I am interested if it is possible to distinguish the software used to make an image from its metadata. For example, using imagemagick, a command-line tool, I can see that one specific image was made using Adobe ImageReady: enter image description here

In general however, software like Illustrator or Sketch do not by default include this explicit information in their metadata. So I am looking for a clever way to infer (of course never with absolute certainty) the software program used to export. For example, perhaps Sketch metadata automatically reports interlace method, but Illustrator only does so if you change the default option in export.

  • It depends on many things, if one uses adobe save for web it on purpose eliminates the metadata fields (which obviously makes this harder). But if you use normal export in illustrator then it does include the metadata
    – joojaa
    Jan 27, 2018 at 13:13

1 Answer 1


If you are talking about exporting as raster images, then unless the metadata is there, there is no other way to find out except by making an educated guess.

For example: if it looks like vector art, then it has probably been made with a vector image editor. If it's a photograph/photomanipulation, or looks like a painting/smudgy sketch, rather than a line drawing with distinct lines, then it has probably been made with a raster image editor.

Of course, it is also possible to produce vector-like images with raster editing software - so it's impossible to be sure.

As for pinpointing the exact software used, that would be nearly impossible unless you can spot something like a default pattern/brush/effect that you could link to specific software.

  • thank you for this. I was hoping that the different programs have some kind of a signature in the way they stamp their exports. Jan 27, 2018 at 17:19

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