Wrong document title shows when I open a file

Community Beginner ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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Hi All:

I am working on an iMac using El Capitan 10.11.6. Until last week, when I upgraded to DC, hoping it would solve my problem (did not) I was using the previous version of Acrobat Pro. Regardless of version of Acrobat, whenever I open a PDF that came originally form a Word file, the wrong file title appears in the title bar above the page. Instead of "BigFile-Client ABC-2016" the title will be what it was in Word the first time I made the file "BigFile-GENERIC-2009" Even if I resave the file, add or subtract security, close and reopen, the name in the title bar is still wrong, and always an old name from years ago. This is a problem since I am customizing the same document for different clients and changing the names so I can tell them apart. Oddly enough, if I save and close the file, it appears in the desktop with the correct name and this does not happen at all with files that were originally made in InDesign. This problem just started a couple of weeks ago. Any ideas? What could have changed to cause this to just start happening?

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Create PDFs, Macintosh

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Adobe Employee , Oct 12, 2016 Oct 12, 2016
If you get the right title in the source document in Word (or even blank), that would automatically be carried over when you create PDF.

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New Here ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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This is a MS word issue.. With your document opened in MS word, go to File > Info > Properties > Advanced Properties

Change the 'Title' under the Summary tab

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New Here ,
Feb 09, 2018 Feb 09, 2018

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I'm having the same issue - Adobe using the Title instead of File name.  I can change the document properties but with the amount of PDF files I work with and as much as they are shared among different users that is NOT a practical solution.  It just started when I switched to a new computer and reinstalled Adobe Pro DC.  Still using my old computer (temporarily) and not an issue there.  Following if anyone else has a solution.

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New Here ,
Jul 25, 2018 Jul 25, 2018

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Hello,

Have you resolved this issue for PDF default display the "Document Title" rather than "File Name", when save as Word file into PDF format?

We also encounter this issue.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 25, 2018 Jul 25, 2018

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Several people seem to have solved this. See especially reply 9.

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New Here ,
Jul 25, 2018 Jul 25, 2018

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We still need the document Title in Word, can't change it.

Is this a bug from MS, not Acrobat?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2018 Jul 25, 2018

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It's not a bug, it's just a setting. You can change it for one file via the file's Properties or you can use an Action (if you have Acrobat Pro) and process multiple files at ones to show the file-name instead of the title, or the other way around.

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New Here ,
Jul 25, 2018 Jul 25, 2018

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I have Acrobat DC pro and know how to change the setting in here. I want to know how to set that can be default display Word file name not the document Title when Save As Word into PDF.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 25, 2018 Jul 25, 2018

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As mentioned this is all working as designed. However, I do agree that it would be nice to set these options in the PDFMaker plugin, before creating the file. You can post a feature request to add this new feature to future versions of the application here: Acrobat for Windows and Mac: Top (1660 ideas) – Share your feedback on Acrobat DC

And/or here: Feature Request/Bug Report Form

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LEGEND ,
Feb 09, 2018 Feb 09, 2018

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Please read the Message just before your own.

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New Here ,
May 04, 2018 May 04, 2018

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Turn off Track changes or finalise the word doc before exporting

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LEGEND ,
Jul 25, 2018 Jul 25, 2018

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There is no setting to change in Acrobat. Acrobat is working as designed. The design is that if the PDF creation software sets a title, then the title is shown. Word puts the document name as title. This is as designed. Post 9 gave exact instructions to change this in Word, does this not work?

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Explorer ,
Aug 22, 2018 Aug 22, 2018

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Said "design" does not appear to be working when exporting from .PPT to .PDF. The Document Title is indeed what we need to display by default, otherwise it fails the Accessibilty Check, required for gov't compliance w/ the Disabilities Act. Instead, despite having set a title in the metadata, and that title being well passed along to the .PDF, the exported file now defaults to showing Filename. Please tell me how to fix this w/out having to manually set it for each .PDF, as we have thousands of files we need to make government compliant. Given the law, this issue (which was never a problem in previous versions) seems astoundingly moronic.

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New Here ,
Sep 26, 2018 Sep 26, 2018

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I am also having this problem with .pdf documents opened in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. I understand that Reader DC is just displaying the 'title' property of the pdf, which was created in Word. Word not updating this property when the filename is changed is unfortunate but beyond Adobe's responsibility.

I am using a word file as a template to create other files. I do not want to have to recreate tables and headers and such, and I do not want to have manually set the 'title' property every time I make a new file from a template.

Reader DC should have an option to display filename instead of 'title'. Please let me know where this is located, If it does not have this Adobe should look into adding it.

Looking at past posts, it seems that the name displayed at the top of the file window is commonly expected to the the same as the filename. It is likely this issue will necro'ed again and again (and not just by me ) as the current design is bucking a common expectation.

