When you right click a file, such as a power point presentation, I expect to be able to see the author of the file and other such metadata. This does not seem to happen in gnome / nautilus. This is standard behaviour in Windows.

Any idea how I can see a files metadata?


Files such as the Portable Document Format (PDF), images, audio and video files the metadata you are interested in can be viewed by right clicking the file, click properties and then click on the relevant tab to see the kind of metadata you asked about.

For PDFs click the Document tab

For images click the Image tab

For audio click the Audio tab

For video click the Audio/Video tab

For some Office documents you will not be able to view the kind of metadata you asked about by right clicking, you can install the utility called extract from the repositories and and run it from the command line, the metadata, if any is contained in the file, will be displayed in your terminal.

Example for using the extract utility:

I have an OpenOffice.org spreadsheet called 555.ods, From the directory where the file is located I run;

extract 555.ods

The result below is the metadata in the file printed to stdout.

keywords - Electronics
subject - Electronics Engineering
title - 555 Timer Calculations
creator - Shabaka Sellasie
date - 2011-03-03T00:48:04
creation date - 2006-03-03T00:48:02
software - OpenOffice.org/3.2$Linux OpenOffice.org_project/320m19$Build-9505
mimetype - application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.spreadsheet

Currently, libextractor supports the following formats: HTML, PDF, PS, OLE2 (DOC, XLS, PPT), OpenOffice (sxw), StarOffice (sdw), DVI, MAN, MP3 (ID3v1 and ID3v2), OGG, WAV, EXIV2, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, DEB, RPM, TAR(.GZ), ZIP, ELF, REAL, RIFF (AVI), MPEG, QT and ASF.

you can install the utility called extract

This is a simple Nautilus script that invokes extract and displays the result with zenity, then with a right-click I can get that info. If you want, the script I wrote is this (please note that I'm not sure that the line "IFS=$'\n'" is actually required, a bash expert could comment on that)

for item ; do  
   echo "$item"  
   /usr/bin/extract "$item"  
done | zenity --text-info --title="extract" --width=300 --height=600
  • Sad that this doesn't work in Nautilus like it does in explorer.exe Either way, answer is what I was looking for, Thanks. – user11738 Mar 3 '11 at 13:21

Is this any more palatable?

sudo apt-get install hachoir-metadata
ln -s `which hachoir-metadata-gtk` ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/
nautilus -q

Then right-click a file, choose hachoir from the scripts menu, and you get all the meta data in a window.

Annoyingly, it looks like proper integration is only a little code away, and that code might have been written already but lost? (hachoir site makes reference to a nautilus plugin.) Alas I cannot code python.

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