Friday, August 21, 2009

removing metadata from Office documents

Metadata is information stored inside an Office document about the document's history. It includes data like who edited the document and for how long. It includes old file names, paths, and accepted track changes. You can see this metadata by clicking File -> Properties in Word 2003 or 2002. For a number of reasons, people like to remove metadata before sending files to clients - especially in the legal setting.

There are a number of pay tools that can remove metadata (you can just google metadata removal) in bulk from files, but Microsoft has a tool that can remove metadata from one file at a time. The Microsoft tool is free. You can obtain the free tool here:

Run the file your download and it will install an add-in to your Office programs. Here are Microsoft's instructions on using the tool:


After you install the Remove Hidden Data add-in, open the document you want to review then, on the File menu, click Remove Hidden Data.

Note: If you do not see the Remove Hidden Data command on the File menu, check the following:

1. On the Tools menu, point to Options, and then click the Security tab. 2. Under Macro Security, click Macro Security.
3. Click the Trusted Publishers tab.
4. Select the Trust all installed add-ins and templates check box, and then click OK twice.

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