I'm wondering if it's possible to create some custom fields of metadata to be saved with final art in Illustrator.

My goal was to enclose data such as type of screen, def. of screen, angle used, color name, order of impression.

Is it possible?

Here's more or less what i had in mind...

Thanks in advance ! And thanks for the tips on the use of this tool as well. enter image description here

  • 2
    Have you already looked at File > File Info...? Not something I've used a great deal, but it might serve your purposes.
    – Westside
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 14:40
  • I wonder what their XMP data looks like.
    – Silly-V
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 20:12

3 Answers 3


File > File Info is the way to go, because among other things it plays well with Bridge which can show you the metadata you need - depending on your workflow! This is the XMP metadata form, and various software are set up to expect such data inside that spot in the document.

  • 1
    The IPTC standard fields for title and description are also often read by other apps as well, which is very useful. I'd also recommend making use of the author fields in case you're ever into uploading artwork to portfolio sites.
    – Dre
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 15:25

Depending on what you need the data for, another (basic) option would be to use a non-printing “template” layer with text positioned off-canvas and/or hidden:

enter image description here

Double click on the layer to get to the layer options:

enter image description here

If interested, I could share jsx that would show you how to parse the contents of this layer.

  • Got it ! That's more or less what i'm doing. In fact i use a symbol with an form that i edit and than save. That way it stays with the ai file. The thing is that that data is not metadata but some extra info in the file stored as a symbol. That has no other usage than that. Using metadata technology it becomes much more "handy" to be capable to use that info in other instances. Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 14:50

A way to keep it simple without no custom technology:

Start a receipe book that holds different receipes as linkable elements - maybe a folder that consists your receipe files. The receipe files can easily be searchable by name and content.

Insert to your artwork file a link to all receipes that are applied. It can be in metadata or as a hidden object that is easy to find

Insert to the receipe a link to all artwork files where the receipe is in use.

This system can't stand any changes in your directory structure.

A more advanced hi-tech free receipe book system:

Establish a receipe folder that has a subfolder for each receipe. The receipe folder must live in a different disk volume than your actual artwork files

Into each receipe folder put the receipe as a separate file. Into the same folder paste as shortcut the names of the artwork files where that receipe is applied.

Into yor artwork file insert links to ali receipe folders that holds a receipe for something in this artwork file. The link can be a hideable object or it can be written into the metadata.

Why that complexity? It's because your shortcuts in a receipe folder updates automatically if you move the artwork file by dragging or by cut & paste.

More: You can make one windows shortcut of your artwork file and drag it to all used receipe folders without any need to open the receipe folders.

Even more: you can expand this beyond receipes. It can hold also information about file usage

Document management:

Described receipe linking capablities with business quality robustness and streamlined operation need a proper document management system. It is an extension for whole file system. Linking will be automatic and version management can be easy, too. The following is an example of commercial document management system: M-Files There also are available several free document management systems.

To corporate wide expandable document management system can be an overkill for small business. A homemade simple system as well can be a serious underkill for heavy use - for example, when version management and the co-operation of several artists must be supported. No system at all leads finally to a mess where it's easier to start new job from scartch than to waste the time for searching something maybe existent but forgotten what it was and where.

  • Thank you so much for Your post. I will have to re-read it a couple of times so that i make sure i understand what you say. Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 11:28
  • @Luis Monteiro Thanks for the interest. . This text will still grow a little, maybe today or tomorrow. I will include something about how to easily watch the preview images of different designs in the homemade system, altough that is trivial.
    – user82991
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 12:27
  • Hi, We have a software custom made for our activity and it is very near to perfection on search of jobs and data related to inks used. Remember that we are a company that provides ceramic decals as well as glass decals produced in screen printing method. Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 13:30
  • But one thing that was "forgotten" is the data relative to angles and dot definition. Maybe because we were using bark system Mosaic and Arabesque ( designed for screen printing, but way too expensive and discontinued for a long time now), and in this system all that data was automatic and there were no variations to standards. Nowadays many techniques envolve changes in this area so that data makes sense to be stored as metadata to be used by that software or other that may apear. Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 13:30
  • *correction ( not BARK but BARCO SYSTEMS ) Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 13:31

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