not especially useful to me in my quest. I assume this newsletter's first apparent save was more than a full year before publication and the last was months after publication because the editor opened a prior newsletter INDD file as a template and opened months after publication to tweak something for later PDF creation.

 

I thought I'd post this FYI, just in case either of you have further thoughts or if another Adobe expert should like to chime in to help me with my effort.

 

-Don

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Community Expert ,
Jan 17, 2023 Jan 17, 2023

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In InDesign you can see  the file metadata under: File menu : Informations.

You can also see some hidden metadata using this tip: https://creativepro.com/accessing-document-history/

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