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I'd like to know if there's a CLI command to get the "Created" timestamp from the "Document" tab (from file properties of a PDF) in the CLI?

I know that I can use stat to get Access/Modified/Changed info from the filesystem, but with the meta-data in the "Document" tab being embedded in the file itself, I'm not sure how to go about extracting it via the CLI.

The reason I need to do this is to create a list of filenames along with "Created" timestamps for about 22,000 PDF files. Obviously, this is something far better suited to the CLI than the GUI.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you install the poppler-utils package, you can do this using the pdfinfo command. For example:

$ pdfinfo OBEX-1.3.pdf 
Title:          Microsoft Word - OBEX13.doc
Author:         Daphne
Creator:        PScript5.dll Version 5.2
Producer:       Acrobat Distiller 5.0.5 (Windows)
CreationDate:   Wed Feb  5 11:12:32 2003
ModDate:        Wed Feb  5 11:12:32 2003
Tagged:         no
Pages:          95
Encrypted:      no
Page size:      612 x 792 pts (letter)
File size:      545666 bytes
Optimized:      yes
PDF version:    1.3

You should be able to extract the creation date from this output using standard tools like sed or awk.

If you want something a bit more programatic, you could use the poppler library directly. There are bindings for many popular languages including Python (through the python-poppler package).

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thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for! – Joseph Mar 12 '12 at 7:26

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