XMP help for Adobe applications

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You are here because you want to use an Adobe application like Photoshop to mark files as re-usable under a Creative Commons license.

Many Adobe applications* support embedding XMP metadata in files, most notably PDF documents. The Creative Commons licensing process offers an XMP template which may be used to mark documents with Creative Commons license information.

Note that a licensed PDF document should include a visible copyright notice as described in how to tag works in addition to embedded metadata.

* Only Photoshop CS has been well tested. Problems have been reported getting Acrobat 6.0 to select downloaded XMP templates. Acrobat 5.0 does not support a UI for embedding XMP. Photoshop CS can embed XMP in PDFs via its file browser.

How to tag a single file

Step 1: Choose a license

Click on "choose license" on most pages at creativecommons.org to visit the license selection application.

Step 2: Save XMP template

In the second step of the licensing process, see "To mark a PDF or other XMP-supported file, save this template following these instructions." Click on "save this template". You will be prompted to save a file. Under Windows save it to the Desktop. Under OS X save the file to

/Users/{YOUR USERNAME}/Library/Application Support/Adobe/XMP/Metadata Templates

where {YOUR USERNAME} is replaced with your OS X short username. You will likely have to manually create the 'Metadata Templates' directory before saving.

Step 2a (Windows only): Move the file to the right folder

Mac users can skip to Step 3.

In Windows, the file should go in this folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\{YOUR USERNAME}\Application Data\Adobe\XMP\Metadata Templates

where {YOUR USERNAME} is replaced with your Windows username. The easiest way do this is to save the file to the desktop, and then to:

  1. Click on the Start Menu
  2. Click "Run..."
  3. Type Desktop\..\Application Data
  4. Click "OK"
  5. Open the "Adobe" folder inside there
  6. Open the "XMP" folder inside there, or create it if there is no XMP folder
  7. Open the "Metadata Templates" folder inside, or create it if there is no folder by that name
  8. Drag the XMP file you saved to your desktop to the folder that just opened
  9. Close the folder

You may have to create the "XMP" folder under "Adobe", and you may also have to create the "Metadata Templates" folder under "XMP".

Step 3: Mark Document

Within your Adobe application open the metadata panel while editing a file you want to mark (File|File Info in Photoshop). Using the fly-out menu in the upper right corner of the panel, choose the template you saved.


In Acrobat 6, go to Advanced | Document Metadata, select the Advanced panel on the left, then click on replace and select the xmp text file that you downloaded.

Creative Commons license information will appear in the Description panel.

Step 4: Save and Publish

Save your file! If publishing on the web the page that links to your XMP-marked document should contain a license notice and metadata, which can be copied from the same licensing process.

Tagging multiple files at once

You can mark multiple files with the same license metadata using the file browser (File|Browse in Photoshop). Select the files you want to mark, then select the template you saved via the flyout menu in the metadata pane.


Beyond single files: Creative Commons File Info Panel

Copyright information is displayed in the standard Description panel (see screenshot above). This may be supplemented by the Adobe Metadata Panel. This optional panel displays the copyright information available via the Description panel as well as a pointer to this page for help and a License URL, which may differ from the Copyright Info URL (see advanced usage).


The XMP logo is either a registered trademark or trademark of the Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.