C-Command Software Forum

Derive meta from content

Useful for many PDFs and some websites (with bad <title>) would be a function “Set as title” in the context menu of the the Record Viewer’s text selection.

(inspired by the Papers app)

Yes, that’s on my to-do list.

I’ve added this in EagleFiler 1.4.

Bug?

  1. I start out with a PDF file on my desktop. I right click on “Get Info”
  2. Under “More Info” I see the TITLE and author, etc.
  3. I bring the PDF file into EagleFiler. The TITLE and author come in fine.
  4. I bring up the Info box in EagleFiler and change the TITLE.
  5. the new TITLE is correctly displayed in EagleFiler.
  6. I close and reopen EagleFiler. The new TITLE is still displayed correctly.
  7. I export the PDF file back to my desktop and right click on “Get Info”
  8. none of the information under More Info is there. The TITLE is gone as is the author and other information.

I don’t think this is a bug in EagleFiler. Setting the Title sets it in EagleFiler. It does not modify the contents of the PDF file. You can verify this by opening the PDF file in Preview. Since the PDF file hasn’t changed, the contents of the Finder’s Get Info window should be the same. If they are not, perhaps it hasn’t yet extracted the metadata, or perhaps there’s a bug in the Finder.

Some of the metadata in More Info in finder DOES get changed after I move a PDF file into and out of Eaglefiler.

I’m relatively new to using Macs. But from what I see it seems the problem is that there isn’t any standard for writing information to metafile data and having it picked up in a consistent way in Finder and other programs. Is that the issue? If so, that’s too bad.

Basically, what I was hoping for was to be able to use EagleFiler to write descriptive information about a PDF file … title, author (EagleFile labels this field as “from” ) , comments, etc. Then, if I export a PDF file out of EagleFiler, I would like to see all of that SAME information … title, comments, etc. when I “Get Info” about the PDF document in finder. To me, a title is a title and comments are comments. So I would like EagleFiler fields to match up with “Get Info” fields.

I’m not seeing that here. Which metadata do you see changing? If you want, you can use “md5” to verify that EagleFiler did not change the file.

Yes.

The “comments” field in Get Info is fragile, and it only supports plain text. I don’t recommend using it. EagleFiler notes support rich text and images, and it stores them as freestanding files, which is more durable.

PDF files do have internal metadata fields for author and title, so theoretically EagleFiler could modify the file to store the metadata there. There are some issues with this, though:

  1. Not all file types support this.
  2. It’s not necessarily safe for an application to modify a file—chances are, it doesn’t fully understand the format, and thus could damage it. For example, Mac OS X can read and write Word files, but it doesn’t support the whole format, so if EagleFiler were to modify a Word file to change the metadata you could lose data. Mac OS X has comparatively better support for PDF, but even modifying PDF files is probably risky.

Michael,

Thanks again for your help. I will stay away from the comments field in Get Info.

To express what I would like in a different way, it would be nice if any information I added about a PDF document in EagleFiler would get permanently attached to the PDF document so that it was searchable, even if I exported the file and sent it to someone else. But there are other solutions for that such as Skim.

The bottom line is that EagleFiler is the best document management program I’ve found and your support is great, too.

Well, even Skim annotations are not searchable (except within EagleFiler) because Spotlight doesn’t understand them. That’s the general problem. EagleFiler could attach metadata to the file using extended attributes, but Spotlight and other search software don’t know to look there, and it’s easy to have the extended attributes accidentally stripped when transferring a file.

For PDF files, I think your best bet is to use Skim’s PDF Bundle format. This stores the notes in a sidecar file (rather than extended attributes). And because it’s a different file type (.pdfd rather than .pdf) it can have its own Spotlight indexer. The downside is that it’s a bit more difficult to view the files on Macs without EagleFiler or Skim. And there’s no generalized solution like this for other types of files.