Computer Tip: Controlling Office metadata
December 18, 2014 Leave a comment
If you tend to modify Word documents at work did you know that your information is tracked? Or if you used another document as a temple, the original document’s author’s information may still be visible? Sending out a CV? Time to do some cleaning first.
Office documents contain metadata which contains information about your document, some of which others shouldn’t need to know. Metadata includes the author who originally create the document, current author, time spent on the document, dates, tags, classifications (internal or not), etc.
When creating a new document this information is blank but some information is then populated by whoever created the document.
In Microsoft Office 2010 applications, to remove old metadata, go into the Office document, click on the File menu. Go to Info and then Prepare for Sharing. Then select Check Issues followed by Inspect Document. Click on the Inspect button. Only thing to be really looking at is to remove the Document Properties and Personal Information metadata. The other 5 could cause issues if removed. [If you have a different version of Office, it may be in another menu. If you can’t find it or using an older version, I’m sure there is a utility on the Internet to remove it.]
You should remove the old metadata if you are using another document as a template for your own document(s). Not removing metadata could cause some minor issues when uploading the document to [for example] SharePoint if the documents was originally used for a different topic.
By removing the metadata above, everything gets removed. You can remove some metadata manually but other metadata can only be removed with the above procedure.