My question is in reference to the title shown in Acrobat Reader's tab and title bar that reads "Modern business letter."

enter image description here

I generated the PDF from a .docx document, and the document is generated based on a LibreOffice template (.odt) named "Modern business letter", which is where the title name comes from.

I know how to change the template name in LibreOffice, but that can cause unwanted error if I forget to change it the next time I use the same template. Im looking for other macOS options so I don’t have to struggle in LibreOffice.

How do I change the individual PDF title, either in Acrobat Reader or in Finder?

  • Just to clarify, was the PDF itself generated by MS Word, or by LibreOffice? Also, what version of macOS are you running and what version of Acrobat Reader, MS Word and/or Libre Office?
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 7:44
  • 2
    @Monomeeth, Personally, I wish every question included the hardware and software information surrounding the question, however... There is no clarification necessary since neither Adobe Reader or Finder, by default and natively, have the capability to edit that information and that's the focus of the question being asked, "How do I change the individual PDF title, either in Acrobat Reader or in Finder?". the information you're requesting is not really relevant in this situation. It either needs to be done before being exported/printed to PDF or use an app capable of editing PDF Documents. Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 15:54
  • You cannot either in Reader or Finder... Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 18:41

6 Answers 6


To answer the question you asked, "How do I change the individual PDF title, either in Acrobat Reader or in Finder?", you can't. Neither Acrobat Reader or Finder, by default and natively, have the capability to edit that information. It needs to be done before being exported/printed to PDF or use an app capable of editing PDF Documents.

The industry standard is Adobe Acrobat however it's an expensive app and overkill if looking to just edit that information.

If you have exiftool installed and want to do it from the command line in Terminal, use the following syntax:

exiftool -Title="New Title" /path/to/filename.pdf
  • To clear the Title, just use: -Title=""
  • Other meta-data can be changed in a similar fashion.
  • Thanks for this! I also realized that this is the only method that does not change the size of the document. Before exiftool I tried several other methods (PDF Attributes and PDF Attributes Editor apps, Automator Workflow as described by @Allan below) but they all drastically increase the file size. Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 12:59
  • 1
    exiftool is the best answer, also the link to PDFInfo now houses a suspended page
    – Chad
    Commented May 27, 2020 at 6:36
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    This worked on Ubuntu as well for me. Thanks!
    – Mukul M.
    Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 3:05

You don't need elaborate steps nor additional software for macOS to change Title. Following applies both for existing pdf file and file you are creating from .docx or whatnot. Just print to PDF (for existing pdf file one needs to create new one)

⌘ + P for printing and in opening printing window in the footer on the left side open drop-down menu and choose 'Save as PDF'.

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It opens up Finder window for saving where you can set Title, Author, Subject, Keywords.

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  • The question asks "How do I change the individual PDF title, either in Acrobat Reader or in Finder?" Your answer is for a different question that is not asked here.
    – AllInOne
    Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 21:14
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    The question asks: "How to change a PDF's title? (not file name)". My answer addresses this question. I admit that in body there is also specifics referred but this has been already addressed in accepted answer. There are two questions - one in header and one in small print but my opinion is that this does not make first one to 'question not asked here'. Also, people landing on this thread with search term 'how to change pdf title' (2-nd result on my machine) expect to receive answer to that question. Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 11:56
  • This answer is a pure gold!
    – user515170
    Commented May 24 at 17:04

You can do this through Automator. Automator includes a number of functions to get and set PDF Metadata including things like "Title."

Super Simple: Create a Workflow Application...

  1. Create a new Workflow Application
  2. Choose Set PDF Metadata (under the PDFs library)
  3. Save; when you drop your PDF on the file, it will change the title for you.

enter image description here

More Steps, More Flexibility

The downside to that method is that while really simple, you can't programmatically change the Title (for whatever reason, you can't use variables in Set PDF Metadata). It's great for batches if you wanted to change the Author or Keywords for a bunch of files.

So, to do this "sorta" programmatically, you have to do it within Automator

  1. Create a new Blank Workflow
  2. Choose Get Specified Finder Items (Under Files & Folders Library)
  3. Choose Set PDF Metadata (Under PDFs library)
  4. Drag and drop your PDF into the top box
  5. Run
  6. Rinse and repeat as necessary

enter image description here

  • Nice, I didn't think about Automator and I usual do! Do you know what actual app the Automator Set PDF Metadata action is using to make the changes? +1 even if you don't. :) Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 18:41
  • @user3439894 - I don't know the actual app/library - I think it's just built into Automator
    – Allan
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 19:54
  • The reason I asked is exiftool doesn't contain any binaries and relies on perl (and the various perl libraries) to do it's thing. So in that respect I was wondering if Automator was using anything other then the primary binary within the /System/Library/Automator/Set PDF Metadata.action file, which is the Set PDF Metadata action you see in Automator itself, to do the actual work. As an example the Scale Images action uses /usr/bin/sips to do that actual manipulation. So it's just idle curiosity if the Set PDF Metadata action is calling an outside binary to do the actual work. Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 22:15
  • Doesn't seem a way to use variables for the fields, has to be static text
    – malhal
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 12:04

I found on a iMac, you must open the Word document first and go into File > Properties > Summary and you can edit the name of the Title and Author of the document there. Re-save the Word document. Re-Save as a PDF as normal.

When you open it in PDF, the tab will have the correct title.

  • 2
    What do you do if there is no Word document to start with?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 17:40
  • OP has already mentioned they are aware of being able to edit the document properties before exporting to PDF (using LibreOffice instead of Word, but the same effect) — this question is specifically about editing a PDF after export.
    – grg
    Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 17:51

Open the pdf file in text editor (e.g. Notepad++) and search for the current title, then type new title instead. Save.

Example: I wanted to rename title of my pdf from "MergedFile" to "123456". I opened pdf in notepad++ and searched for "MergedFile". Found two instances and renamed both the "123456". Saved file. That's it.

  • 3
    Notepad++ is a Windows app.
    – IconDaemon
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 14:31
  • To be fair, the question didn’t have good tags and clear requirements for macOS. I’ve edited that in since I can’t imagine someone would install a windows emulation or virtualization layer just to get notepad, but it’s fine for you to say that’s a good option and then this would be complete in my eyes. Maybe not up vote worthy, but a complete answer.
    – bmike
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 15:10
  • 1
    PDF files may contain binary data which will not survive a trip through a text editor. The assumption of a particular text encoding may also corrupt the file. The xref table may also become invalid.
    – benwiggy
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 15:17
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    Wow, so many salt here. I even provided Notepad++ just as an example, it's easy to figure what's your favourite text editor i guess. Commented May 29, 2019 at 7:22
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    I tried this and it corrupted my .pdf file, so be careful and make sure you can undo or duplicate it before trying this. Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 16:32

You may print the pdf into a pdf with typed a new title.

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