Using exiftool on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL, Ubuntu) I can print exif data:

# exiftool test.pdf

ExifTool Version Number         : 10.80
File Name                       : test.pdf
Directory                       : .
File Size                       : 279 kB
File Modification Date/Time     : 2020:04:28 23:00:41+02:00
File Access Date/Time           : 2020:04:28 23:08:51+02:00
File Inode Change Date/Time     : 2020:04:28 23:00:41+02:00
File Permissions                : rwxrwxrwx
File Type                       : PDF
File Type Extension             : pdf
MIME Type                       : application/pdf
PDF Version                     : 1.7
Linearized                      : No
Warning                         : Info object (11 0 obj) not found at 285226

However, I cannot change or delete them, e.g. the following command throws an error which I do not understand.

# exiftool -all= test.pdf

Error: Info object (11 0 obj) not found at 285226 - test.pdf
    0 image files updated
    1 files weren't updated due to errors

I was not sure about write privileges, so I copied (duplicated, from within WSL) the (Windows-created) original file and renamed it to test.pdf, but this did not solve the problem.
I found the following suggestions, but they did not solve the issue either:

  • 4
    Looks like the file is either broken or not fully readable by exiftool. Also note that the man page mentions this: "Changes to PDF files by ExifTool are reversible (by deleting the update with "-PDF-update:all=") because the original information is never actually deleted from the file. So ExifTool alone may not be used to securely edit metadata in PDF files."
    – Freddy
    Apr 29, 2021 at 0:55
  • 2
    It may also be related to this and this. The error you get seems to have been fixed in ExifTool 11.94.
    – Antonio
    Apr 29, 2021 at 1:15
  • @Antonio +1 will try asap as I get to PC (traveling)
    – Martin
    Apr 29, 2021 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


Try executing the command with the -v option. If you get an Object was freed warning, then the error is probably related to the problem reported in this and this threads which was fixed in ExifTool 11.94 according to the posts by the author of ExifTool:

The problem occurs because the pointer in the cross-reference table written by the Microsoft software doesn't point directly to the referenced object. Instead, it points to the line before the object. So I will patch ExifTool to skip leading blank lines, which should solve the problem.

As pointed out by @Freddy in his comment also note that changes to PDF files made by ExifTool alone are reversible.

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