Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Removing All File Properties.

Removing All File Properties

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 11, 2019)

Word allows you to maintain a fair number of properties associated with a document. These properties vary from document to document. Some of them are set automatically by Word, and others can be set manually by you.

Using a macro, you can clear all the boxes on the Summary tab of the Properties dialog box. The following macro tries to access all the built-in document properties, resetting them so that they contain nothing. If a non-writable document property is accessed (for example, the time the document was last printed), then an error is generated and the macro resumes on the very next property.

Sub CleanProp()
    Dim oProp As DocumentProperty
    On Error Resume Next
    For Each oProp In ActiveDocument.BuiltInDocumentProperties
        oProp.Value = ""
    Next oProp
End Sub

There are also commercial metadata cleaners available on the market. These clean not only the information stored in the document properties, but also other identifying data that you might not want distributed with a document. Examples of these types of programs are Metadata Assistant (Payne Consulting Group) and Workshare Protect (WorkShare). You can use your favorite search engine to search for information on these and other cleaners.

Another approach to removing hidden or other identifying data from the document properties is to use the Document Inspector feature found in multiple Microsoft Office products. The following article gives more details on how Document Inspector can be used for this purpose:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/remove-hidden-data-and-personal-information-by-inspecting-documents-presentations-or-workbooks-356b7b5d-77af-44fe-a07f-9aa4d085966f

Note that the URL is quite long; you'll want to make sure you include it all in your browser.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11737) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Removing All File Properties.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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