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Organising .pdf files for ease of access.

  1. Oct 28, 2009 #1

    I am trying to sort the numerous PDF files I have in a folder, not written by me, and mostly journal articles that I have downloaded. I am having two problems with this:

    1. Windows (7) does not allow me to add "author" or "year" properties to these files, although I have placed them in a folder customised specifically for documents. I find this odd since it lets me add these specific columns on the folder view. I would ideally like it to happen automatically as the year of publication at least is contained in the PDF file, but failing this I can't even enter the information manually.

    2. Failing even this I would like to alter the PDF file properties to add an author or date. I can open the window but I don't seem to be allowed to enter this information- the edit boxes are disabled.

    Question- how does everyone sort their pdf files? I can see in a year or so I'll have upwards of 50 and it will take a long time to find the one I need, given my current convention is to just call the file "[author][year].pdf", especially as some authors publish more than one article a year.


  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2009 #2


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    Is the file read-only? This often happens if you copy them off a CD-R or something similar.

    You are on the right track about storing the information in the metadata. That is the best way.
  4. Oct 28, 2009 #3
    I don't think it is... although it's a PDF so I'd not expect to alter it, I don't know where to find its protection. I can't see this mentioned in any of the usual places (file properties, security, etc.)

    Ultimately I'd like to edit the meta-data (that's the word I was looking for!) as windows sees it, like I know you can for audio files. I just can't see the options for documents. I got them all from the journal websites using my academic login.
  5. Oct 28, 2009 #4


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    In XP you just right click on the file, go to properties and on the General tab it has a section called "Attributes" and a checkbox that indicates if it is read only.

    When it is checked you can not modify the metadata.
  6. Oct 28, 2009 #5
    Nope, that is not checked. :(
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