FAQ: Can metadata be imported in HTML format?
Can metadata be imported in HTML format?
No. There is no way to import metadata that exists in HTML format.
HTML files are intended for a human audience. It might be easier to understand why if you think of the results that you see in a browser as a picture. If you look at a metadata HTML file in a text editor rather than a browser, you can see that it is extremely difficult from a software program's perspective to tell what text represents a metadata element, what text represents the element's value, and what text is HTML code.
However, if the HTML file presents FGDC metadata in outline format, it can be converted to a well-formatted text file that can be imported using ArcCatalog.
Alternatively, you might contact the organization that supplied the metadata to see if they can provide it to you in a format such as XML that can be imported with ArcCatalog.