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EXIFTOOL for quality assurance

Page history last edited by Monica 4 years, 1 month ago



Software notes


Exiftool can write to many image-based formats and PDFs; but can only read from some audio and video formats. For complete list see Supported File Types.

Use EXIFTOOL to confirm various technical specs. Specifications will vary by format and project, so it may be helpful to arrange your files into subfolders by format before running report.


Common technical specs to confirm


PDF files


Linearized field values should be Yes. This ensures the PDF has be optimized for fast web display which effects usability (e.g. downloading or online viewing speed). For more PDF tags see http://owl.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/TagNames/PDF.html


TIF files




For master files this value should always be uncompressed (not LZW). Also if LZW, the Jpeg2000 script will not work to auto create this derivative type.


Confirm listed as RGB and not CMYK. Color spaces for printing purposes sometimes are incompatible with downstream functions like the DSpace Media Filter job which auto creates thumbnails


Use to confirm all tiffs within the same object are the same size. This will produce a more consistent PDF


This should be blank to confirm tiffs are flat, with no layers.


confirm all files were scanned at PPI project specs (min 300 ppi for color)



Basic command


exiftool -common -csv -r folder> out.csv


-csv will output common characteristics

-r recursively process subdirectories

> output report to file out.csv


Example error messages


Error messages may appear in a Warning field. In general, any errors found via exiftool will also be found in jhove as well. Jhove tends to find more errors for supported formats.


When attempting to embedded metadata and find that this does not work, s also an indicator of an issue with a file (file may have no formal error message from exiftool either because the file is too corrupted to read or the error is unknown to the software). In any case, recommended to recreate such files.




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