Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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 July 7, 2018)

2

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.

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, and 2016. 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding Pattern Matching

Pattern matching is a type of searching you can do in Word that is very powerful. Despite its power, it remains rather ...

Discover More

Calculated Dates

Word makes it easy to insert today's date in a document, but not as easy to insert a date X number of days in the future. ...

Discover More

Handling Negative Numbers in a Complex Custom Format

Custom formats are great for defining how a specific value in a cell should look. They aren't that great at doing complex ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Copying Custom Properties

You can add custom properties to a document to help with all sorts of file management tasks. If you want to copy these ...

Discover More

Saving Portions of Files

Want to save snippets from a document into individual files? There are a couple of easy ways to achieve this goal, as ...

Discover More

Printing a File List

It is often helpful to have a list of all the documents in a given directory or folder. Word doesn't have a built-in way ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 1?

2012-05-21 03:41:07

Andrew Evans

I gald someone else has pointed out the free tool from Microsoft, I have used the 2003 tool a lot and it works well. i would have thought giving details of the free facilities that Microsoft provide for use would be the first port of call for a MVP rather than commercial - there may be some commercial tools that go further than the freebie's but if the freebie's work than that must be the way to go.


2012-05-19 06:22:44

Bruce Manford

You do not mention the built-in Word tool, the Document Inpsector, whihc is much more flexible than the macro here. See: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/remove-hidden-data-and-personal-information-by-inspecting-documents-HA010354329.aspx for how to use it. This applies both to Word 2007 and Word 2010. For Word 2003 there is a separate (free) tool available from Microsoft that does much the same thng.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.