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New Here ,
Oct 16, 2018 Oct 16, 2018

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In Word you can remove metadata by clicking FILE>INFO and Inspect Document (Check for Issues). Remove document properties then export to PDF.

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New Here ,
Oct 26, 2018 Oct 26, 2018

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Word [Office 365 PC version] in the File menu, it shows "properties" in the right-hand pane, or a button for "advanced properties." Make the title blank, and it will then export the pdf title as the document title.

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New Here ,
Jan 28, 2019 Jan 28, 2019

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I struggled with this when changing a computer, but here is what you do:

With your document opened in MS word, go to File > Info > Properties > Advanced Properties and erase the title that is there.  It then defaults to the file name.  If you do this with your source document, everything else after will not have a file name.  But if you have a lot of source docs like me, then you'll be doing this for a while and then eventually it will be fine.  I have no idea why this changed all of a sudden.  With my old computers, I had been doing this the same way for 15 years w/o a problem.  I assume there might be a way to just change the default to file name for all docs all the time, but I haven't found that. 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2019 Feb 21, 2019

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Having recently come across this issue (which it seems has been going on for longer than I have noticed), I think the previous posts can be summarised as below. There are two points of view, both of which are correct - and a little bit mutually exclusive (if that's possible!)

  • Adobe is apparently behaving "as designed" in displaying the document title meta-data in the application title bar & document tab.
  • You can argue whether the programmers made the right decision here - I'm not enough of a PDF expert to say.
  • Every other mainstream Windows-based program that I use DOES NOT DO THIS - it displays the file name of the file, and it does this regardless of whether there is any meta-data present.
  • It is this final point that is the crux of the discussion - yes Adobe's working as designed, but seemingly not how a large number of users expect it to. It seems odd that there's not a setting within Adobe to choose whether you want to see file name or title meta-data displayed on the title bar & tab.
  • As a side note, I have encountered some inconsistencies - sometimes it displays meta-data title and sometimes it displays file name (even when there is a meta-data title to display) - see screen shots below.

If anyone has any deeper insights I'd be grateful to hear them. Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 21, 2019 Feb 21, 2019

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This is not up to Adobe. This is how the PDF format is defined. There's an (optional) flag in each PDF file that defines whether the document's title should be displayed or the file-name. From the PDF ISO Specifications (Table 150 – Entries in a viewer preferences dictionary):

DisplayDocTitle

boolean

(Optional; PDF 1.4) A flag specifying whether the window’s title bar should display the document title taken from the Title entry of the document information dictionary (see 14.3.3, “Document Information Dictionary”). If false, the title bar should instead display the name of the PDF file containing the document. Default value: false.

If this flag is missing (or is set to FALSE), the file-name will be displayed. If it's not missing and is set to TRUE it means the author explicitly decided to show the file title, instead. Whether or not they are aware of this decision, or have specified the correct title for the file, is another matter.

By the way, this is certainly not the only place where this happens. When you open an HTML file in your browser it does not show the file's name. It shows the value of the <Title> tag from it, as well as other applications. This is common practice.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 21, 2019 Feb 21, 2019

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What can you see under "Initial View" ?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2019 Feb 21, 2019

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Aha! I see this (as below). That seems to be the issue; somehow the programs that have created these two files are responsible for setting this value for "Initial View" and - if I'm honest - I'm not sure how I can reliably control this across all the various PDF-generating applications I have. Thanks for this - it's HUGELY helpful, and I understand a lot more now - hopefully other contributors to this thread will think the same - thanks for everyone's input.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 21, 2019 Feb 21, 2019

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If you have Acrobat Pro you can create an Action that will set this setting and then run it on all of your files.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2019 Feb 21, 2019

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Thanks - I'll try to find out how I do that in DC Pro, though as only a fairly basic-level user it may take a while. I may try to focus my efforts on finding how & why the "Initial View" field can be set to different values from various PDF-creating sources (Excel, Word, CutePDF, and others).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 21, 2019 Feb 21, 2019

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It's really quite easy. Go to Tools - Action Wizard - Create New Action and add to it the following commands (in this order):

Set Open Options (from Document Processing) and Save (from Save & Export).

Then click the Open Options command on the right and tick off the Prompt User box. Now click on Specify Settings and this window will appear:

Only change the "Display Document Title" option to Yes (or No, if that's what you prefer). That's it.

Now save your Action and click on it to run it in your files/folders.

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New Here ,
Apr 17, 2019 Apr 17, 2019

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I created the Action and ran it - changing it to NO instead of YES - worked like a charm!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 17, 2019 Apr 17, 2019

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Did you add a Save command?

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