Remove tell-tale metadata from Microsoft apps

When you send a Word document to a client or a co-worker, you are also sending metadata - info about the document - as well. You can easily include embarrassing comments, hidden text or info helpful to hackers.

When you send a Word document to a client or a co-worker, you are also sending metadata - info about the document - as well. You can easily include embarrassing comments, hidden text or info helpful to hackers. Here's how to get rid of it.

Start with this Microsoft support document Titled How to minimize metadata in Office documents, the document covers the following Office apps:

Easy until you try it What could be simpler! Almost anything. Check out this partial list of metadata to remove from Word 2002:

  • How to Automatically Remove Personal Information When You Save
  • How to Manually Remove Your User Name from Your Documents
  • How to Manually Remove Personal Summary Information
  • How to Manually Remove Personal Summary Information When Connected to a Network
  • How to Manually Remove Comments in Documents
  • How to Manually Remove Headers and Footers from Documents
  • How to Manually Remove Revision Marks
  • How to Turn Off Fast Saves
  • How to Search for and Remove Text That Is Formatted As Hidden
  • How to Remove Hyperlinks from Documents
  • How to Remove Old File Versions from Documents
  • How to Remove Links from Field Codes
  • How to Remove the Template Name and Location
  • How to Remove Routing Slip Information
  • How to Remove Mail Recipient Information
  • How to Remove the Names of Previous Authors
  • How to Remove Visual Basic References to Other Files
  • How to Remove Network or Hard Disk Information
  • Embedded Objects in Documents May Contain Metadata
  • How to Remove the AdHocReviewCycleID Property from Documents

Kudos to Microsoft for publishing these papers. But for the next round of Office updates, how about a simple "Minimize Metadata" button on the toolbar?

Security shouldn't be this hard.

Comments welcome, of course. What is your most embarrassing metadata story?

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