Map or Import PDF Metadata to SharePoint

In this guide you’ll learn how to copy a documents metadata into SharePoint when converting it to a PDF.

From a high-level perspective, the functionality is as follows:

  • Standalone Workflow Activity that can be used in combination with any of Muhimbi’s Workflow Activities, or without them.
  • Copy all meta-data or only selected fields.
  • Copy meta-data to files in different folders or site collections.
  • Change the content type to either the source file’s, destination file’s, the default content type for the library, or a specific named content type.
  • Copy content of Author, Created and Modified fields by explicitly specifying these field names. This information is not copied when the default ‘copy all fields’ option is enabled. It is not possible to copy the Editor field as that is always overwritten by the workflow.

Copy Metadata using SharePoint Designer Workflow

To insert this new Activity into a workflow, click the Action button in the MS SharePoint Designer Workflow editor and select ‘Copy metadata’ action. This inserts the following workflow step:


The parameters are largely self-describing and use the same format as all our other Workflow Activities.

  • this document: The source document to copy the metadata from. For most workflows selecting ‘Current Item’ will suffice, but for some custom scenarios (e.g. Site workflows), you may require the lookup of a different item.

  • this file: The path and file name to copy the metadata to. Please make sure that the path does not include the host name, e.g. ‘http://your site/…’.

  • fields: By default the content of all fields is copied to the destination file. However, if you wish to copy only specific fields then the field names can be specified in this list. You can separate fields using line breaks, ‘,’ or ‘;’ and you can use both internal and display field names.

  • content type: While copying metadata, you have full control over the content type of the destination file. The following options can be specified:

    • (source): The content type of the source file is copied to the destination file. Please include the round brackets.
    • (target): The content type of the destination file is not modified and remains what it was before the copy operation. Please include the round brackets.
    • (default): The default content type for the document library is applied to the destination file. Please include the round brackets.
    • Name of Content type: The destination file is set to a specific, named, content type. Please do not use round brackets around the name of the content type.
  • Parameter ‘List ID’: The ID of the file the meta-data was copied to. This can be used later in the workflow to perform additional tasks on the file, such as performing a check-in or check-out.

  • Parameter ‘List Item ID’: The ID of the list that holds the file that the metadata was copied to.

Similar to our other Workflow Activities, this new Copy MetaData facility is both simple and powerful and works in legacy MS SharePoint versions and also in MS SharePoint 2019.

Additional Resources

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