Monday, October 12, 2009

Remove Metadata and Personal Information from a document

So you have collected a lot of Metadata on your Office 2007 document and you are ready to publish the final document and share the document. However, before you share an important document you probably want to review the contents of the document to ensure that everything is correct and the document does not contain anything you do not want to share with other people, especially hidden data or personal information that might be stored in the document itself or in the document properties (metadata). Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Office document that you want to inspect for hidden data or personal information.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, click Save As, and then type a name in the File name box to save a copy of your original document.

It is a good idea to use the Document Inspector on a copy of your original document because it is not always possible to restore the data that the Document Inspector removes.

  1. In the copy of your original document, click the Microsoft Office Button, point to Prepare, and then click Inspect Document.
  2. In the Document Inspector dialog box, select the check boxes to choose the types of hidden content that you want to be inspected.
  3. Click Inspect.
  4. Review the results of the inspection in the Document Inspector dialog box.
  5. Click Remove All next to the inspection results for the types of hidden content that you want to remove from your document.

If you remove hidden content from your document, you might not be able to restore it by clicking Undo.

The inspectors for Comments and Annotations, Document Properties and Personal Information, and Headers and Footers cannot be used in an Excel workbook that has been saved as a shared workbook (Review tab, Shared Workbook command). This is because shared workbooks use personal information to enable different people to collaborate on the same workbook. To remove this information from a shared workbook, you can copy the workbook, and then unshare it. To unshare a workbook, on the Review tab, click Shared Workbook. On the Editing tab, clear the Allow changes by more than one user at the same time check box.

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